We Americans admire people who have high ideals. We might not agree with them, but we admire the man or woman who stands by what they believe no matter what the cost and never compromises or backs down when it is politically expedient. I think this one thing was perhaps the most defining traits of Ronald Reagan.
He believed in American Exceptionalism. He believed that big government could not solve our problems but only make them worse. He believed that only a strong America could prosper. And if you look at history you see that every civilization falls when its people starts to think that there is no redeeming aspect of their culture.
But I think the most important belief President Reagan held was that freedom, true freedom, is not something that is given, but something that is defended. Our government does not "give" us the right of freedom. We are given that by our creator. Governments only true purpose is to defend that freedom from those who would take it away. Either through our laws, by violence, or by sneaking court rulings.
His words still inspire and are still and perhaps are even more relevant today!