Great communicators have a way of capturing our imagination, triggering our participation, and making us see things in a new way–even if we don’t agree with it. These great speakers are also good at making us laugh. Ronald Reagan hit all of the bases. Relive and remember some of his greatest hits:

  1. The most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the government and I’m here to help.
  2. I want you to know that 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.
  3. Politics is not a bad profession. If you succeed there are many rewards, if you disgrace yourself you can always write a book.
  4. Man is not free unless government is limited.
  5. It’s true hard work never killed anybody, but I figure, why take the chance?
  6. Republicans believe every day is the Fourth of July, but the democrats believe every day is April 15.
  7. Entrepreneurs and their small enterprises are responsible for almost all the economic growth in the United States.
  8. They say the world has become too complex for simple answers. They are wrong.
  9. 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.
  10. 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, 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.
  11. As government expands, liberty contracts.
  12. There is no limit to the amount of good you can do if you don’t care who gets the credit.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. Heroes may not be braver than anyone else. They’re just braver 5 minutes longer.
  18. Status quo, you know, is Latin for ‘the mess we’re in’.
  19. Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. But, the Marines don’t have that problem.
  20. A nation that cannot control its borders is not a nation.
  21. Recession is when your neighbor loses his job. Depression is when you lose yours. And recovery is when Jimmy Carter loses his.
  22. We will always remember. We will always be proud. We will always be prepared, so we will always be free.
  23. It has been said that politics is the second oldest profession. I have learned that it bears a striking resemblance to the first.
  24. Government is not a solution to our problem, government is the problem. It isn’t so much that liberals are ignorant. It’s just that they know so many things that aren’t so.
  25. The federal government did not create the states; the states created the federal government.
  26. America is too great for small dreams.
  27. The future doesn’t belong to the light-hearted. It belongs to the brave.
  28. When you can’t make them see the light, make them feel the heat.
  29. Of the four wars in my lifetime, none came about because the U.S. was too strong.
  30. 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.
  31. Don’t be afraid to see what you see.
  32. 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.
  33. I have wondered at times what the Ten Commandments would have looked like if Moses had run them through the US Congress.
  34. Government’s first duty is to protect the people, not run their lives.
  35. 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!
  36. 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.
  37. A people free to choose will always choose peace.
  38. Surround yourself with great people; delegate authority; get out of the way.
  39. Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!
  40. 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.
  41. Never let the things you can’t do stop you from doing what you can.
Published on: Sep 16, 2015
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.