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2/05/2005

Hubert Humphrey

"We believe liberalism is more than intellectual capacity - intellectual liberalism must be buttressed with an understanding of people and a love of them that goes far beyond texts or documents. For if you can't cry a little bit in politics, the only other thing you'll have is hate.

The real contest in this world is not a military one; our real competition with the Soviet Union is not an economic one. Our struggle with totalitarianism and communism goes far beyond economics, science, education. It's a conflict over a system of values...It may be necessary for a moment of history to let other systems have their claim on areas - but it's another thing to accept it. We have to live with it - not accept it. This is a struggle between good and evil, between tolerance and intolerance, over the very nature of man; and we come from a civilization that believes as an article of faith that man is created in the image of his maker, of a spiritual heritage in which human dignity can never be debased or abused by sheer power. No man has the right to govern another without his consent, and unless people understand this real moral value they can be duped. All of history is a constant struggle for emancipation from fears, from tyranny, from ignorance. And we are the emancipators, that's what this is all about, even if we don't recognize it. What we're trying to do is get people to think about their own role in government, their own role in history.

To elect a President it's more important that he be good of heart, good of spirit, than that he be slick, or clever, or statesman-like-looking. To be a leader means a willingness to risk - and a willingness to love. Has the leader given you something directly from his heart?- or has it all been planned in advance, all been scheduled? Is it efficient? If you want efficiency in politics, you can go to the communists or totalitarians. I believe politics is simply to deal with people and to be human. Every now and then I read in the paper how disorderly Hubert Humphrey's campaign is and I say THANK GOD...

Thank God we are people, just people. Maybe we aren't efficient. But you can read the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution and the Gettysburg Address, and you won't find even once in them the word 'efficiency.' And you can read all of Marx, all of Engels, all of Stalin, all of Lenin and you won't find even once in them the word 'love.'"
T.H. White, The Making of the President, 109-110 (HHH before the Milwaukee Jewish Community Center). The difference between authentic politics and the perverted politics of the present.

 

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