What would Ronald Reagan advised #Americansabroad about #FATCA?

Ronald Reagan and the Importance Of Enduring Principles

Ronald Reagan, one of the greatest presidents in U.S. history started out as a Democrat. When asked why he had left the Democrats, he answered that he had not left the Democrats, that the Democrats left me.


One of the Obama legacies will be the number of Americans abroad who feel that they must renounce their U.S. citizenship. In fact many feel forced to renounce their citizenship to protect their families, their businesses and their children’s futures.

For example:

Whether one loved him or hated him, all would agree that Ronald Reagan was a man of great principle. What would he have thought of the Obama administration? Of FATCA? Of the attack on U.S. citizens abroad?

What follows are some thoughts captured in comments and previous blog posts.

A comment from the Isaac Brock Society:

From my earliest years, I was told that I had the benefits of US citizenship. Living in Africa with a US passport, I was aware that I had a ‘get out of jail free card’, so I was unequivocally pro-American. Kids can be cruel, and I wasn’t ‘cool’, so I got teased for being a ‘yank’; even though I had no trace of an American accent. I had left the USA before I had learnt to speak.

I started becoming politically aware during the Reagan era. Frankly I was a little confused. Reagan came from Hollywood which, in my developing mind, suggested that American politics was the equivalent, in modern terms, of reality television. This opinion was reinforced by two 1980s cultural inputs.

First was the movie ‘Back to the Future’, when Michael J. Fox was trying to convince Christopher Lloyd that he had indeed come from the future. Lloyd: “So who’s president in 1985?” Fox: “Ronald Reagan”. Lloyd: “What, the actor?” Second was Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s 1984 track “Two Tribes”, which depicted Reagan as a warmonger through the uncanny reproduction of his unmistakable voice.

American politics today is, frankly, irrelevant. I shouldn’t have to choose between gun-toting evangelism or pre-spending my children’s income. I am, however, interested in individuals, and politics ultimately has to serve up an individual: a president.

Growing up in South Africa, I’ve been strongly influenced by Nelson Mandela. Mandela spent 27 years in prison. For most activists, prison is downtime for their cause; but not for Mandela. He used that time to study the culture of his Afrikaner jailers. Not to find their weaknesses, rather to find their strengths. He reasoned that to unite his divided country he’d have to champion that which the Afrikaners held dear; to the extent that it wasn’t inconsistent with his own cause.

When FATCA was enacted in 2010, I had never heard of a ‘Founding Father’, I’d never cited the pledge of allegiance, and I thought that a ‘Star Spangled Banner’ was a chocolate bar. My investigations into FATCA occasionally led me to the US constitution, which piqued my interest in American history.

Among every extant US president, I’d choose to spend an evening with Barak Obama; were I ever granted the honour. I don’t agree with his economics, but I respect his commitment to that which he holds dear. Regarding extinct presidents: I have revisited my opinion of Reagan.

Many here are in taxation purgatory. Should I comply, or should I hide?

“Well perhaps there is a simple answer. Not an easy answer, but simple”. It’s an answer that Ginny and Gwen have embraced. They have told the United States: “There is a price we will not pay. There is a point beyond which they must not advance.”

More of us should do the same.

Captured in the video in this tweet:

Prompting a reply comment at the Isaac Brock Society:


Reagan was inspirational – always liked the particular speech in your comment. I once visited the Reagen Library in California. It would be fascinating to hear his perspective on what the American Government has become.

I made a similar Reagen speech the basis of one of my earlier posts:



“Freedom and the dignity of the individual have been more available and more assured here than in any other land on earth. The price for this freedom at times has been high, but we have never been unwilling to pay that price. … I do not believe in a fate that will fall us no matter what we do. I do believe in a fate that will fall on us if we do nothing.”

Ronald Reagan

“But a Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom, can never be restored. Liberty, once lost, is lost forever.”

Captured by the video in this tweet:

And finally, Ronald Reagan reminds that:

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