Ronald Reagan's Values, Leadership, and Legacy

President Reagan’s leadership and greatness was rooted in his understanding of the IDEA that is America—its principles and values as defined by our original Founders. This belief system informed and strengthened Reagan’s resolve as our President and as the leader of the free world, providing him with grit and determination. Ronald Reagan knew that an individual's and nation's greatness comes from the American citizenry's adherence to its founding principles: “[B]ecause we're a great nation, our challenges seem complex. It will always be this way. But as long as we remember our first principles and believe in ourselves, the future will always be ours.”

"But as long as we remember our first principles and believe in ourselves, the future will always be ours.”

Reagan was persistently optimistic about America’s future, continually reminding us of America’s importance in the world and its raison de etat. "it is morning in America,” and Reagan proclaimed it always would be so long as Americans understood their importance as individuals and America's purpose as a nation--to be a force for individual liberty. This was Reagan's philosophical foundation supporting the notion of “American Exceptionalism,” that America's historical legacy--and its future--would be as a nation supporting freedom and hope around the world. “A Shining City Upon a Hill” for all peoples.

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Reagan inspired Americans to stand on our historical values, despite intense and often hostile opposition. His leadership never wavered. Throughout his public life, Ronald Reagan remained a deeply humble, winsome man--a ‘servant leader’ who recognized his calling in life was greater than himself:
"I won a nickname, 'The Great Communicator.' But I never thought it was my style or the words I used that made a difference: It was the content. I wasn't a great communicator, but I communicated great things, and they didn't spring full bloom from my brow, they came from the heart of a great nation - from our experience, our wisdom, and our belief in the principles that have guided us for two centuries. They called it the Reagan revolution. Well, I'll accept that, but for me it always seemed more like the great rediscovery, a rediscover of our values and our common sense."

Other Reagan Resources