Palin’s “freedom” reference at the end of the debate was, not surprisingly, from Ronald Reagan. Palin folksied it up a bit with a back in the day addition:

“It was Ronald Reagan who said that freedom is always just one generation away from extinction. We don’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream; we have to fight for it and protect it, and then hand it to them so that they shall do the same, or we’re going to find ourselves spending our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children about a time in America, back in the day, when men and women were free.”

What is surprising is that it was from a 1961 AMA radio advertisement meant to scare people away from Medicare:

“Write those letters now. Call your friends, and tell them to write them. If you don’t, this program I promise you will pass just as surely as the sun will come up tomorrow. And behind it will come other federal programs that will invade every area of freedom as we have known it in this country, until, one day…we will awake to find that we have socialism. And if you don’t do this, and if I don’t do it, one of these days, you and I are going to spend our sunset years telling our children, and our children’s children, what it once was like in America when men were free.”

Medicare. The single most popular government program of all time. Medicare was the big “threat to our freedom” that Reagan was referencing. Have you told your children and your children’s children yet that we are no longer free?

Ronald Reagan was wrong. Sarah Palin is as well.

(ht @dewitz)

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