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JFK

September 25, 2007

I came across this yesterday while digging around on digg.  The original site is here.

I’m too young to know much about John Kennedy so I don’t know if these are just words that weren’t accompanied by action (as we often see today) or if he truly believed and governed as he spoke.

Reading through these, it sure seems like we’ve lost something in this country.

* A warning to the American people not to fall into the same trap as the Soviets, not to see only a distorted and desperate view of the other side, not to see conflict as inevitable, accommodation as impossible and communication as nothing more than an exchange of threats. – Commencement Address American University, Washington, Monday, June 10, 1963

* Let us call a truce to terror. Let us invoke the blessings of peace. And as we build an international capacity to keep peace, let us join in dismantling the national capacity to wage war. – September 25, 1961

* Our primary long-range interest in Geneva, however, is general and complete disarmament — designed to take place by stages, permitting parallel political developments to build the new institutions of peace which would take the place of arms. – June 10, 1963

* It is therefore our intention to challenge the Soviet Union, not to an arms race, but to a peace race- -to advance together step by step, stage by stage, until general and complete disarmament has been achieved. We invite them now to go beyond agreement in principle to reach agreement on actual plans. – Address Before the General Assembly of the United Nations. September 25, 1961

* But this administration has failed to recognize, has failed to recognize that in these changing times, with a revolution of rising expectation sweeping the globe, the United States has lost its image as a new, strong, vital, revolutionary society. – University of Illinois Campus, October 24th, 1960

* I believe in an America… where no public official either requests or accepts instructions on public policy from the Pope, the National Council of Churches or any other ecclesiastical source. – Address to the Greater Houston Ministerial Association, September 12, 1960

* If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich. – Inaugural Address, January 20, 1961

* In this serious hour in our Nation’s history when we are confronted with grave crises in Berlin and Southeast Asia, when we are devoting our energies to economic recovery and stability, when we are asking reservists to leave their homes and their families for months on end and servicemen to risk their lives–and four were killed in the last two days in Viet Nam and asking union members to hold down their wage requests at a time when restraint and sacrifice are being asked of every citizen, the American people will find it hard, as I do, to accept a situation in which a tiny handful of steel executives whose pursuit of private power and profit exceeds their sense of public responsibility can show such utter contempt for the interests of 185 million Americans. – News Conference April 11, 1962

* In short, at a time when they could be exploring how more efficiency and better prices could be obtained… a few gigantic corporations have decided to increase prices in ruthless disregard of their public responsibilities. – April 11, 1962

* Harry Truman once said there are 14 or 15 million Americans who have the resources to have representatives in Washington to protect their interests, and that the interests of the great mass of other people, the hundred and fifty or sixty million, is the responsibility of the President of the United States. And I propose to fulfill it. – Atlantic City at the Convention of the United Auto Workers. May 8th, 1962

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