Saturday, May. 16, 2009

John F. Kennedy, American University, 1963

Read it here

Words of Wisdom:
"Let us examine our attitude toward peace itself. Too many of us think it is impossible. Too many think it unreal. But that is a dangerous, defeatist belief. It leads to the conclusion that war is inevitable, that mankind is doomed, that we are gripped by forces we cannot control.

"We need not accept that view. Our problems are man-made — therefore, they can be solved by man. And man can be as big as he wants. No problem of human destiny is beyond human beings. Man's reason and spirit have often solved the seemingly unsolvable — and we believe they can do it again."

Consider the last time you witnessed an exchange about the thorny issues on today's agenda — pork-barrel spending, say, or instituting universal health care. Chances are the discussion was conducted in weary, whispered tones. Pragmatism is in, and talk of grand solutions is the kiss of death for many a politician. Reading J.F.K.'s 1963 address to American University graduates on the need for world peace is a reminder of how much our political discourse has changed — and, in many ways, diminished. Say this for the President: he made no small plans.