Sunday will be Ronald Reagan's 100th birthday. Much has and will be written about Reagan -- see this nice piece by Stephen Hayward at National Review -- but to me there is no substitute for the man himself in his own words. So, here is Reagan's great "A Time for Choosing" speech in its entirety:
Listening to this speech, two thoughts come to mind. First, it seems plain to me that Reagan wrote this speech entirely himself. How many politicians do that anymore? Second, it also seems obvious to me that Reagan has high analytical intelligence. How is it then that Democrats two decades later would label him an "amiable dunce"? It has taken another two decades for the truth to win out, with a key moment coming when Reagan's handwritten radio speeches (below) were published in 2001, showing his deep intelligence, his consistent philosophy, and his precise writing style. People who continue to claim Reagan was unintelligent are simply dishonest. But then, we knew that, didn't we?