Vision, Humility, and Ideals vs. Small Dreams, Arrogance, and Ideology

In his 1981 Inauguration Speech, Ronald Reagan asked, “How can we love our country and not love our countrymen?” He was talking about his vision of Americans moving forward, all Americans, and he went on to talk about the way that he would work to revive our economy, at that time in crisis, and how he would do it with the help of the people. Much of the first portion of his speech was about the people, We the People, and he counted himself among us. Speaking about the role of the federal government, balking at the way it had grown and threatened to overtake not only states’ rights but  the rights of the people, he asks, “If no one among us is capable of governing himself, then who among us has the capacity to govern someone else?”

Listening to Reagan, to his love for this country, his dedication to reinvigorating our economy, to rebuilding our great nation, and to his role as Commander-in-Chief, I get a lump in my throat. It’s so refreshing, so (excuse me for a moment) friggin’ awesome to hear a man who is the leader of a country he loves and takes pride in, to a leader who recognizes his stature as President of the United States of America yet does so with great humility. Reagan speaks of former presidents, former great deeds performed by other men in other decades, in other centuries. He speaks of America as if the things that were then wrong (and there were many) were surmountable not because he held himself above us, but because he saw himself among us, with us, fighting for us and for our collective future as Americans who live in a constitutional republic, trying to pull us all up and not drag anyone down.

I can honestly say that listening again to this Inaugural Address made me cry, literally sob. That is the America I love, the America that I will fight for with my dying breath, the America that I fear we are losing bits of each day. I cry for our loss not only of a great leader but for what we are left with now and the path we are being herded down. I cry because the question I most want to ask this country’s current president is: How can you love your countrymen if you do not love your country?

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10 thoughts on “Vision, Humility, and Ideals vs. Small Dreams, Arrogance, and Ideology

  1. Obama couldn't give this speech with 100 teleprompters. I watched every minute of this clip and the differences between the two men are so vast that it defies comprehension. One man is a leader, an inspired statesman, a person who actually loves his country. The other is a huckster, a used car salesman, or better yet, a sub-prime lender. I say we glue a tape recorder to a picture of Regan, hit play and run THAT against Obama in 2012.

  2. lmao at the picture and recording running against BO.

    But I know exactly what you mean, the difference between the two men is nothing short of astounding. Listening to Reagan fills me with real hope and it stirs an abiding patriotism. He doesn't puff himself up while insulting the American people, he pulls us all up with good leadership. And notice how he didn't point any fingers at Carter (and God knows he could have) or whinge about “the other party” or proclaim himself king of the world? I can't even count how often BO says “I” in his bazillion speeches about how much America sucks and he's here to save us from ourselves. Hmph!

    “We are a nation that has a government, not the other way around . . . . Our government has no power except that granted to it by the people.” We SO need to take our country back.

  3. As I was only 4 years old when Reagan gave that speech, this was the first time that I had ever heard his inaugural address. It was fabulous. He was positive and showed an admiration and love for America. The fact that he believed that government created problems, and made the problems worse is the polar opposite of Obama's beliefs. Reagan pulled us out of financial turmoil and Obama is making things worse. And, maybe on purpose? So he can create a New World Order. Obama seems to be consistently making all the wrong decisions with regard to the economy.

  4. After the misery of the Carter years – double digit inflation, the impotence in the face of the Hostage crisis – Reagan WAS a breath of fresh air. People felt positive, that America was moving forward again. Something we badly need now.

    I think it boils down to TRUST, or the lack thereof.

  5. Hi Teresa! ๐Ÿ™‚ I know I posted a response to your comment yesterday, but it's not here now ๐Ÿ˜ฆ Anyway, I'm so glad you liked the vid; Reagan gave some awesome speeches (I was pretty young back then, so I've mostly just seen them in class or online). One of the major differences is that his speeches had substance and offered actual solutions not vague promises; Reagan offered direction and decisiveness.

    He speaks of having strength in the military but of having the goal of never having to use it. And within the hour of this inauguration speech in January 1981, Iran let those hostages go after 444 days of dithering and wimping around by Carter, who wanted peace at any cost, including surrender. That's just ridiculous, and it's exactly what BO wants. History tells us peace is achieved by peace and strength, not whining and waffling. Many people assert that this speech, the part about our strength and willingness if not eagerness to use it, was exactly the reason the hostages were freed. I'm definitely a “speak softly and carry a big stick” believer.

    The New World Order thing kind of freaks me out. I don't know enough about it, but I have usually dismissed it. Perhaps as things are changing so much and the individual things that are happening (and going largely unnoticed) paint a pretty frightening picture when put together, it's time to give that more credence, or at least enough to look into it.

  6. Hi Velcro! ๐Ÿ™‚ I think that's a large part of it. I know that I have never had any trust in BO; he's always been a lying, two-faced jerk with sketchy connections and radical ideas that run counter to the very concept of this country as defined by the Constitution. But I did dismiss much of that as being “part of the campaign” and the “political game.” As his presidency unfolds, though, I think it's becoming crystal clear that he's stuck in campaign mode, with all the lies, deceit, and trickery that go along with it. I think he is already the worst president this country has ever had, and it's been what? nine months?

  7. People sneer at us for pining for Reagan. We MUST find somebody with his love for America and American values. We are in a deep hole right now and we need somebody like him to help us out.

  8. We really do, Opus. If BO continues down this crazy radical path, the reactive pendulum swing to the right that we saw after Carter may open the door for someone like Palin. But a lot depends on what happens next year.

  9. I have this address on my I-pod and listen to it from time to time. I remember my grandpa telling me when I was eight how great our President was. I thought all Presidents were great. It saddens me to see what one dud after another has done with the office since Reagan.

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