Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Ted Kennedy: Our Values Are Still Our Greatest Strength

In a speech at the National Press Club, Ted Kennedy stressed that "our values are still our greatest strength". Here's an excerpt from that speech:

Unlike the Republican Party, we believe our values unite us as Americans, instead of dividing us. If the White House’s idea of bipartisanship is that we have to buy whatever partisan ideas they send us, we’re not interested.

In fact, our values are still our greatest strength. Despite resistance, setbacks, and periods of backlash over the years, our values have moved us closer to the ideal with which America began – that all people are created equal. And when Democrats say "all," we mean "all."

We have an Administration that falsely hypes almost every issue as a crisis. They did it on Iraq, and they are doing it now on Social Security. They exploit the politics of fear and division, while ours is a politics of hope and unity.

In the face of their tactics, we cannot move our party or our nation forward under pale colors and timid voices. We cannot become Republican clones. If we do, we will lose again, and deserve to lose. As I have said on other occasions, the last thing this country needs is two Republican parties.

Today, I propose a progressive vision for America, a vision that Democrats must fight for in the months and years ahead – a vision rooted in our basic values of opportunity, fairness, tolerance, and respect for each other.

These founding beliefs are still the essence of the American dream today.

That dream is the North Star of the Democratic Party – the compass that guides our policies and sets our course to freedom and opportunity, to fairness and justice – not just for the few, not just for some, but for all.

At our best, in all the great causes for which our party has stood, we have kept that dream alive for all Americans, even and especially in difficult times, and we will not fail to do so now.



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