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

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

The worst thing about what is called the homeless situation is that people are living in the cold and damp of the street. The second worst thing is how it corrupts the people who walk by, making believe that they don't see, making believe that they don't hear what is being said to them, playing the heavy in the movie of their mind as they shake their head no.

A friend, noting what has and will continue to happen with car sales, said America will look like Havana?old cars and faded grandeur. It won't. It will look like 1970, only without the bell-bottoms and excessive hirsuteness. More families will have to live together. More people will drink more regularly. Secret smoking will make a comeback as part of a return to simple pleasures. People will slow down. Mainstream religion will come back. Walker Percy again: Bland affluence breeds fundamentalism. Bland affluence is over.

If you commit a big crime then you are crazy, and the more heinous the crime the crazier you must be. Therefore you are not responsible, and nothing is your fault.

We're all too quick to judge. That we don't even let the evidence of our eyes stop us in our rush to judgment...That we are not skeptical enough of what new media can cook up in its little devil's den. That anyone can be the victim of a high-tech lynching, and that because of this we have to be careful, slow down, look deeper. We live in a time when what you say is taped, and those tapes can be cut, and the cuts can be ruinous, and if you think it only happens to the rich and famous, think again. It's coming to a theater near you.

A thought: good people are always at a disadvantage in the world because to be good is to be honest and the honest feel the weight of their misdeeds. Real bad guys don't, or not often, or not consistently, or not much.

Let's cause some senators distress.

You shouldn?t hold on to things, to neuroses. People-artists-think they have to hold on to their neuroses, their pains, or they won?t be a good actor anymore or a good artist. That?s the Liar. The Liar tells you that. You hold on to them, you?ll just wind up a lonely person. People become lonely with them, and the fame has moved on to someone else. You have to heal, you have to maintain relationships... That?s why we say the Our Father: ?Deliver us from evil

Abortion is either OK or it's not.

Memory is a trickster, moments fade, what grows more vivid with time is interpretation.

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.

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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