the speech
friday random ten, 1991 edition

1968: august 29

Hubert Humphrey accepts his party's nomination as their 1968 presidential candidate:

I choose not simply to run for President. I seek to lead a great nation. And either we achieve true justice in our land or we shall doom ourselves to a terrible exhaustion of body and spirit.

I base my entire candidacy on the belief which comes from the very depth of my soul, which comes from basic religious conviction that the American people will stand up, that they will stand up for justice and fair play, and that they will respond to the call of one citizenship, one citizenship open to all for all Americans.

So this is the message that I shall take to the people and I ask you to stand with me. And to all of my fellow Democrats now who have labored hard and openly this week at the difficult and sometimes frustrating work of democracy, I pledge myself to the task of leading the Democratic Party to victory in November.

And may I say to those who have differed with their neighbor or those who have differed with a fellow Democrat, that all of your goals, that all of your high hopes, that all of your dreams, all of them will come to naught if we lose this election. And many of them can be realized with a victory that can come to us....

And now I appeal to those thousands, yes, millions of young Americans to join us not simply as campaigners but to continue as vocal, creative and even critical participants in the politics of our times. Never were you needed so much and never could you do so much if you were to help now.

Martin Luther King, Jr. had a dream. Robert F. Kennedy ... had a great vision.

If America will respond to that dream and that vision, their deaths will not mark the moment when America lost its way, but it will mark the time when America found its conscience.

These men have given us inspiration and direction. And I pledge from this platform tonight we shall not abandon their purposes. We shall honor their dreams by our deeds, now and in the days to come.

I am keenly aware of the fears and frustrations of the world in which we live.

It is all too easy to play on these emotions. But I do not intend to do so.

I do not intend to appeal to fear, but rather to hope.

I do not intend to appeal to frustration, but rather to your faith.

I shall appeal to reason and to your good judgment.