52 Inspirational Ronald Reagan Quotes

Ronald Reagan Quotes

Ronald Wilson Reagan was an American politician who served as the 40th president of the United States from 1981 to 1989 and became a highly influential voice of modern conservatism. During his tenure as President, Reagan helped redefine the role of the US government and his diplomatic and military pressure on the Soviet Union helped end the Cold War.  Reagan was a fervent “anticommunist” and he had a folksy charm, an appealing personal style and was able to speak in simple language which earned him the nickname of “The Great Communicator.” He was the first movie actor to ever become president (Note: Donald Trump became the second from 2016 to 2020).

Prior to serving as US President, he was a Hollywood actor and union leader (for SAG-AFTRA, the Hollywood Actor’s Guild), prior to  serving as the 33rd governor of California from 1967 to 1975.

The following is our collection of the most inspirational and wise sayings from Ronald Reagan.

Inspiring Ronald Reagan Quotes

1. “It’s true hard work never killed anybody, but I figure, why take the chance?” ―Ronald Reagan

2. “My philosophy of life is that if we make up our mind what we are going to make of our lives, then work hard toward that goal; we never lose – somehow, we win out.” ―Ronald Reagan

3. “Life is one grand, sweet song, so start the music.”―Ronald Reagan

4. “When you can’t make them see the light, make them feel the heat.” ―Ronald Reagan

5. “All great change in America begins at the dinner table.” ―Ronald Reagan

6. “Government’s first duty is to protect the people, not run their lives.” ―Ronald Reagan

7. “Government is like a baby. An alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other.” ―Ronald Reagan

8. “Education is not the means of showing people how to get what they want. Education is an exercise by means of which enough men, it is hoped, will learn to want what is worth having.” ―Ronald Reagan

9. “I now begin the journey that will lead me into the sunset of my life. I know that for America, there will always be a bright dawn ahead.” ―Ronald Reagan

10. “Politics is not a wrong profession. If you succeed, there are many rewards; if you disgrace yourself, you can always write a book.” ―Ronald Reagan

11. “We must reject the idea that every time a law’s broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions.” ―Ronald Reagan

12. “The trouble with our Liberal friends is not that they’re ignorant; it’s just that they know so much that isn’t so.” ―Ronald Reagan

13. “If we ever forget that we are One Nation Under God, then we will be a nation gone under.” ―Ronald Reagan

14. “Peace is not absence of conflict; it is the ability to handle conflicts by peaceful means.” ―Ronald Reagan

15. “We are never defeated unless we give up on God.”―Ronald Reagan

16. “The future doesn’t belong to the fainthearted; it belongs to the brave.” ―Ronald Reagan

17. “Democracy is worth dying for, because it’s the most deeply honorable form of government ever devised by man.”―Ronald Reagan

18. “Government exists to protect us from each other. Where government has gone beyond its limits is in deciding to protect us from ourselves.” ―Ronald Reagan

19. “Within the covers of the Bible are the answers for all the problems men face.” ―Ronald Reagan

20. “Surround yourself with the best people you can find, delegate authority, and don’t interfere as long as the policy you’ve decided upon is being carried out.” ―Ronald Reagan

21. “Facts are stubborn things.”―Ronald Reagan

22. “If we love our country, we should also love our countrymen.” ―Ronald Reagan

23. “To sit back hoping that someday, some way, someone will make things right is to go on feeding the crocodile, hoping he will eat you last – but eat you he will.” ―Ronald Reagan

24. “Concentrated power has always been the enemy of liberty.”―Ronald Reagan

25. “There are no easy answers, but there are simple answers. We must have the courage to do what we know is morally right.” ―Ronald Reagan

26. “The best minds are not in government. If any were, business would steal them away.” ―Ronald Reagan

27. “Latinos are Republican. They just don’t know it yet.”―Ronald Reagan

28. “Man is not free unless government is limited.” ―Ronald Reagan

29. “No matter what time it is, wake me, even if it’s in the middle of a Cabinet meeting.” ―Ronald Reagan

30. “There are no constraints on the human mind, no walls around the human spirit, no barriers to our progress except those we ourselves erect.” ―Ronald Reagan

31. “The taxpayer – that’s someone who works for the federal government but doesn’t have to take the civil service examination.” ―Ronald Reagan

32. “Optimism comes less easily today, not because democracy is less vigorous, but because democracy’s enemies have refined their instruments of repression.”―Ronald Reagan

33. “How can a president not be an actor?” ―Ronald Reagan

34. “A people free to choose will always choose peace.” ―Ronald Reagan

35. “Welfare’s purpose should be to eliminate, as far as possible, the need for its own existence.” ―Ronald Reagan

36. “Freedom prospers when religion is vibrant and the rule of law under God is acknowledged.” ―Ronald Reagan

37. “Don’t be afraid to see what you see.” –Ronald Reagan

38. “The problem is not that people are taxed too little, the problem is that government spends too much.” ―Ronald Reagan

39. “Protecting the rights of even the least individual among us is basically the only excuse the government has for even existing.” ―Ronald Reagan

40. “Heroes may not be braver than anyone else. They’re just braver 5 minutes longer.” ―Ronald Reagan

41. “I know in my heart that man is good. That what is right will always eventually triumph. And there’s purpose and worth to each and every life.” ―Ronald Reagan

42. “Above all, we must realize that no arsenal, or no weapon in the arsenals of the world, is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women. It is a weapon our adversaries in today’s world do not have.” v

43. “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.” ―Ronald Reagan

44. “Christmas can be celebrated in the school room with pine trees, tinsel and reindeers, but there must be no mention of the man whose birthday is being celebrated. One wonders how a teacher would answer if a student asked why it was called Christmas.” ―Ronald Reagan

45. “How do you tell a Communist? Well, it’s someone who reads Marx and Lenin. And how do you tell an anti-Communist? It’s someone who understands Marx and Lenin.”―Ronald Reagan

46. “Republicans believe every day is the Fourth of July, but the democrats believe every day is April 15.” ―Ronald Reagan

47. “We will always remember. We will always be proud. We will always be prepared, so we will always be free.” ―Ronald Reagan

48. “Government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.” ―Ronald Reagan

49. “I hope we once again have 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.” ―Ronald Reagan

50. “Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. But, the Marines don’t have that problem.” ―Ronald Reagan

51. “The future doesn’t belong to the light-hearted. It belongs to the brave.” ―Ronald Regan

52. “Socialists ignore the side of man that is the spirit. They can provide you shelter, fill your belly with bacon and beans, treat you when you’re ill, all the things guaranteed to a prisoner or a slave. They don’t understand that we also dream.” ―Ronald Reagan

Related: Quotes from Gerald Ford, Thomas Hobbes QuotesBarbara Bush’s’ Best Quotes. and Rutherford B. Hayes Quotes

George F. Will is a very famous American conservative who has helped influence political thought for decades. In 1980, he helped Reagan prepare for his 1980 debate against Jimmy Carter. You can find our great collection of George Will Quotes here.

Video: Reagan’s Best One Liners

This is a great compilation of Reagan’s humor during his time as presidency. You can get a clear flavor of his on camera presence and his good comedic timing. And given the era, there are a lot of jokes about Russia and Russians.

Summary

By the time he left office on January 20, 1989, Reagan held an approval rating of 68% which matched both Franklin D. Roosevelt and later Bill Clinton as the highest ratings for departing presidents in the 20th century.’

Historically, he is considered by many historians to be in the top tier of all US Presidents in terms of his impact during his time in office. After leaving the presidency, Reagan maintained a low profile. He was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in his later years and died on June 5, 2004.

Image Credit: “Public Domain: Ronald Reagan at Durenberger Rally by Michael Evans, 1982 (NARA/Reagan Library)” by pingnews.com is marked with CC PDM 1.0

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