I saw this on the Daily Kos yesterday. It was too good for me not to republish.
The more things change, the more they stay the same. Other than references to then-contemporary politicians and election dates, this JFK speech is just as relevant today as it was in 1960.
I believe in human dignity as the source of national purpose, in human liberty as the source of national action, in the human heart as the source of national compassion, and in the human mind as the source of our invention and our ideas. It is, I believe, the faith in our fellow citizens as individuals and as people that lies at the heart of the liberal faith. For liberalism is not so much a party creed or set of fixed platform promises as it is an attitude of mind and heart, a faith in man’s ability through the experiences of his reason and judgment to increase for himself and his fellow men the amount of justice and freedom and brotherhood which all human life deserves.I believe also in the United States of America, in the promise that it contains and has contained throughout our history of producing a society so abundant and creative and so free and responsible that it cannot only fulfill the aspirations of its citizens, but serve equally well as a beacon for all mankind. I do not believe in a superstate. I see no magic in tax dollars which are sent to Washington and then returned. I abhor the waste and incompetence of large-scale federal bureaucracies in this administration as well as in others. I do not favor state compulsion when voluntary individual effort can do the job and do it well. But I believe in a government which acts, which exercises its full powers and full responsibilities. Government is an art and a precious obligation; and when it has a job to do, I believe it should do it. And this requires not only great ends but that we propose concrete means of achieving them.
Our responsibility is not discharged by announcement of virtuous ends. Our responsibility is to achieve these objectives with social invention, with political skill, and executive vigor. I believe for these reasons that liberalism is our best and only hope in the world today. For the liberal society is a free society, and it is at the same time and for that reason a strong society. Its strength is drawn from the will of free people committed to great ends and peacefully striving to meet them. Only liberalism, in short, can repair our national power, restore our national purpose, and liberate our national energies. And the only basic issue in the 1960 campaign is whether our government will fall in a conservative rut and die there, or whether we will move ahead in the liberal spirit of daring, of breaking new ground, of doing in our generation what Woodrow Wilson and Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman and Adlai Stevenson did in their time of influence and responsibility.
Yesterday, Republican gubernatorial candidate Rick Snyder of Michigan expressed disgust at the tactics of one Peter Hoekstra, the blowhard congressman with aspirations of becoming the next Governor of Michigan. Hoekstra, as is now well known, responded to the near-miss terrorist attack last week in Detroit by making the incident the central theme in…of all things…a fundraising e-mail.
What will Rick Snyder say now that the political party to which he belongs has elected to follow Hoekstra’s lead?
The NRSC is the latest GOP group to use the failed bombing attempt on a Detroit-bound plane to rake in money.
In an email to supporters Wednesday, NRSC exec. dir. Rob Jesmer cites the attempted terrorism, along with health care legislation, in an effort to earn last-minute contributions.
The NRSC is the campaign wing for Senate Republicans, and the letter is aimed at gathering last-second contributions ahead of the December 31st year-end filing deadline.
One of the NRSC’s prime targets, Senator Chris Dodd of Connecticut, also got hit with a Detroit-themed fundraising message, as leading GOP opponent Rob Simmons alluded to the attack as well in a fundraising missive.
What is more disappointing–that the GOP is trying to exploit fear for campaign cash, or that absolutely no one is surprised to see them do it?
Barack Obama has brought his A game. He is/was rockin’ the house. I’ll have the video as soon as it is available.
The speech was too long. Still the passion was there. The themes that we will hear over the next 5 months are here. Iraq is going to be big. Health care will be big. Economy. Energy will be big.
Here are Barack Obama’s prepared remarks.
Tonight, after fifty-four hard-fought contests, our primary season has finally come to an end.
Sixteen months have passed since we first stood together on the steps of the Old State Capitol in Springfield, Illinois. Thousands of miles have been traveled. Millions of voices have been heard. And because of what you said – because you decided that change must come to Washington; because you believed that this year must be different than all the rest; because you chose to listen not to your doubts or your fears but to your greatest hopes and highest aspirations, tonight we mark the end of one historic journey with the beginning of another – a journey that will bring a new and better day to America. Tonight, I can stand before you and say that I will be the Democratic nominee for President of the United States.
I want to thank every American who stood with us over the course of this campaign – through the good days and the bad; from the snows of Cedar Rapids to the sunshine of Sioux Falls. And tonight I also want to thank the men and woman who took this journey with me as fellow candidates for President.
At this defining moment for our nation, we should be proud that our party put forth one of the most talented, qualified field of individuals ever to run for this office. I have not just competed with them as rivals, I have learned from them as friends, as public servants, and as patriots who love America and are willing to work tirelessly to make this country better. They are leaders of this party, and leaders that America will turn to for years to come.