Ronald Reagan at 100: His Most Interesting Q&A Ever!


Whether you love Dutch, hate him, or really hate him, take a few minutes to check out this great 1975 interview Ronald Reagan did with Reason. This was conducted after Reagan had left the California governorship but before he emerged as a national candidate for president (and nearly taking the '76 GOP nod from Gerald Ford).

Snippets covering libertarianism, communism, the draft, Ayn Rand, his successor in Sacramento, Jerry Brown, and more:

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….

I cannot go along with the libertarian philosophy that says that all of the sin laws can be ruled out as simply trying to protect us from ourselves. You can take the case of the father who gambles his money away and thus leaves his family dependent on the rest of us….

Fortress America is just what Lenin wanted us to have–whether it is world policeman or not. You know, Lenin said the Communists will take Eastern Europe, they will organize the hordes of Asia, he said they will then move into Latin America, and he said the United States, the last bastion of capitalism, will fall into their outstretched hands like overripe fruit. And that's all that Fortress America is. Now, you don't have t o come through someone's beachhead–you just go over them with missiles; and one of these days, under the present policies of the Congress, the United States will stand alone as Lenin envisioned it and then face the ultimatum from the enemy….Lenin said that he would force the capitalist nations to maintain military conscription until the uniform became a symbol of servitude rather than patriotism….

I haven't read Ayn Rand since The Fountainhead. I haven't read Atlas Shrugged. The last few years, I must say, have been a little rough on me for doing that kind of reading–for eight years I found that when I finished reading the memorandums and reports and so forth, then I found myself digging into nonfiction, economists and so forth, for help on the problems that were confronting me….

[Gov. Jerry Brown] is an enigma. I am overjoyed, of course, at his budget approach. And I just assume that that probably stems from his Jesuit training– that that has him thinking in terms of property and economy. I think he's going to find that some of his own appointees are not sympathetic to his budgetary approach. They've got their own constituencies and pretty soon they're going to be wanting to do things for those constituents and that's going to call for spending and then he's going to find that he might be battling the legislature on one side and his own appointees on the other.

Whole thing here.