"If you analyze it I believe the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism. I think conservatism is really a misnomer just as liberalism is a misnomer for the liberals -- if we were back in the days of the Revolution, so-called conservatives today would be the Liberals and the liberals would be the Tories. The basis of conservatism is a desire for less government interference or less centralized authority or more individual freedom and this is a pretty general description also of what libertarianism is."
by:
Ronald Reagan
(1911-2004) 40th US President
Source:
Reason Magazine, Jul. 1, 1975
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Reader comments about this quote:
 -- Mike, Norwalk      
As his words both written and spoken show, Reagan was an intelligent man and deep thinker. And he was right 90% of the time. The socialist left loves to tar conservative Presidents with the dumb label just because they won't buy their 'big government is good for you' BS like their zombie voters will.
 -- helorat, Milton     
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    www.LP.org Electing Osama bin RODHAM (Hillary Rodham Clinton) will push this country into complete socialism.
     -- Joe, Rochester, MI     
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    Excellent point. Ron Paul appears to be the only 'mainstream' candidate that represents this very important principle.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    To fool the people you have to control the language. So, Marxists took the word "liberal" and warped its meaning to apply to themselves. When "liberal" became a pejorative, they called themselves "progressive". Today's true conservative (not Republican) is a 19th century liberal. Reagan was wrong about today's liberals being the Tories, however. Today's liberal is more like a nihilistic Jacobin.
     -- Ken, Allyn, WA     
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    Very doubtful that Reagan could put together these thoughts, much more likely they are the words of a speach writer. I concur that today's so called conservatives are far from that, they are actually very radical. Today's so called liberals are actually on the whole very middle of the road in their views.
     -- Anonymous, Reston, VA US     
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    AfR lol, middle of what road? Constitutional BLVD, protecting the flow of morality, justice, law, order, civility, choice, freedom, liberty, etc. was rendered unuseable and unrecognizable by prior generations of the democratic oligarchy (the new liberals and conservatives). There's only a few survivors from that once noble path and your government road doesn't allow such travelers.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    And God forbid that we should actually get a Libertarian administration voted in. It would be too much for our Democratic friends I fear. Activist government means Government telling us what to do, and I don't like it, whether we are talking about cars, schools, drinking, guns, I KNOW what needs doing - I do not want or need a law telling me what to do.
     -- Eric Engstrom, Wichita, KS     
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    any person that thinks Reagan could put together a complete sentence on his own without reading it from his excellent team of speech writers, has about the same cognitive ability as he did. He was not your Grandfather.
     -- Blake, Gadsden, AL     
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    Funny the people who don't want to credit Reagan with this quote aren't smart enough to realize that the quote came from an interview and not a speech. Reagan answered many interviewers questions on the fly and it had very little to do with speech writers feeding him lines. This isn't to say that speech writers were not used for speeches, every President uses speech writers to put some polish on their speeches.
     -- Joy, Raleigh, NC     
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    It doesn't matter so much that Reagan thought up these words. What matters is that he agreed with them. Most people confuse their assessment of someone with reality.
     -- William, Nowhere     
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    The Swing to the left in 1976 is an exact phase of what is happening today with Our GOD Obama. The Swing back to the Right will be just as swift and Strong. feeed
     -- bottomfeeeder, USA     
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    Conservatives may believe in less government so instead they build and feed giant, impenetrable corporations to control and dumb down the masses while funneling their millions through "legitimate" businesses.
     -- H. Sierra, Kennesaw     
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    Anon -Reston VA - You're the one who couldn't put together two thoughts. Reagan was a prolific writer and speaker long before the leftward drift of this country forced him into politics. Get your facts straight before spouting off next time. Reagan was a world-wide hero for freedom. Morons like you are unworthy to even comment on him.
     -- Marv, St. Paul     
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    Ignorance is not a virtue...unless you’re a democrat or an Obama supporter. And unfortunately the media is equally ignorant like TIME, MSNBC, NBC and ….
     -- Common Sense, U.S.     
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    well he was a good man but i wana hear his qoute not yours
     -- barbara hargrave, appomattox     
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    Same thought occurred to me, independently of President Reagan -- that libs today would have been Tories -- pro-gov't in 1776, and conservatives would have been the ones battling the Redcoats. But now, I can cite the observation to this very savvy leader. Also think today's libs were described by Madison in Federalist No. 57 when he wrote about those seeking the "ambitious sacrifice of the many to the aggrandizement of the few."
     -- David Zukerman, Bronx, NY     
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     -- Anonymous      
     -- jim k, Austin      
     
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