Ronald Reagan Quotes
I’ve always thought New Year’s Day was an especially American tradition, full of the optimism and hope we’re famous for in our daily lives — an energy and confidence we call the American spirit. Perhaps because we know we control our own destiny, we believe deep down inside that working together we can make each new year better than the old.
If you serve a child a rotten hamburger in America, federal, state, and local agencies will investigate you, summon you, close you down, whatever. But if you provide a child with a rotten education, nothing happens, except that you’re liable to be given more money to do it with. Well, we’ve discovered that money alone isn’t the answer.
To many of us now, computers, silicon chips, data processing, cybernetics, and all the other innovations of the dawning high technology age are as mystifying as the workings of the combustion engine must have been when that first Model T rattled down Main Street, U.S.A. But as surely as America’s pioneer spirit made us the industrial giant of the 20th century, the same pioneer spirit today is opening up on another vast front of opportunity, the frontier of high technology.
With all this talk about the supposed strain in relations [with the Soviet Union], there is an inference that somehow it is our fault. But we didn’t kill Russian civilians by shooting down a civilian airplane. We didn’t attempt to conquer an adjacent country to ours. We didn’t walk out on negotiations and refuse to give a date for when we would resume.
The task that has fallen to us as Americans is to move the conscience of the world, to keep alive the hope and dream of freedom. For if we fail or falter, there’ll be no place for the world’s oppressed to flee to. This is not a role we sought. We preach no manifest destiny. But like the Americans who brought a new nation into the world 200 years ago, history has asked much of us in our time. Much we’ve already given; much more we must be prepared to give.