Larry Kudlow: Ronald Reagan and Bill Buckley would be appalled at this socialist assault on freedom


We are here this evening at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, which itself is a great big treat for me because he was my former boss 40-something odd years ago. I’ve spoken here a few times in the past, but never in the Air Force One Pavilion, which is totally cool, and you should all come out and visit.   

Later this evening, I am being honored at a National Review gala dinner to receive the William F. Buckley Prize for Leadership in Political Thought. For me, this is a monumental honor. My gratitude for this prize is unlimited. I knew Bill Buckley very, very well. I worked at National Review for a time and he had an enormous influence on my life and my thinking. Imagine learning conservative political thought and action from Ronald Reagan and Bill Buckley, and then later on, Donald Trump. It has been a great gift in my time.   

The show this evening — we will continue our conversation about the totalitarian evils of socialism and the single, urgent importance of stopping America’s socialist drift and restoring freedom, free-market capitalism, free enterprise, to regain the American soul and ideal of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  

PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN: You and I have lived too long with this miracle to properly be appreciative. Freedom is a fragile thing and it’s never more than one generation away from extinction. It is not ours by way of inheritance; it must be fought for and defended constantly by each generation, for it comes only once to a people and those in world history who have known freedom and then lost it have never known it again.


Of course, the Gipper was right. Freedom is a fragile thing and it’s never more than one generation away from extinction. In the last two years under President Joe Biden, America has taken a sharp turn to the left. Massive inflationary federal spending to expand the size of government, accommodated by huge money-printing, big tax increases and an unbelievable increase in regulations which have become the left’s biggest weapon for central planning and state control of the economy — that includes the war against fossil fuels, which has decimated the greatest energy system in the world.   

Along the way, the progressive agenda has undermined the dignity and incentives to work. A major expansion of the entitlement state is sending enormous government assistance without any workfare or work requirements, so folks stayed on the dole, and the workforce in the economy has been demoralized and, of course, destroying American sovereignty with open borders, the flow of well over 2 million illegals, with crime, sex and drug trafficking and the scourge of poisonous fentanyl.  

The progressives on the left don’t care about American sovereignty or, for that matter, law and order, and culturally they have invaded our schools with racial and gender nonsense, rewriting American history and attempts to keep parents away from their children’s education.   

Just step back for a moment. What we have here in this radical, progressive experiment is a complete failure, which of course is the whole history of socialist takeover attempts. In a little more than a year, the economy has gone from a prosperity boom with stable prices to a recessionary bust with sky-rocketing inflation. We just got a new number today confirming the first half recession with declining GDP.

Going from prosperity boom to stagflationary bust in a little more than a year is not an easy thing to do, but that is the sad tale of yet another unsuccessful attempt at government control of the economy and the socialist war against freedom.   

Ronald Reagan and Bill Buckley would be appalled at this socialist assault on freedom that has resulted in America’s decline. Remember Bill Buckley’s admonition that sometimes we need to stand athwart history and yell, “Stop”? Similarly, Ronald Reagan would be so saddened to see the decline in his beloved City on a Hill.   


We’re going to talk about all of this with our distinguished guests, but if you know me, you’ll know how hard I intend to keep fighting against these temporary setbacks. If you know the American people, you’ll know that they see right through these phony progressive promises.  

Americans are a practical-minded folk. They know a rube when they see one and they know that when something doesn’t work, it’s time to get rid of it. Reagan believed all of that. Buckley believed all of that. Trump believed all of that, and that’s why the fight against socialism is getting stronger and stronger around the country right now. Yes, indeed, I believe the cavalry is coming. 

This article is adapted from Larry Kudlow’s opening commentary on the September 29, 2022, edition of “Kudlow.”

Read the full article here


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