Wednesday, September 05, 2007

A Speech Worth Reading

What follows is Barry Goldwater's speech accepting his Presidential Nomination. What he says is poignant, and with a few minor modifications could be well served to work today.

"In this world no party can guarantee anything, but what we can do and what we shall do is to deserve victory, and victory will be ours. The good Lord raised this mighty republic to be a home for the brave and to flourish as the land of the free - not to stagnate in the swampland of collectivism, not to cringe before the bully of communism.
"During [the past] four futile years the current administration has distorted and lost that faith. It has talked and talked and talked the words of freedom, but it has failed and failed and failed in the works of freedom.
"Now failures blot the sands of shame at the Bay of Pigs; failures marked the slow death of freedom in Laos; failures infest the jungles of Vietnam; and failures haunt the houses of our once great alliances and undermine the greatest bulwark ever erected by free nations, the NATO community. Failures proclaim lost leadership, obscure purpose, weakening wills, and the risk of inciting our sworn enemies to new aggressions and to new excesses.

"I needn't remind you - but I will - that it's been during Democratic years that our strength to deter war has been stilled and even gone into a planned decline. It has been during Democratic years that we have weakly stumbled into conflicts, timidly refusing to draw our own lines against aggression, deceitfully refusing to tell even our people of our full participation and tragically letting our finest men die on battlefields unmarked by purpose, unmarked by pride or the prospect of victory.
"Yesterday it was Korea; tonight it is Vietnam. Make no bones of this. Don't try to sweep this under the rug. We are at war in Vietnam. And yet the president, who is the commander in chief of our forces, refuses to say - refuses to say, mind you - whether or not the objective is victory, and his secretary of defense continues to mislead and misinform the American people, an enough of it has gone by.
"Now, the Republican cause demands that we brand communism as the principal disturber of peace in the world today. Indeed, we should brand it as the only significant disturber of the peace. And we must make clear that until its goals of conquest are absolutely renounced and its relations with all nations tempered, communism and the governments it now controls are enemies of every man on earth who is or wants to be free.

"We can keep the peace only if we remain vigilant and strong. Only if we keep our eyes open and keep our guard up can we prevent war. This is a party for free men, not for blind followers and not for conformists. In 1858 Lincoln said of the Republican Party that it was composed of "strange, discordant, and even hostile elements." Yet all of the elements agreed on one paramount objective: to arrest the progress of slavery and place it in the course of ultimate extinction.
"Today, as then, the task of preserving and enlarging freedom at home, and of safeguarding it from the forces of tyranny abroad, is enough to challenge all our resources and to require all our strength.
"I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no ivce! And let me remind you that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue!

"Our cause is to free our people and light the way for liberty throughout the world. Ours is a very human cause for very humane goals. This party, its good people, and its unquestionable devotion to freedom will not fulfill the purposes of this campaign which we launch here now until our cause has won the day, inspired the world ,and shown the way to a tomorrow worthy of all our yesteryears."

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