Man is not free unless government is limited

Man is not free unless government is limited, by Ronald Reagan. From his Farewell Address to the American People”

The way I see it, there were two great triumphs, two things that I’m proudest of. One is the economic recovery, in which the people of America created – and filled – 19 million new jobs. The other is the recovery of our morale: America is respected again in the world, and looked to for leadership. …

They called it the Reagan Revolution, and I’ll accept that, but for me it always seemed more like the Great Rediscovery: a rediscovery of our values and our common sense. …

Common sense told us that when you put a big tax on something, the people will produce less of it. So we cut the people’s tax rates, and the people produced more than ever before. …

Countries across the globe are turning to free markets and free speech — and turning away from the ideologies of the past. For them, the Great Rediscovery of the 1980’s has been that, lo and behold, the moral way of government is the practical way of government. …

I think we have stopped a lot of what needed stopping. And I hope we have once again reminded people that man is not free unless government is limited. There’s a clear cause and effect here that is as neat and predictable as a law of physics: as government expands, liberty contracts.

The culture war with the left:

Those of us who are over 35 or so years of age grew up in a different America. We were taught, very directly, what it means to be an American, and we absorbed almost in the air a love of country and an appreciation of its institutions. …

But now we’re about to enter the Nineties, and some things have changed. Younger parents aren’t sure that an unambivalent appreciation of America is the right thing to teach modern children. And as for those who create the popular culture, well-grounded patriotism is no longer the style.

Our spirit is back, but we haven’t reinstitutionalized it. We’ve got to do a better job of getting across that America is freedom – freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of enterprise – and freedom is special and rare. It’s fragile; it needs protection.