I had a great time up on ol’ Rocky Top for the Alabama-Tennessee game, but it is time to get back to being the sentinel — and in one week it will be our “Time for Choosing.”Today is the 50th anniversary of the seminal conservative ideology speech given by Ronald Reagan — October 27th, 1964. Reagan’s speech laid out a clear vision for an America that embraced its history as a Constitutional Republic and the intricate relationship between government and the governed. Reagan’s speech seems prescient now — it is certainly quite telling of who we are as Americans.
I sincerely ask that you please watch this speech — no teleprompter, no fake Greek columns — just one man’s insightful thoughts and perspectives.
And after watching Reagan deliver this speech, ask yourself, are his words still relevant? As The Washington Post writes, “The Reagan whom Americans saw on the night of Oct. 27, 1964, was not the avuncular, optimistic Reagan of his film roles, or of his subsequent political career that emphasized “morning in America” and the “shining city on a hill,” but a comparatively angry and serious Reagan, serving up partisan red meat against liberalism and the Democrats.”
“Our natural, unalienable rights are now considered to be a dispensation of government,” he declared, “and freedom has never been so fragile, so close to slipping from our grasp as it is at this moment.” The speech couldn’t save Goldwater. And his landslide defeat by President Lyndon Johnson was thought at the time to represent a sweeping repudiation of conservatism. Yet “A Time for Choosing” created a groundswell of support for Reagan’s own entry into electoral politics two years later. It also provided a template — an understanding of government as ruinously ambitious and out of control, projecting weakness and uncertainty to our enemies abroad — that still defines conservatism today.”Some try to say conservatism is about punishing the people — quite the opposite — conservatism is about elevating the individual and with a structure governance that promotes their growth, opportunity, and promise. Conservatism is inherently “compassionate” and needs no one to try and qualify it — just embrace its fundamental principles: limited government, fiscal responsibility, individual sovereignty, free market/free enterprise economy, and strong national defense.
I just have to ask, who would not agree with those precepts?
Um, well, the folks who bring you “you didn’t build that” and “corporations and businesses don’t create jobs” — the progressive socialists. They reject the preeminence of the individual for the manipulation and subjugation of the collective. Conservatives believe there must be a safety net for citizens as they climb the ladder of personal success and achievement — but as Reagan believed, we want you to continue to climb.Instead, progressive socialists prefer to provide a hammock, as they do not advocate for the advancement of the indomitable individual entrepreneurial spirit — they just promote sound bite gimmicks that result in economic enslavement.
Progressive socialists believe they can and must determine individual outcomes because they believe individuals have no right to do that themselves. Conservatism believes in those three rights: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. We don’t guarantee happiness, but we create an environment where it can pursued and achieved.
As my mom would say, “Self-esteem comes from doing esteemable things” — conservatives want individual self-esteem — progressive socialists prefer to destroy individual will and determination in order to establish dependency.Ronald Reagan’s “Time for Choosing” speech is far more than just relevant for today — it is crucially necessary. If we don’t draw the complete distinction between what Reagan addressed and that which Obama professed then the growth, opportunity, and promise for future generations of Americans will be lost.
Sadly for America, not enough people watched this speech when the time for choosing came in 2008 and 2012 — they preferred the teleprompter aural honey that dripped into their ears which was simply disguised poison that found its way into their cognitive reasoning.
But perhaps, just perhaps, today there will be enough Americans who will take the time to view this video and share it with others. In a week there will be another “Time for Choosing” — let it not pass without our nation making the right choice — for life, liberty, freedom, and government enabling the individual pursuit of happiness — and not the false promise of a tyrannical government guaranteeing a collective happiness.
Reagan’s message was prescient. We don’t need someone who tries to be a lesser version of a progressive socialist, we need someone who can reignite that fire.
But until then, we have this time to choose.