Several years ago I realized I wasn’t the bleeding heart liberal I fancied myself. This realization wasn’t marked by any one salient incident, but was a process. Along the road to Conservatism, I began consuming as much ideological history as I could get my hands on. Even today, one of my favorite Conservative hallmarks is Reagan’s A Time for Choosing speech.

Fifty years old today, Democratic convert Reagan gave what’s probably the best stump speech I’ve ever heard. That stump speech was televised in 1964 and was endorsing Barry Goldwater’s Presidential run. Not only was it a great speech, A Time for Choosing is one of those rare messages that remains timeless:

“This idea that government is beholden to the people, that it has no other source of power except the sovereign people is still the newest and most unique idea in all the long history of man’s relationship 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 we have to chose between a left or a right. I’d like to suggest there is no such thing as a left or a right. There’s only an up or down. Man’s old age dream, the ultimate in individual freedom consistent with law and order or down to the ant heap of totalitarianism. Regardless of their sincerity, their humanitarian motives, those who would trade our freedom for security, have embarked on this downward course.”

You can watch the speech in it’s entirety beneath.

As we move into the 2014 election, what will you choose?

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