Will America choose freedom or the ant heap of totalitarianism?

June 05, 2012

I miss Reagan. I saw that on a bumper sticker yesterday and I want that bumper sticker!

Today, Wisconsin voters may provide a glimpse into the next Presidential election. And this November’s election will determine the direction our country will go.

Ronald Reagan entered the national spotlight during challenging times. And he spoke of that time of choosing when he gave the historic speech in 1964 which captured the nation’s mood:

“You and I are told we must choose between a left or right, but I suggest there is no such thing as a left or right. There is only an up or down. Up to man’s age-old dream–the maximum of individual freedom consistent with order – or down to the ant heap of totalitarianism. Regardless of their sincerity, their humanitarian motives, those who would sacrifice freedom for security have embarked on this downward path. Plutarch warned, “The real destroyer of the liberties of the people is he who spreads among them bounties, donations and benefits.”

It is as relevant as it was almost 60 years ago. And 20 years later, I had the opportunity to direct President Reagan’s 1984 re-nomination convention.

I also had the privilege of working for Ronald Reagan – on his campaign and in his Administration. Those of us lucky enough to be part of his team were joined by most of the country in sharing the vision Ronald Reagan had of America.

We were uplifted by his optimism and enthusiasm for our exceptional country and for freedom.

When Reagan first entered the White House, Jimmy Carter had presided over interest rates which hit as high as 21%, long gasoline lines and a misery index which is a mirror image of where we are today.

But once the Reagans took up residency in the White House, I never recall President Reagan blaming Carter. That is the kind of man he was.

I still miss Ronald Reagan.

His words ring true today:

“You and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We will preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we will sentence them to take the first step into a thousand years of darkness. If we fail, at least let our children and our children’s children say of us we justified our brief moment here. We did all that could be done.”

Today, I am proud to be Texas director of Americans for Prosperity, an organization of amazing grassroots leaders who engage citizens in the name of limited government and free markets.

Reagan knew the importance of an informed citizenry. In that famous Time of Choosing speech, he challenged us:

“Are you willing to spend time studying the issues, making yourself aware, and then conveying that information to family and friends? Will you resist the temptation to get a government handout for your community? Realize that the doctor’s fight against socialized medicine is your fight. We can’t socialize the doctors without socializing the patients. Recognize that government invasion of public power is eventually an assault upon your own business. If some among you fear taking a stand because you are afraid of reprisals from customers, clients, or even government, recognize that you are just feeding the crocodile hoping he’ll eat you last.”

We again are faced with a time of choosing. Today we have another opportunity to take back America. While I miss Ronald Reagan, I still share his vision of America as that Shining City on the Hill.

posted June 5, 2012 by Peggy Venable

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