The land was ours before we were the lands. She was our land more than a hundred yearsBefore we were her people. She was oursIn Massachusetts, in Virginia,But we were Englands, still colonials,Possessing what we still were unpossessed by,Possessed by what we now no more possessed. Something we were withholding made us weakUntil we found out that it was ourselvesWe were withholding from our land of living,And forthwith found salvation in surrender. Such as we were we gave ourselves outrightTo the land vaguely realizing westward,But still unstoried, artless, unenhanced,Such as she was, such as she would become.
The first theory is that if we make the rich richer, somehow they will let a part of their prosperity trickle down to the rest of us. The second theory was the theory that if we make the average of mankind comfortable and secure, their prosperity will rise upward through the ranks.
The Science of Government it is my Duty to study, more than all other Sciences: the Art of Legislation and Administration and Negotiation, ought to take Place, indeed to exclude in a manner all other Arts. I must study Politicks and War that my sons may have liberty to study Mathematicks and Philosophy. My sons ought to study Mathematicks and Philosophy, Geography, natural History, Naval Architecture, navigation, Commerce and Agriculture, in order to give their Children a right to study Painting, Poetry, Musick, Architecture, Statuary, Tapestry and Porcelaine.
An education isnt how much you have committed to memory, or even how much you know. Its being able to differentiate between what you do know and what you dont. Its knowing where to go to find out what you need to know; and its knowing how to use the information you get.
The whole art of teaching is only the art of awakening the natural curiosity of young minds for the purpose of satisfying it afterwards; and curiosity itself can be vivid and wholesome only in proportion as the mind is contented and happy.
I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power.
Every child must be encouraged to get as much education as he has the ability to take. We want this not only for his sakebut for the nations sake. Nothing matters more to the future of our country: not military preparednessfor armed might is worthless if we lack the brain power to build a world of peace; not our productive economyfor we cannot sustain growth without trained manpower; not our democratic system of governmentfor freedom is fragile if citizens are ignorant.
I ask that you offer to the political arena, and to the critical problems of our society which are decided therein, the benefit of the talents which society has helped to develop in you. I ask you to decide, as Goethe put it, whether you will be an anvilor a hammer. The question is whether you are to be a hammerwhether you are to give to the world in which you were reared and educated the broadest possible benefits of that education.
Learned Institutions ought to be favorite objects with every free people. They throw that light over the public mind which is the best security against crafty & dangerous encroachments on the public liberty.
To me, the irony of this involvement with size, as I observed earlier, is the unwillingness or inability of so many Americans to identify themselves with something as vast as the United States. Bigger cars, bigger parking lots, bigger corporate structures, bigger farms, bigger drug stores, bigger supermarkets, bigger motion-picture screens. The tangible and the functional expand, while the intangible and the beautiful shrink. Left to wither is the national purpose, national educational needs, literature and theater, and our critical faculties. The national dialogue is gradually being lost in a froth of misleading self-congratulation and cliche. National needs and interests are slowly being submerged by the national preoccupation with the irrelevant.
In the conditions of modern life the rule is absolute, the race which does not value trained intelligence is doomed. Not all your heroism, not all your social charm, not all your wit, not all your victories on land or at sea, can move back the finger of fate. To-day we maintain ourselves. To-morrow science will have moved forward yet one more step, and there will be no appeal from the judgment which will then be pronounced on the uneducated.
What is it we all seek for in an election? To answer its real purposes, you must first possess the means of knowing the fitness of your man; and then you must retain some hold upon him by personal obligation or dependence.
I have serious doubts about the value of debates in a presidential election. They tend to be a test of reaction time rather than a genuine exposition of the participants philosophies and programs. Further, in debate, candidates tend to overstate their views. In the 1960 situation I had a very practical objection: Nixon was widely known; Kennedy was not; dramatic debates would therefore help Kennedy.
And as it [the federal district] is to be appropriated to this use with the consent of the State ceding it; as the State will no doubt provide in the compact for the rights, and the consent of the citizens inhabiting it; as the inhabitants will find sufficient inducements of interest to become willing parties to the cession; as they will have had their voice in the election of the Government which is to exercise authority over them; as a municipal Legislature for local purposes, derived from their own suffrages, will of course be allowed them; and as the authority of the Legislature of the State, and of the inhabitants of the ceded part of it, to concur in the cession, will be derived from the whole people of the State, in their adoption of the Constitution, every imaginable objection seems to be obviated.
Now the trumpet summons us againnot as a call to bear arms, though arms we neednot as a call to battle, though embattled we arebut a call to bear the burden of a long twilight struggle, year in and year out, rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulationa struggle against the common enemies of man: tyranny, poverty, disease and war itself.
We cannot expect that everyone, to use the phrase of a decade ago, will talk sense to the American people. But we can hope that fewer people will listen to nonsense. And the notion that this Nation is headed for defeat through deficit, or that strength is but a matter of slogans, is nothing but just plain nonsense.
At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, if it ever reach us, it must spring up amongst us. It cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide.
Since the general civilization of mankind, I believe there are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people, by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power, than by violent and sudden usurpations.
I have beheld no day since the commencement of hostilities that I have thought her liberties in such eminent danger as at present. Friends and foes seem now to combine to pull down the goodly fabric as we have hitherto been raising at the expence of so much time, blood, and treasure; and unless the bodies politick will exert themselves to bring things back to first principles, correct abuses, and punish our internal foes, inevitable ruin must follow.
Our decision about energy will test the character of the American people and the ability of the President and the Congress to govern this Nation. This difficult effort will be the moral equivalent of war, except that we will be uniting our efforts to build and not to destroy.
We must proceed with our own energy development. Exploitation of domestic petroleum and natural gas potentialities, along with nuclear, solar, geothermal, and non-fossil fuels is vital. We will never again permit any foreign nation to have Uncle Sam over a barrel of oil.
We do not intend to part from the Americans and we do not intend to be satellites. I am sure they do not want us to be so. The stronger we are, the better partners we shall be; and I feel certain that as the months pass we shall draw continually closer together with mutual confidence and respect.
There is nothing so bad or so good that you will not find an Englishman doing it; but you will never find an Englishman in the wrong. He does everything on principle. He fights you on patriotic principles; he robs you on business principles; he enslaves you on imperial principles.
To make it possible for our children, and for our childrens children, to live in a world of peace. To make this country be more than ever a land of opportunityof equal opportunity, full opportunity for every American. To provide jobs for all who can work, and generous help for those who cannot work. To establish a climate of decency and civility, in which each person respects the feelings and the dignity and the God-given rights of his neighbor. To make this a land in which each person can dare to dream, can live his dreamsnot in fear, but in hopeproud of his community, proud of his country, proud of what America has meant to himself and to the world.
Ive often thought that if our zoning boards could be put in charge of botanists, of zoologists and geologists, and people who know about the earth, we would have much more wisdom in such planning than we have when we leave it to the engineers.
We have come tardily to the tremendous task of cleaning up our environment. We should have moved with similar zeal at least a decade ago. But no purpose is served by post-mortems. With visionary zeal but the greatest realism, we must now address ourselves to the vast problems that confront us.