Quote [43] – Kennedy Speeches

I am today announcing my candidacy for the presidency of the United States.

I do not run for the presidency merely to oppose any man but to propose new policies. I run because I am convinced that this country is on a perilous course and because I have such strong feelings about what must be done, and I feel that I’m obliged to do all that I can.

I run to seek new policies – policies to end the bloodshed in Vietnam and in our cities, policies to close the gaps that now exist between black and white, between rich and poor, between young and old, in this country and around the rest of the world.

I run for the presidency because I want the Democratic Party and the United States of America to stand for hope instead of despair, for reconciliation of men instead of the growing risk of world war.

http://www.4president.org/Speeches/rfk1968announcement.htm

 

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In His Own Words

 

Robert F Kennedy

My brother need not be idealized, or enlarged in death beyond what he was in life; to be remembered simply as a good and decent man, who saw wrong and tried to right it, saw suffering and tried to heal it, saw war and tried to stop it.

Those of us who loved him and who take him to his rest today, pray that what he was to us and what he wished for others will some day come to pass for all the world.

As he said many times, in many parts of this nation, to those he touched and who sought to touch him:

“Some men see things as they are and say why.
I dream things that never were and say why not.”

http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/ekennedytributetorfk.html

 

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In His Own Words

 

Ted Kennedy

 

 

 

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Quote [41] – The Dulling Social Expectation Of Poor Political Culture

All the phrases which have meant so much to Americans – peace and progress, justice and compassion, leadership and idealism – often sound not like stirring reminders of our nation, but call forth the cynical laughter or hostility of our young and many of our adults.  Not because they do not believe them, but they do no think our leaders mean them …

This is not simply the result of bad politics and lack of skill.  It flows from the fact that for almost the first time the national leadership is calling upon the darker impulses of the American spirit – not, perhaps, deliberately, but through its action and the example it sets – an example where integrity, truth, honour, and tall the rest seem like words to fill out speeches rather than guiding beliefs.  Thus we are turned inward.  People wish to protect what they have.  There is a failing of generosity and compassion.  There is an unwillingness to sacrifice or take risks.  All of this is contrary to the deepest and most dominant impulses of the American character – all that which had characterised two centuries of history.

Make gentle the life of the world

Quote Book – [40] – The Need For Idealism and Pragmatism In Government

But if there is one thing that President Kennedy stood for that touched the most profound feelings of young people around the world, it was the belief that idealism, high aspirations, and deep convictions are not incompatible with the most practical and efficient of programs – that there is no basic inconsistency between ideals and realistic possibilities, no separation between the deepest desires of heart and of mind and the rational application of human effort to human problems. Make gentle the life of this world
To say that the future will be different from the present is, to scientists, hopelessly self-evident.  I observe regretfully that in politics, however, it can be heresy.  It can be denounced as radicalism or branded as subversion.  There are people in every time and every land who want to stop history in its tracks.  They fear the future, mistrust the present, and invoke the security of a comfortable past which, in fact, never existed. Make gentle the life of the world
Wise policy is setting priorities – differentiating between that which is merely important and that which is truly essential.  And it would be both callous and self-indulgent for those of us who sit comfortably at home to form policy without full knowledge and consciousness of the costs to others, young men and women and children, whose lives turn on the abstractions of our discussion. Make gentle the life of the world

Quote Book – [39] –Misc: Division vs Common Cause / Law – Society

Page 96 Thucydides reported that the Peloponnesians and their allies were mighty in battle but handicapped by their policy-making body, in which he related, “each presses its own ends … which generally results in no action at all … they devote more time to the prosecution of their own purposes than to the consideration of the general welfare – each supposes that no harm will come of his own neglect, that is the business of another to do this or that; and so, as each separately entertains the same illusion, the common cause imperceptibly decays” Make gentle the life of this world
Page 105 In a democratic society law in the form which free men give to justice.  The glory of justice and the majesty of law are created not just by the Constitution – nor by the courts – nor by the officers of the law – nor by the lawyers – but by the men and women who constitute our society – who are the protectors of the law as they are themselves protected by the law. Make gentle the life of this world

Quote Book – [38] – Peope & Politicians

The suppression of individuality – the sense that one is listening – is even more pronounced in our politics.  Television, newspapers, magazines, are a cascade of words, official statements, policies, explanations, and declarations.  All flow from the height of government down to the passive citizen: who can shout up against a waterfall? More important, the language of politics is too often insincerity, which we have perhaps to easily accepted but which to the young is particularly offensive.  George Orwell wrote a generation ago: ‘In our time, political speech and writing are largely the defense of the indefensible. Things like the continuance of British rule in India, the Russian purges and deportations, the dropping of the atom bombs on Japan, can indeed be defended, but only by arguments which are too brutal for most people to face, and which do not square with the professed aims of the political parties. Thus political language has to consist largely of euphemism, question-begging and sheer cloudy vagueness. Defenseless villages are bombarded from the air, the inhabitants driven out into the countryside, the cattle machine-gunned, the huts set on fire with incendiary bullets: this is called pacification.  Millions of peasants are robbed of their farms and sent trudging along the roads with no more than they can carry: this is called transfer of population or rectification of frontiers. People are imprisoned for years without trial, or shot in the back of the neck or sent to die of scurvy in Arctic lumber camps: this is called elimination of unreliable elements.  The inflated style itself is a kind of euphemism.  A mass of Latin words falls upon the facts like soft snow, blurring the outline and covering up all the details.”  In this respect, politics had not changed since Orwell wrote.  And if we add to the insincerity, and the absence of dialogue, the absurdity of a politics in which elected officials find sport in joking about children bitten by rats, we can understand why so many of our young people have turned form engagement to disengagement, from politics to passivity, from hope to nihilism, from SDS to LSD.

Quote Book – [35] – Government & Society

Even as the drive toward bigness [and] concentration . . . has reached heights never before dreamt of in the past, we have come suddenly to realize how heavy a price we have paid . . . in loss of the values of nature and community and local diversity that found their nurture in the smaller towns and rural areas of America. And we can see, as we enter the last third of the twentieth century, that the price has been too high.
The question now assumes even greater urgency, as the growth of cities propels us toward the “mass society” – that frightening vision of people as interchangeable units, the middle class as powerless as the poor to affect the decisions of government.
One great problem is sheer growth, growth which crowds people into slums, thrusts suburbs out over the countryside, burdens to the breaking point all our old ways of thought and action-our systems of transportation and water supply, education, and even garbage collection. It also weighs heavily on our means of raising money to finance these vital services.

A second problem is the destruction of the physical environment, stripping people of contact with sun and fresh air, clean rivers, grass, and trees, condemning them to a life among stone and concrete, neon lights, and an endless river of automobiles.

A third problem is the increasing difficulty of transportation, adding concealed unpaid hours to the work week, removing man from the social and cultural amenities that are the heart of the city, sending destructive swarms of automobiles across the city, leaving behind them a band of concrete and a poisoned atmosphere.  And sometimes, as in Watts, our surrender to the mobile so crippled public transportation that thousands literally could not afford to go to work elsewhere in the city.

A fourth destructive force is the concentrated poverty and racial tension of the urban ghetto, a problem so vast that the barest recital of its symptoms is profoundly shocking.

The fifth is both the cause and consequence of all the rest. It is the destruction of the sense, and often the fact, of community, of human dialogue, of the thousand invisible strands of common experience and purpose, and of the affection and respect which tie men to their fellows.

It is expressed in such words as community, neighbourhood, civic pride, friendship. It provides the life-sustaining force of human warmth, or security among others, and a sense of one’s own human significance in the accepted association and companionship of others

Change is crowding our people into cities scarred by slums – encircles by suburbs which sprawl recklessly across the countryside, where movement is difficult, beauty rare, life itself more impersonal, and security imperiled by the lawless.
Therefore, the time has come … when we must actively fight bigness and over concentration, and seek instead to bring the engines of government, of technology, of the economy, fully under the control of our citizens, to recapture and reinforce the values of a more human time and place.
Growth has polluted our water and poisoned our air, and stripped us of contact with sunlight, trees and lakes.  Government has foundered as new agencies had proliferated, splitting tasks and energies among dozens of distant and unconnected bureaus.  Individuals have lost touch with the institutions of society, even with one another; and thus have become more and more both perpetrators and victims of coldness, cruelty, and violence.

Make gentle the life of this world

Quote Book -[17]-Civilisation & The World (Society)

Page 135 “If people bring so much courage to this world the world has to kill them or break them, so of course it kills them. The world breaks everyone, and afterwards many are strong at the broken places.   But those that will not break, it kills. It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brace impartially. If you are none of those you can be sure it will kill you too, but there will be no special hurry.” – Ernst Hemingway

Source: Make gentle the life of the world – Robert F. Kennedy

Quote Book -[16]-Civilisation & Change (Society)

Page 120 “There is,” said an Italian philosopher. “nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things.”
Page 131 It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope; and crossing each other from a million different centres of energy and daring, those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.
Page 133 We are faced with evil. I feel rather like Augustine did before becoming a Christian when he said, “I tried to find the source of evil and I got nowhere. But it is also true that I and a few others knew what must be done if not to reduce evil at least not to add to it.” Perhaps we cannot prevent this world from being a world in which children are tortured. But we can reduce the number of tortured children. And if you believers don’t help us, who else in the world can help us do this?” – Albert Camus
Page 134 We also know that only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly
Page 134 Have faith and pursue an unknown end. – Francis Bacon
Page 134 Few men are willing to brave the disapproval of their flows, the censure of their colleagues, the wrath of their society. Moral courage is a rarer commodity than bravery in battle or great intelligence. Yet it is the one essential, vial quality of those who seek to change a world which yields most painfully to change.

Source: Make gentle the life of the world – Robert F. Kennedy

Quote Book -[15]-Civilisation (Society)

P17 – An American Spirit “Dangerous changes in American life are indicated by what is going on in America today. Disaster is our destiny unless we reinstall the toughness, the moral idealism which had guided this nation during its history. The paramount interest in oneself, for money, for material goods, for security, must be replaced by an interest in one another 0 an actual, not just a vocal, interest in our country; a search for adventure, a willingness to fight, and a will to win; a desire to serve our community, our schools, our nation.

So if we are uneasy about our country today, perhaps it is because we are truer to our principles that we realise, because we know that our happiness will come not from goods we have but from the good we do together”

“Debate and dissent are the very heart of the American process.   We have followed the wisdom of Greece : ‘All things are to be examined and brought into question.   There is no limit set to thought’

Our ideal of America is a nation in which justice is done; and therefore, the continued existence of injustice – of unnecessary, inexcusable poverty in this most favoured of nations – this knowledge erodes our ideal of America, our basic sense of who and what we are. It is, in the deepest sense of the word demoralising 0 to all of us.

P19 – An American Spirit As long as men are hungry, and their children uneducated, and their crops destroyed by pestilence, the American Revolution will have a part to play. As long as men are not free – in their lives and their options, their speech and their knowledge – that long will the American Revolution not be finished
P21 – An American Spirit Too much and too long, we seem to have surrendered community excellence and community values in the mere accumulation of material things. Our Gross National Product, now, is over eight hundred billion dollars a year, but that GNP — if we should judge America by that — counts air pollution and cigarette advertising and ambulances to clear our highways of carnage. It counts special locks for our doors and the jails for those who break them. It counts the destruction of our redwoods and the loss of our natural wonder in chaotic sprawl. It counts napalm and the cost of a nuclear warhead, and armoured cars for police who fight riots in our streets. It counts Whitman’s rifle and Speck’s knife, and the television programs which glorify violence in order to sell toys to our children.

Yet the Gross National Product does not allow for the health of our children, the quality of their education, or the joy of their play. It does not include the beauty of our poetry or the strength of our marriages, the intelligence of our public debate or the integrity of our public officials. It measures neither our wit nor our courage, neither our wisdom nor our learning, neither our compassion nor our devotion to our country; it measures everything, in short, except that which makes life worthwhile. And it can tell us everything about America except why we are proud that we are Americans.

P22 – An American Spirit But one thing at least unites all of us – and that is our love of our common soil, and our anguish. Anguish as we face a future that closes up a little every day, as we face the threat of a degrading struggle, of an economic disequilibrium that is already serious and is increasing every day, that may reach the point where no effort will be able to revive Algeria for a long time to come – Albert Camus
P37 – Seeking a better world He is told that Negros are making progress. But what can that mean to him? He cannot experience the progress of others, nor should we seriously expect him to feel grateful because he is no longer a slave, or because he can vote, or eat at some lunch counters. He sees only the misery of his present and of darkening years ahead. Others tell him to work his way up as other minorities have done; and so he must. For he knows and we know that only by his own efforts and his own labour will the Negro come to full equality
P39 – Seeking a better world But as we are learning now, it is one thing to assure a man the legal right to eat in a restaurant; it is another thing to assure that he can earn the money to eat there.
P47 – Seeking a better world We have a responsibility to the victims of crime and violence. It is a responsibility to think not only of our own convenience but of the tragedy of sudden death. It is a responsibility to put away childish things, to make the possession and use of firearms a matter undertaken only by serious people who will use them with the restraint and maturity that their dangerous nature deserves – and demands.

Some look for scapegoats, other look for conspiracies, but this much is clear: Violence breeds violence, repression brings retaliation, and only a cleansing of our whole society can remove this sickness from our soul.

Page 98 The enemies of [achieving equality] are not the black man or the white man. The enemies are fear and indifference. They are hatred and, above all, letting momentary passion blind us to a clear reasoned understanding if the realities of our land.
Page 114 The task of leadership, the first task of concerned people, is not to condemn or castigate or deplore; it is to search out the reason for disillusionment and alienation, the rational of protests and dissent – perhaps, indeed, to learn from it.   And we may find that we learn most of all from those political and social dissenters whose differences with us are most grave; for among the young , as among adults, the sharpest criticism often goes hand in hand with the deepest idealism and love of country.

Source: Make gentle the life of the world – By: Robert Kennedy

Quote Book -[13]- People & Society

Page 95 Thucydides wrote at the end of the Peloponnesian War and the end of the great age of Athens: “The kind of events that once took place will by reason of human nature take place again.”
Page 95 “The time for extracting a lesson from history is ever at hand for those who are wise” – Demosthenes

Source: Make gentle the life of this world – By: Robert Kennedy

http://books.google.co.uk/books/about/Make_Gentle_the_Life_of_this_World.html