Peggy Noonan, born Margaret Ellen Noonan

Noonan, born Margaret Ellen Noonan

American Author, Columnist for the Wall Street Journal, Speech Writer and Special Assistant to President Ronald Reagan

Author Quotes

Affluence detaches. It removes you from the old and eternal, it gets you out of the rain.

My generation, faced as it grew with a choice between religious belief and existential despair, chose marijuana. Now we are in our Cabernet stage.

And most of us know something else: in an age when politics is everything, people will do anything. They will have no scruples, no compunction, no remorse.

Novak was saying that the pope?s message was in part: You are not nothing; you are a great deal. God made you in his image, and he calls you to be like him. And so you must walk forward in to the world each day with confidence and humility. This reminded me of what a woman in Bible study said once. Walk with pride, for you are the daughter of a king.

Cynicism is not realistic and tough. It's unrealistic and kind of cowardly because it means you don't have to try.

Our work is a vocation to which we have been called from the beginning of time. When we work we are partaking in and joining with God's ongoing creation of the world.

Do not be afraid! I can see that Americans are not afraid. They are not afraid of the sun, they are not afraid of the wind, they are not afraid of 'today'. They are, generally speaking, brave, good people. And so I say to you today, always be brave. Do not be afraid. Do not be afraid. God is with you. Do not be afraid to search for God-then you will truly be the land of the free, the home of the brave. God Bless America.

Prayer is the hardest thing. And no one congratulates you for doing it because no one knows you're doing it, and if things turn out well they likely won't thank God in any case. But I have a feeling that the hardest thing is what we all better be doing now, and that it's not only the best answer but the only one.

Dynamism has been leached from our system for now, but not from the human brain or heart. Just as our political regeneration will happen locally, in counties and states that learn how to control themselves and demonstrate how to govern effectively in a time of limits, so will our economic regeneration. That will begin in someone's garage, somebody's kitchen, as it did in the case of Messrs. Jobs and Wozniak. The comeback will be from the ground up and will start with innovation. No one trusts big anymore. In the future everything will be local. That's where the magic will be. And no amount of pessimism will stop it once it starts.

Remember the waterfront shack with the sign FRESH FISH SOLD HERE. Of course it's fresh, we're on the ocean. Of course it's for sale, we're not giving it away. Of course it's here, otherwise the sign would be someplace else. The final sign: FISH.

Everyone over 50 in America feels like a refugee. In the Old America there were a lot of bad parents. There always are, because parenting is hard. Inadequate parents could say, 'Go outside and play in the culture,' and the culture -- relatively innocent, and boring -- could be more or less trusted to bring the kids up. Grown ups now know that you can't send the kids out to play in the culture, because the culture will leave them distorted and disturbed.

That old friction -- the one between the genuine society and the genuine artist -- made for great art. There was no Ulysses without an angry Irish populace to inspire and ban it. Lady Chatterley's Lover had power because everybody ran from the printing press screaming, "A dirty book, a dirty book!"

He [Pope Benedict XVI] spoke of the distilled message of John Paul's reign: Be not afraid

The battle for the mind of Ronald Reagan was like the trench warfare of World War I: never have so many fought so hard for such barren terrain.

Hypocrisy is one traditional value our society might reconsider re-embracing. Old America was full of grown-ups who were wonderful hypocrites.

The Irish are often nervous about having the appropriate face for the occasion. They have to be happy at weddings, which is a strain, so they get depressed; they have to be sad at funerals, which is easy, so they get happy.

I always got the feeling with John Paul that if he could have narrowed down the people he met and blessed those he loved the most, they would not be cardinals, princes, or congressman, but nuns from obscure convents and Down syndrome children, especially the latter. Because they have suffered, and because in some serious and amazing way the love of God seems more immediately available to them. Everyone else gets themselves tied up in ambition and ideas and bustle, all the great distractions, but the modest and unwell are so often unusually open to this message: God loves us, his love is all around us, he made us to love him and be happy

The leaders of the Catholic Church need to let younger generations of priests and nuns rise to positions of authority within a new church. Most especially and most immediately, they need to elevate women. As a nun said to me this week, if a woman had been sitting beside a bishop transferring a priest with a history of abuse, she would have said: "Hey, wait a minute!"

I close with a nod of small thanks for the title of a book I saw the other day called, Are You There, Vodka? This is Chelsea. The stewardess was reading it on a flight from Phoenix to Newark. She was laughing. It was nice.

The new home fashion will be spare. This will be the return of an old WASP style: the good, frayed carpet; dogs that look like dogs and not a hairdo in a teacup, as miniature dogs back from the canine boutique do now.

I further know that if God has something special for you, you have a knowledge of it inside you, which

The other day I met with a Chinese dissident who has served time in jail, and whose husband is in jail in Beijing. I asked her if the longing for democratic principles that has swept the generation of Tiananmen Square has been accompanied by a rise in religious feeling -- a new interest in Buddhism, Taoism, Christianity. She thought for a moment, and looked at me. "Among the young, I would say our religion is money," she said. I nodded, and said, "Oh, that's our religion too."

I was starting to feel that Washington was a city run by two rival gangs that had a great deal in common with each other, including an essential lack of interest in the well-being of the turf on which they fought.

The Pope replied, of what should we not be afraid? We should not fear the truth about ourselves. He spoke of how Saint Peter himself, the rock on which Christ had built his church, had told Christ to leave him, for I am a sinful man. Peter was a sinful man. We all are, including popes. We are imperfect and our hearts are anxious. But we cannot and should not let the fact of our unworthiness and flaws and failures build that wall with a kind of inverted pride that says, Oh, I?m so unworthy, and I?d know how unworthy I am better than you would.

If everyone lived as Christ asked, Communism would have no converts but the devil.

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Noonan, born Margaret Ellen Noonan
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American Author, Columnist for the Wall Street Journal, Speech Writer and Special Assistant to President Ronald Reagan