Each child is an adventure into a better life—an opportunity to change the old pattern and make it new.
Fortunately, the time has long passed when people liked to regard the United States as some kind of melting pot, taking men and women from every part of the world and converting them into standardized, homogenized Americans. We are, I think, much more mature and wise today. Just as we welcome a world of diversity, so we glory in an America of diversity—an America all the richer for the many different and distinctive strands of which it is woven.
The great challenge which faces us is to assure that, in our society of big-ness, we do not strangle the voice of creativity, that the rules of the game do not come to overshadow its purpose, that the grand orchestration of society leaves ample room for the man who marches to the music of another drummer.
People in places many of us never heard of, whose names we can’t pronounce or even spell, are speaking up for themselves. They speak in languages we once classified as “exotic” but whose mastery is now essential for our diplomats and businessmen. But what they say is very much the same the world over. They want a decent standard of living. They want human dignity and a voice in their own futures. They want their children to grow up strong and healthy and free.
I have seen in the Halls of Congress more idealism, more humanness, more compassion, more profiles of courage than in any other institution that I have ever known.
Profit and morality are a hard combination to beat.
It is not enough to merely defend democracy. To defend it may be to lose it; to extend it is to strengthen it. Democracy is not property; it is an idea.
Certainly one of the chief guarantees of freedom under any government, no matter how popular and respected, is the right of the citizens to keep and bear arms. This is not to say that firearms should not be carefully used and that definite safety rules of precaution should not be taught and enforced. But the right of the citizens to bear arms is just one guarantee against arbitrary government and one more safeguard against a tyranny which now appears remote in America, but which historically has proved to be always possible
Propaganda, to be effective, must be believed. To be believed, it must be credible. To be credible, it must be true.
The President is the people’s lobbyist.
If there is dissatisfaction with the status quo, good. If there is ferment, so much the better. If there is restlessness, I am pleased. Then let there be ideas, and hard thought, and hard work. If man feels small, let man make himself bigger.
This, then, is the test we must set for ourselves; not to march alone but to march in such a way that others will wish to join us.
Slumism is the pent-up anger of people living on the outside of affluence. Slumism is decay of structure and deterioration of the human spirit. Slumism is a virus which spreads through the body politic. As other isms, it breeds disorder and demagoguery and hate.
Freedom is the most contagious virus known to man.
The heroes of the world community are not those who withdraw when difficulties ensue, not those who can envision neither the prospect of success nor the consequence of failure—but those who stand the heat of battle, the fight for world peace through the United Nations.
Topics: Nationality, Nationalism, Nation
I think the worst thing this nation could do for humanity would be to leave any uncertainty as to our will, our purpose and our capacity to carry out our purpose.
Topics: Respectability, Respect, Uncertainty
It was once said that the moral test of Government is how that Government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly; and those who are in the shadows of life, the sick, the needy and the handicapped
Topics: Right, Service, Government, Ethics
There are those who say to you—we are rushing this issue of civil rights. I say we are 172 years late.
Unfortunately, our affluent society has also been an effluent society.
History teaches us that the great revolutions aren’t started by people who are utterly down and out, without hope and vision. They take place when people begin to live a little better—and when they see how much yet remains to be achieved.
Topics: Revolutions, Revolution, Revolutionaries
The pursuit of peace resembles the building of a great cathedral. It is the work of a generation. In concept it requires a master-architect; in execution, the labors of many.
Wondering Whom to Read Next?
- Lyndon B. Johnson American Head of State
- Richard Nixon American Head of State
- Charles G. Dawes American Diplomat, Politician
- John F. Kennedy American Head of State
- Ronald Reagan American Head of State
- Calvin Coolidge American Head of State
- John C. Calhoun American Head of State
- Jimmy Carter American Head of State
- Dan Quayle American Head of State
- Adlai Stevenson American Diplomat