architectural photography of white house photo

150+ Powerful Ronald Reagan Quotes on Freedom

Ronald Reagan quotes are filled with powerful words. On February 6th, 1911, former United States President Ronald Wilson Reagan was born in Tampico, Illinois. He started his career in the world of Hollywood, where he starred in over 50 films and met his first wife, actress Jane Wyman. In 1940 Ronald and Jane were married, and together they had two children, Maureen and Michael. In the coming years, he worked for the Army making training videos, and overtime his marriage ended in a painful divorce. Moving forward, Reagan became the president of the Screen Actors Guild in 1947, where he then met his future wife, Nancy Davis. They married in 1952 and had two children of their own, Patricia Ann and Ronald. 

Branching away from the realm of acting, in 1964, Reagan gave a speech for Barry Goldwater, which inspired him to later run and become the governor of California in 1966. This inspired him to continue his career in politics, eventually running to be the United States president in 1980. He won the election that year, making President Reagan the 40th President of the United States. In 1981, there was an assassination attempt made by John Hinckley that left the president with a bullet wound, but he healed and continued his presidency for another 4 years when re-elected in 1984. During his 8 years in office, Reagan navigated many difficult scandals and world affairs such as the Iran-Contra Affair and negotiating the end of the Cold War with the Soviet Union leader Gorbachev.

Later in life, in 1994, Reagan announced that he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, which eventually caused his death in 2004. President Ronald Reagan lived a life full of many professions and unique experiences that led him to leave a large impact on the American people. Read the article below to discover some impactful Ronald Reagan quotes to share.

Ronald Reagan Quotes
Public domain – Wikipedia

Patriotic Quotes by President Ronald Reagan

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

“As government expands, liberty contracts.” – Ronald Reagan

“I know in my heart that man is good, that what is right will always eventually triumph, and there is purpose and worth to each and every life.” – Ronald Reagan

“If there’s one observation that rings true in today’s changing world, it is that freedom and peace go hand in hand.” – Ronald Reagan

“The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things. He is the one that gets the people to do the greatest things.” – Ronald Reagan

“There are advantages to being elected President. The day after I was elected, I had my high school grades classified Top Secret.” – Ronald Reagan

“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

“Peace is not the absence of conflict, but the ability to cope with conflict by peaceful means.” – Ronald Reagan

“You and I know and do not believe that life is so dear and peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery.” – Ronald Reagan

“The American dream is not that every man must be level with every other man. The American dream is that every man must be free to become whatever God intends he should become.” – Ronald Reagan

“It has been said that politics is the second oldest profession. I have learned that it bears a striking resemblance to the first.” – Ronald Reagan

“There can be no freedom without order, and there is no order without virtue.” – Ronald Reagan

“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.” – Ronald Reagan

“For years, I’ve heard the question: “How could an actor be president?” I’ve sometimes wondered how you could be president and not be an actor.” – Ronald Reagan

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

“If we ever forget that we’re one nation under God, then we will be one nation gone under.” – Ronald Reagan

“Live simply, love generously, care deeply, speak kindly, leave the rest to God.” – Ronald Reagan

“I more than love you; I’m not whole without you. You are life itself to me. When you are gone, I’m waiting for you to return so I can start living again.” – Ronald Reagan

“Freedom is not just the birthright of the few; it is the God-given right of all His children, in every country. It won’t come by conquest. It will come because freedom is right, and freedom works. It will come because cooperation and goodwill among free people will carry the day.” – Ronald Reagan

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

“The most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.” – Ronald Reagan

“America was founded by people who believe that God was their rock of safety.” – Ronald Reagan

“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

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

“I learned that hard work is an essential part of life—that by and large, you don’t get something for nothing—and that America was a place that offered unlimited opportunity to those who did work hard.” – Ronald Reagan

“A nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought. The only value in our two nations possessing nuclear weapons is to make sure they will never be used. But then would it not be better to do away with them entirely?” – Ronald Reagan

“A nation that cannot control its borders is not a nation.” – Ronald Reagan

“We don’t have a trillion-dollar debt because we haven’t taxed enough; we have a trillion-dollar debt because we spend too much.” – Ronald Reagan

“America is too great for small dreams.” – Ronald Reagan

“A few months ago, I told the American people I did not trade arms for hostages. My heart and my best intentions tell me that’s true, but the facts and evidence tell me it is not.” – Ronald Reagan

“I was not a great communicator, but I communicated great things.” – Ronald Reagan

“No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we’ll ever see on this earth!” – Ronald Reagan

“There are no great limits to growth because there are no limits of human intelligence, imagination, and wonder.” – Ronald Reagan

“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

“I call upon the scientific community in our country, those who gave us nuclear weapons, to turn their great talents now to the cause of mankind and world peace: to give us the means of rendering these nuclear weapons impotent and obsolete.” – Ronald Reagan

“If politics were a musical, it would be “Promises, Promises”.” – Ronald Reagan

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

“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

“We cannot diminish the value of one category of human life–the unborn–without diminishing the value of all human life.” – Ronald Reagan

“[Freedom] 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

“We can’t help everyone, but everyone can help someone.” – Ronald Reagan

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

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

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

“Coercion, after all, merely captures man. Freedom captivates him.” – Ronald Reagan

“Freedom is the right to question and change the established way of doing things.” – Ronald Reagan

“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

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

“Trust but verify.” – Ronald Reagan

“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

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

“Heroes may not be braver than anyone else. They’re just braver five minutes longer.” – Ronald Reagan

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

“To grasp and hold a vision, that is the very essence of successful leadership – not only on the movie set where I learned it but everywhere.” – Ronald Reagan

“Don’t try to make your dreams a reality; they’re only filled with things that don’t make sense and trolls. Things are better in reality.” – Ronald Reagan

“There is no limit to the amount of good you can do if you don’t care who gets the credit.” – Ronald Reagan

“Never let the things you can’t do stop you from doing what you can.” – Ronald Reagan

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

“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

“Preparing for the future must begin, as always, with our children. We need to set for the new and more rigorous goals.” – Ronald Reagan

“To sit back hoping that someday, someway, 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

“They had that special grace, that special spirit that says, ‘Give me a challenge, and I’ll meet it with joy.'” – Ronald Reagan

“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

“I spoke to ears that refused to hear.” – Ronald Reagan

“If we’re free to dare – and we are – if we’re free to give – and we are – then we’re free to shape the future and have within our grasp all that we dream the future will be.” – Ronald Reagan

“Someday, the realm of liberty and justice will encompass the planet.” – Ronald Reagan

“I’ve always believed that a lot of the trouble in the world would disappear if we were talking to each other instead of about each other.” – Ronald Reagan

“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

“Government does not solve problems; it subsidizes them.” – Ronald Reagan

“The time has come to turn to God and reassert our trust in Him for the healing of America…our country is in need of and ready for a spiritual renewal.” – Ronald Reagan

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

“We in America have learned bitter lessons from two world wars: It is better to be here [in Europe] ready to protect the peace, than to take blind shelter across the sea, rushing to respond only after freedom is lost. We’ve learned that isolationism never was and never will be an acceptable response to tyrannical governments with an expansionist intent.” – Ronald Reagan

“I will leave with the greatest love for this country of ours and eternal optimism for its future.” – Ronald Reagan

“Thomas Jefferson once said, “We should never judge a president by his age, only by his works.” And ever since he told me that, I stopped worrying.” – Ronald Reagan

“Let friend and foe alike know that America has the muscle to back up its words.” – Ronald Reagan

“I want you to know that also I will not make age an issue of this campaign. I am not going to exploit, for political purposes, my opponent’s youth and inexperience.” – Ronald Reagan

“Government does not solve problems; it subsidizes them.” – Ronald Reagan

“Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.” – Ronald Reagan

“How can a president not be an actor?” – Ronald Reagan

“I have spent most of my life as a Democrat. I recently have seen fit to follow another course. I believe that the issues confronting us cross party lines.” – Ronald Reagan

“Today, we did what we had to do. They counted on America to be passive. They counted wrong.” – Ronald Reagan

“People do not make wars; governments do.” – Ronald Reagan

“We’re in greater danger today than we were the day after Pearl Harbor. Our military is absolutely incapable of defending this country.” – Ronald Reagan

“Excellence does not begin in Washington.” – Ronald Reagan

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

“While I take inspiration from the past, like most Americans, I live for the future.” – Ronald Reagan

“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

“I consider all proposals for government action with an open mind before voting “no.”” – Ronald Reagan

“The thought of being President frightens me, and I do not think I want the job.” – Ronald Reagan

“The struggle now going on for the world will never be decided by bombs or rockets, by armies or military might. The real crisis we face today is a spiritual one; at root, it is a test of moral will and faith.” – Ronald Reagan

“Government always finds a need for whatever money it gets.” – Ronald Reagan

“One way to make sure crime doesn’t pay would be to let the government run it.” – Ronald Reagan

“I hope we have once again reminded people that man is not free unless government is limited.” – Ronald Reagan

“The United States remains the last best hope for a mankind plagued by tyranny and deprivation. America is no stronger than its people — and that means you and me. Well, I believe in you, and I believe that if we work together, then one day we will say, “We fought the good fight. We finished the race. We kept the faith.” And to our children and our children’s children, we can say, “We did all what could be done in the brief time that was given us here on earth.” – Ronald Reagan

“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

“We the people tell the government what to do. It doesn’t tell us.” – Ronald Reagan

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

“I believe with all my heart that standing up for America means standing up for the God who has so blessed our land. We need God’s help to guide our nation through stormy seas. But we can’t expect Him to protect America in a crisis if we just leave Him over on the shelf in our day-to-day living.” – Ronald Reagan

“When you see all of the smoke billowing up from the Democrats, ladies, and gentlemen, I’d follow the advice of their nominee: Don’t Inhale.” – Ronald Reagan

“I believe now, as I always have, that America’s strength is in ‘We the People.’” – Ronald Reagan

“You can never underestimate the ability of the Democrats to wet their finger and hold it to the wind.” – Ronald Reagan

“In America, our origins matter less than our destination, and that is what democracy is all about. (August 17, 1992)” – Ronald Reagan

“We’re the party that wants to see an America in which people still can get rich.” – Ronald Reagan

“It is time to realize we are too great a nation for small dreams. We’re not — as some would have us believe — doomed to an inevitable fate.” – Ronald Reagan

“We think there is a parallel between the Federal involvement in education and the decline in quality over recent years.” – Ronald Reagan

Quotes by President Ronald Reagan about Life and Freedom

“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.” – Ronald Reagan

“We are forever indebted to those who have given their lives that we might be free.” – Ronald Reagan

“You and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We’ll preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we’ll sentence them to take the last step into a thousand years of darkness.” – Ronald Reagan

“I did turn 75 today – but remember, that’s only 24 Celsius.” – Ronald Reagan

“We will always remember. We will always be proud. We will always be prepared, so we will always be free. – Ronald Reagan

“If we lose freedom here, there is no place to escape to. This is the last stand on Earth.” – Ronald Reagan

“We’re blessed with the opportunity to stand for something–for liberty and freedom and fairness–and these are things worth fighting for, worth devoting our lives to.”  – Ronald Reagan

“The ultimate determinate in the struggle now going on for the world will not be bombs and rockets but a test of wills and ideas – a trial of spiritual resolve; the values we hold, the beliefs we cherish and the ideas to which we are dedicated.” – Ronald Reagan

“Middle age is when you’re faced with two temptations, and you choose the one that will get you home by nine o’clock.” – Ronald Reagan

“Honey, I forgot to duck.” (To his wife, Nancy Reagan, when she arrived at the hospital following the assassination attempt on March 30, 1981) – Ronald Reagan

“In raising and instructing our children, in providing personal and compassionate care for the elderly, in maintaining the spiritual strength of religious commitment among our people– in these and other ways, America’s families make immeasurable contributions to America’s well-being.” – Ronald Reagan

“You know, by the time you reach my age, you’ve made plenty of mistakes if you’ve lived your life properly.” – Ronald Reagan

“Today, more than ever, it is essential that these contributions not be taken for granted and that each of us remember that the strength of our families is vital to the strength of our nation.” – Ronald Reagan

“Some people wonder all their lives if they’ve made a difference. The Marines don’t have that problem.” – Ronald Reagan

Quotes by President Ronald Reagan About Hard Work, Success, and Education

“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

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

“Information is the oxygen of the modern age. It seeps through the walls topped by barbed wire; it wafts across the electrified borders. – Ronald Reagan

“I believe the best social program is a job.” – Ronald Reagan

“A leader, once convinced a particular course of action is the right one, must have the determination to stick with it and be undaunted when the going gets tough.” – Ronald Reagan

“Many a man has failed because he had his wishbone where his backbone should have been.” – Ronald Reagan

“Information is the oxygen of the modern age. It seeps through the walls topped by barbed wire; it wafts across the electrified borders.” – Ronald Reagan

“The very key to our success has been our ability, foremost among nations, to preserve our lasting values by making change work for us rather than against us.” – Ronald Reagan

“We have every right to dream heroic dreams. Those who say that we’re in a time when there are no heroes, they just don’t know where to look.” – Ronald Reagan

“Most of my dreams came true.” – Ronald Reagan

Other Quotes by President Ronald Reagan

“Even Albert Einstein reportedly needed help on his 1040 form.” – Ronald Reagan

“A recession is when a neighbor loses his job. A depression is when you lose yours. And recovery is when Jimmy Carter loses his.” – Ronald Reagan

“Balancing the budget is a little like protecting your virtue: You just have to learn to say ‘no.’” – Ronald Reagan

“Entrepreneurs and their small enterprises are responsible for almost all the economic growth in the United States.” – Ronald Reagan

“Without God, democracy will not and cannot long endure. “ – Ronald Reagan

“I have wondered at times what the Ten Commandments would have looked like if Moses had run them through the US Congress.” – Ronald Reagan

“They say we offer simple answers to complex problems. Well, perhaps there is a simple answer — not an easy answer — but simple.”  – Ronald Reagan

“Evil is powerless if the good are unafraid.” – Ronald Reagan

“If not us, who? And if not now, when?”  – Ronald Reagan

“We must be cautious in claiming God is on our side. I think the real question we must answer is, are we on His side?” – Ronald Reagan

“The person who agrees with you 80 percent of the time is a friend and an ally – not a 20 percent traitor.” – Ronald Reagan

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

“One picture is worth 1,000 denials.” – Ronald Reagan

“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

“You can tell a lot about a fellow’s character by his way of eating jellybeans.” – Ronald Reagan

“It’s difficult to believe that people are still starving in this country because food isn’t available.” – Ronald Reagan

“Status quo, you know, that is Latin for “the mess we’re in.” – Ronald Reagan

“Well, I learned a lot… I went down to Latin America to find out from them and (learn) their views. You’d be surprised. They’re all individual countries.” – Ronald Reagan

“All the waste in a year from a nuclear power plant can be stored under a desk.” – Ronald Reagan

“We might come closer to balancing the Budget if all of us lived closer to the Commandments and the Golden Rule.” – Ronald Reagan

“Double, no triple, our troubles, and we’d still be better off than any other people on earth. It is time that we recognized that ours was, in truth, a noble cause.” – Ronald Reagan

“I never drink coffee at lunch. I find it keeps me awake for the afternoon.” – Ronald Reagan

“Four years ago, we said we would invigorate our economy by giving people greater freedom and incentives to take risks and letting them keep more of what they earned. We did what we promised, and a great industrial giant is reborn.” – Ronald Reagan

To learn more about Ronald Reagan and his presidency, visit the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation’s website.

More Quotes:

About the author
Katee’s passion for writing and fascination for language has forever guided her path in life. Follow Katee on Instagram or read more articles from Katee on Thought Catalog.

Learn more about Thought Catalog and our writers on our about page.

Related