Ronald Reagan picture

Radio Address to the Nation on the Presidential Campaign

November 03, 1984

My fellow Americans:

In 3 days this election campaign will be over, and America's future will be in your hands. As you discuss the election with family and friends in your homes and neighborhoods, I think there's one thing we can all agree on. We all want to vote for something, not against something. We want to vote for a better America, for a stronger country with our people pulling together; a future of peace, filled with hope and new opportunity, a future where our progress is limited only by our own dreams and determination and where Americans are working because America is working.

So, it seems to me the question to be asked is a straightforward one: Which team's record and proposals stand a better chance to enable you and your families to enjoy a strong and successful future? Well, our opponents don't spend much time speaking about their record. And that's understandable. Their record speaks for itself.

After 4 years of controlling the White House and both Houses of Congress, they left America weaker, both at home and abroad. They would have us forget their legacy of an America second-best, double-digit inflation, record taxes and interest rates at home; growing instability and threats to peace abroad. I'd be willing to forget that record, too, if they weren't so bound and determined to give us more of that medicine that made us sick.

As for their new proposals, they differ from their old ones in only one respect: They've promised more. They will spend more, and they will raise your taxes much higher, the equivalent of $1,890 per household, more than $150 per month.

Now, my opponent wants very badly to make you believe his enormous tax increase proposal won't hurt your families. That's what his commercials say. And those commercials are every bit as believable as the ones he ran portraying himself as a person committed to a strong national defense, standing on the deck of a carrier, even though he voted against them, with F-14 fighters, which he also voted against, and beside American enlisted men, whose salary increases he opposed.

Our opponents are determined to bring back even more big taxing and spending than before. And if they regain control of this government, Americans may look back on our term as one brief oasis of prosperity in an endless desert of worsening inflation and recession.

Yes, their intentions are good. But good intentions aren't good enough. Their policies made America weak before. They would make us weak again today, and even weaker still in the future.

America can do better, much better. And the fact is, America is doing better. The principal difference is, our vision for America will let the eagle soar. Theirs will return us to the days of the sore eagle.

We still face great problems, but today our economy is stronger than 4 years ago because we've cut your tax rates, brought inflation and interest rates down, and created 6 million new jobs. And America is more secure, because we're rebuilding our defenses and our alliances to ensure peace through strength.

Today the United States expansion is leading the world into recovery, and that contributes to a safer, more prosperous world. Respect for America and confidence in America are rising again. And unlike 4 years ago, the United States is deterring, the Soviets aren't advancing, and all this, too, contributes to a safer world and a better future.

We've made a good start, but it's only a start. We want to lower your tax rates further to create more jobs and opportunities for every American with nobody left behind. And nobody left behind means we must continue our efforts to modernize our older industries and to rebuild our inner cities and distressed areas of America, so every American who wants a job can find a job.

We've sponsored enterprise zone legislation, to encourage business development and creation of jobs in distressed areas. But from day one, our enterprise zone proposal has been held hostage by the House leadership, the very people who act as if they expect black and Hispanic Americans to march in lockstep with the Democratic Party.

I can assure all of you who want the opportunity to begin climbing the economic ladder, to build a better life: If you give us your support, we will never take your votes for granted.

I believe Americans are coming together with new strength, confidence, spirit, and unity. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you for allowing me the honor of serving you these past 4 years. I urge you to vote on Tuesday, and I hope you'll cast your votes for our team, our entire team, so we can make even greater progress in building a strong, secure future of opportunity for all of you.

Until next week, thanks for listening. God bless you.

Note: The President's remarks were recorded at the White House on October 31 for broadcast at 12:06 p.m. on November 3.

Ronald Reagan, Radio Address to the Nation on the Presidential Campaign Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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