Redezvous with Destiny
At the 1964 Republican National Convention in San Francisco, California, a former Democrat named Ronald Reagan gave a nomination speech for Senator Barry Goldwater, a conservative from Arizona. This speech, called "A Time for Choosing" (televised again the week before the election, on Oct. 27th 1964), is considered one of the most effective speeches made on behalf of a candidate and catapulted Reagan into national politics.
Some key excerpts that are germane today:
There can be no real peace while one American is dying some place in the world for the rest of us. We are at war with the most dangerous enemy that has ever faced mankind in his long climb from the swamp to the stars, and it has been said if we lose that war, and in doing so lose this way of freedom of ours, history will record with the greatest astonishment that those who had the most to lose did the least to prevent its happening. Well, I think it's time we ask ourselves if we still know the freedoms that were intended for us by the Founding Fathers.
This is the last stand on Earth. And this idea that government is beholden to the people, that it has no other source of power except to sovereign people, is still the newest and most unique idea in all the long history of man's relation to man. This is the issue of this election. Whether we believe in our capacity for self-government or whether we abandon the American revolution and confess that a little intellectual elite in a far-distant capital can plan our lives for us better than we can plan them ourselves. You and I are told increasingly that we have to choose between a left or right, but I would like to suggest that there is no such thing as a left or right. There is only an up or down--up to a man's age-old dream, the ultimate in individual freedom consistent with law and order--or down to the ant heap totalitarianism, and regardless of their sincerity, their humanitarian motives, those who would trade our freedom for security have embarked on this downward course.
Much of Reagan's "call to arms" against Soviet totalitarianism is apt today, in our present fight against Islamofascism and the forces of nihilism. Our choice is the same: whether we will choose a "... policy of accommodation [and] appeasement [that] gives no choice between peace and war," or if "[w]e will preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on Earth, [rather than] sentence them to take the last step into a thousand years of darkness."