by: Brent Smith at the Common Constitutionalist
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The old adage that, “America is great because America is good,” is as true an aspiration today as it was when it was first uttered.
In a speech given by President Ronald Reagan on 25 July, 1986, Reagan repeated that line, adding, “And if America ever stops being good, America will stop being great.”
He was/is right, as he was regarding numerous things. America will stop being great, when our goodness wanes. However, he was incorrect regarding the source of the quote.
Before I proceed further, allow me to clarify something about the above “old adage.”
Time for some fun with facts: In his speech to the American Legion Boy’s Nation, Reagan attributed the oft-repeated line to the French diplomat and historian, Alexis de Tocqueville. Eisenhower did also – on three separate occasions, as did Clinton, Pat Buchanan and many others. Problem is – the “adage” is not found in any of Tocqueville’s writings. Not in “The Old Regime and the Revolution”, nor in his seminal writing, “Democracy in America.”