Senator Humphrey Speaks At Rally Here
May 3, 1960
Senator Humphrey Speaks At Rally Here
America’s “challenge to greatness is in “daring to design our own destiny,” Senator Hubert H. Humphrey, Democratic Presidential candidate, declared last night in an address at the VFW hall here.
Warning that “we cannot fly to the moon, while our political feet are stuck in the mud. Senator Humphrey said a nation was wasting its opportunity for leadership when it only “reacts, instead of designs.”
“Regretably, that is what has been happening to us in this troubled world,” he declared. “Whether it is on the domestic or international front, we are prone to just counter attack – we react, rather than design a program of our own that we know to be right and sound, and worthy of our efforts, our tradition, and our sacrifice .
“The Twentieth Century demands programs that have daring and design, where one detail fits another, as part of a long-range plan.”
“To survive, we must plan. In the second half of this interdependent and explosive century to continue planless may be to end lifeless.”
“It is time we took planning out of the doghouse, and put it in the White House.”
“The sad fact is, we are letting our national plant run down. Our economy is not keeping pace with the needs of our time, and we are devoting too small a portion of it to those public purposes – that public investment, if you will – that makes a nation and a people not only rich, but great and strong.”
Twentieth Century America not only requires an up-to-date program, but it demands an integrated and coordinated program.
“We need a program that starts with the integration of our schools, and ends with a peaceful cooperation of the world.”
“We cannot expect to explore new worlds, if we deliberately go on depriving new generations of proper schools and the best of teachers.
“We cannot ask for ethical practices in trade unions and expect to get them easily unless we insist upon the same kind of ethics in business and government,” he declared.
Senator Humphrey declared that the Democratic Party’s liberal philosophy best exemplified “an understanding of our interdependence, and of the intermingling of our various policies.”
In his open air address at the court house earlier yesterday, Senator Humphrey said:
“If the Democratic Party – and potential Democratic standard bearers- want to deserve the confidence of the American voters, all of us must be willing to stand up and be counted as to what we are going to do about the real needs of the people.”
“The country is tired and sick of generalities and lip service to lofty objectives. It wants specific answers to specific answers to specific needs – and our Party had better get busy recognizing the needs, and developing the answers,” he declared.
Senator Humphrey said he had been waging his West Virginia campaign “on the issues that concern West Virginia voters,” but added that all too often the press as “more interested in personalities than in where candidates stand on issues.”
“It isn’t enough to seek popularity by trying to avoid offending anyone,” he declared. “If all you want is wishy-washy fence-straddling to avoid choosing sides, you might as well vote Republican – for they are the experts at that kind of popularity. But if you are willing to take a stand for what you believe is right and just, then fight for it – we can win in November, and deserve to win.”
“That has always been my position in public life, and it is my position today. I am not an appeaser – at home or abroad. If our election process is to mean anything, people must be given a real choice between differing viewpoints and political philosophies – not just engage in a national beauty contest.”
“For my part, there is no greater role I feel I can perform for my party- and my country- in the months preceding our Democratic National Convention than in seeking to compel our party to take stock of the county’s needs, and take a firm, aggressive, and sanely liberal position toward meeting those needs. And if I can help sharpen the issues so that everyone concerned has to stand up and be counted, one way or another, so much the better,” Senator Humphrey declared.
“Let’s not be fooled by the era of trying to avoid anything that may step on anybody’s toes. There are differences of viewpoint on every issue, and should be in a democracy. But it is the responsibility of leadership to have some convictions, and stand by them, taking a stand and seeking to mobilize support behind it, rather than drifting with the supposed popular tide at any given time.”
“Remember, the Democratic Party was victorious under the leadership of Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry S. Truman because both leaders and the Party of the day. They didn’t hedge or back away. They answered those problems with legislation and action – not with well-turned hazy phrases and polished platitudes. If we are to win in 1960, we must have that type of liberal, clear-cut straight forward leadership,” Senator Humphrey declared.
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