Jackie Gingrich Cushman

"A government can't control the economy without controlling people. And they know when a government sets out to do that, it must use force and coercion to achieve its purpose. ...

"We have so many people who can't see a fat man standing beside a thin one without coming to the conclusion the fat man got that way by taking advantage of the thin one. So they're going to solve all the problems of human misery through government and government planning. ...

"No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. So governments' programs, once launched, never disappear. ... Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this Earth. ...

"Those who would trade our freedom for the soup kitchen of the welfare state have told us they have a utopian solution of peace without victory. They call their policy 'accommodation.' And they say if we'll only avoid any direct confrontation with the enemy, he'll forget his evil ways and learn to love us."

At the end of the speech, Reagan challenges his audience to be more, to do more, noting: "You and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We'll preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we'll sentence them to take the last step into a thousand years of darkness."

Nearly half a century later, the question remains a compelling one: aRe we ready and willing to have our rendezvous with destiny?


Jackie Gingrich Cushman

Jackie Gingrich Cushman is a speaker, syndicated columnist, socialpreneur, and author of "The Essential American: 25 Documents and Speeches Every American Should Own," and co-author of “The 5 Principles for a Successful Life: From Our Family to Yours”.