Reagan’s Legacy to ‘Preserve the Constitution’
Ed Meese /
Ronald Reagan communicated timeless truths about America— truths about freedom, limited government, hard work and opportunity—and these truths guided him while he was in office. A thinker and avid reader of history, Reagan was guided by the first principles of the American founding, especially the idea of ordered liberty in our nation’s charter—our enduring Constitution.
In the opening paragraphs of his first inaugural address in 1981—much of which he personally drafted—President Reagan echoed the preamble of the Constitution, calling on “We the people” to do whatever needs to be done to “preserve this last and greatest bastion of freedom” —America. He understood our founding principles, and reminded us in that historic address that “Our Government has no power except that granted it by the people.”
Eight years later, in his farewell address to the American people, the President said that the American Revolution was “the first revolution in the history of mankind that truly reversed the course of government, and with three little words, ‘We the people.’”
Reagan read and understood the United States Constitution. It was his North Star, and guided him in his decision making before, during, and after his presidency. In his State of the Union speeches, Reagan referred to the Constitution more than any other president in the preceding 50 years—an average of 16 times per speech. A survey of his presidential papers reveals 1,270 references to the Constitution during his eight years in the White House—and another 113 mentions of the Declaration of Independence.
Join us this Friday, September 9th, as two former Reagan cabinet members and two published Reagan historians discuss how the principles of The Founding and the Constitution provided the foundation for Reagan’s presidency and influenced his every decision. Discover, for example, how and why Reagan chose Antonin Scalia for the United States Supreme Court.
Join us for this historic event as we celebrate President Reagan’s Centennial, and explore the philosophy and principles of the man himself.