The suspense grows as the crowd of more than 200 people huddles around the podium, waiting in anticipation to experience the gumption, grit, and grace of former United States ambassador to the UN, former South Carolina Governor, and future of conservatism: Nikki Haley.
The crowd at the Reagan Library erupts in revelry as Nikki Haley takes the stage and delivers her A Will To Win speech for their Time For Choosing Speaker Series.
“Ronald Reagan’s life and leadership provide so many important lessons for our country,” said Haley. She continues, saying that dismissing his prudence “makes no more sense than dismissing the lessons of Lincoln or Washington.”
Highlighting the stark comparisons to the 1980s and now, Haley presses on in her speech. “There’s a great deal of similarity between Reagan’s time and ours. History isn’t exactly repeating, but it is rhyming.” She continues by saying, “Think about it. Growing inflation, runaway federal spending and debt, radical leftists running our universities, and an evil Communist empire aggressively spreading its influence in the world. Sound familiar? Am I talking about 1980, or am I talking about today? The answer is both.” Her fear of Socialism and influence from unfree to free societies, like ours, is one of her most significant worries.
Haley continues to express her concerns for the future of America, with rising great powers like China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea, intentionally ignoring international organizations and threatening to “drive freedom from the earth.”
She praises Reagan’s resilience and ability to stand up to unfree and authoritarian governments, like the USSR. She criticizes Biden’s diplomatic ineptness saying, “The consequences of his failures are echoing across the world.” Failures including Biden’s inability to call out China by name at the United Nations, his decision to withdraw from Afghanistan, calling it the “the fall of Saigon and the Iran hostage crisis rolled into one,” and his failure to call out Putin for the occupancy of Ukraine, his concession on Nord Stream 2, and improving Russia’s economic and strategic standing more than Trump ever did.
After rigorously analyzing and duly noting the failures in Biden’s foreign policy, she brings us back home by interrogating the Left’s new-founded misguiding principles.
Haley condemns this new wave of Leftism composed of “America-doubters” who are happy to “blame America first” and highlight our flaws, but hide our strengths.
The Left’s anti-American rhetoric and indignation toward America are now the “bedrock belief of the American left,” leaving no room to galvanize toward a common purpose or goal – everything our most influential President, Abraham Lincoln, feared.
Haley rejects this notion that America is a racist country and is known for her phrase, “America is not a racist country.” She doesn’t just say it, but she’s experienced it first-hand. Haley grew up as a “brown girl in a white-and-black world” in South Carolina, where her family faced “stares, whispers, suspicion, and exclusion.” But something happened in America, where those same people looked beyond her skin color, got to know her hardworking family who shared the same values as their community and we’re in the end welcomed in, not left out.
Eventually, Haley would overcome all expectations, even her own, and become the first woman and first minority Governor in South Carolina.
After speaking on the current state of American politics, she concluded with a personal anecdote from her time at the UN. Haley stood on the Simon Bolivar bridge between Venezuela and Columbia, watching people flee social tyranny.
The sight of families walking by devastated her. They carried all of their possessions in plastic bags. Many of the bags were empty.
She later walked to the closest church where the families gathered around to give her hugs. All they saw was an American—not a politician. All they saw was hope.
As the end of her speech echoed through the Reagan Library, the audience was reminded that, as Reagan said, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.” This message rings truer every day.
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