The first was an address at the Trade Mart in Dallas.
He began with JFK realism that rings across the decades and rebukes many today: "There will always be dissident voices heard in the land, expressing opposition without alternatives, finding fault but never favor, perceiving gloom on every side and seeking influence without responsibility. Those voices are inevitable." He then moved to the focal point of the address
I want to discuss with you today the status of our strength and our security because this question clearly calls for the most responsible qualities of leadership and the most enlightened products of scholarship. For this Nation's strength and security are not easily or cheaply obtained, nor are they quickly and simply explained. There are many kinds of strength and no one kind will suffice. Overwhelming nuclear strength cannot stop a guerrilla war. Formal pacts of alliance cannot stop internal subversion. Displays of material wealth cannot stop the disillusionment of diplomats subjected to discrimination.His speech continues, addressing the realities face by the US in 1963 -- please read it for the specific details.
Above all, words alone are not enough. The United States is a peaceful nation. And where our strength and determination are clear, our words need merely to convey conviction, not belligerence. If we are strong, our strength will speak for itself. If we are weak, words will be of no help.
I realize that this Nation often tends to identify turning-points in world affairs with the major addresses which preceded them. But it was not the Monroe Doctrine that kept all Europe away from this hemisphere--it was the strength of the British fleet and the width of the Atlantic Ocean. It was not General Marshall's speech at Harvard which kept communism out of Western Europe--it was the strength and stability made possible by our military and economic assistance.
I am quoting extensive portions to show that JFK established a doctrine of freedom for all in the world that continues unabated to this day and the Bush presidency. Was this said by Kennedy on that day or Bush last week:
Our adversaries have not abandoned their ambitions, our dangers have not diminished, our vigilance cannot be relaxed. But now we have the military, the scientific, and the economic strength to do whatever must be done for the preservation and promotion of freedom.Students of JFK know it is his speech, but it easily could be George W. Bush.
That strength will never be used in pursuit of aggressive ambitions--it will always be used in pursuit of peace. It will never be used to promote provocations--it will always be used to promote the peaceful settlement of disputes.
We in this country, in this generation, are--by destiny rather than choice--the watchmen on the walls of world freedom. We ask, therefore, that we may be worthy of our power and responsibility, that we may exercise our strength with wisdom and restraint, and that we may achieve in our time and for all time the ancient vision of "peace on earth, good will toward men." That must always be our goal, and the righteousness of our cause must always underlie our strength. For as was written long ago: 'except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.'
The second was an address to a political convention, showing the progress his administration had made on his goals:
(emphasis added -- hard to believe this was before a Democratic political convention.)
We pledged to increase America's strength against its enemies, its prestige among its friends, and the opportunities it offered to its citizens. Those pledges have been fulfilled. ...I pledged . . . to restore world confidence in the vitality and energy of American society. That pledge has been fulfilled. We have won the respect of allies and adversaries alike through our determined stand on behalf of freedom around the world, from West Berlin to Southeast Asia--through our resistance to Communist intervention in the Congo and Communist missiles in Cuba-- . . . America . . . has shown that it cares about the needy of its own and other lands, . . . America . . . has shown that freedom is the way to the future, . . . America . . . is known to be first in the effort for peace as well as preparedness. I pledged . . . that the businessmen of this State and Nation--particularly the small businessman who is the backbone of our economy--would move ahead as our economy moved ahead. That pledge has been fulfilled. Business profits--having risen 43 percent in 2 years--now stand at a record high; and businessmen all over America are grateful for liberalized depreciation for the investment tax credit, and for our programs to increase their markets at home as well as abroad. We have proposed a massive tax reduction . . . I pledged . . .that this country would no longer tolerate the lowest rate of economic growth of any major industrialized nation in the world. That pledge has been and is being fulfilled. In less than 3 years our national output will shortly have risen by a record $100 billion--industrial production is Up 22 percent, personal income is up 16 percent. And the Wall Street Journal pointed out a short time ago that the United States now leads most of Western Europe in the rate of business expansion and the margin of corporate profits. . . . . .I pledged . . . to build a national defense which was second to none--a position I said, which is not "first, but," not "first, if," not "first, when," but first--period. That pledge has been fulfilled. In the past 3 years we have increased our defense budget by over 20 percent; increased the program for acquisition of Polaris submarines from 24 to 41; increased our Minuteman missile purchase program by more than 75 percent; doubled the number of strategic bombers and missiles on alert; doubled the number of nuclear weapons available in the strategic alert forces; increased the tactical nuclear forces deployed in Western Europe by 60 percent; added 5 combat ready divisions and 5 tactical fighter wings to our Armed Forces; increased our strategic airlift capabilities by 75 percent; and increased our special counter-insurgency forces by 600 percent. We can truly say today, with pride in our voices and peace in our hearts, that the defensive forces of the United States are, without a doubt, the most powerful and resourceful forces anywhere in the world.
The following was to be his concluding remarks to this convention. Perhaps we should remember this as his farewell address:
For this country is moving and it must not stop. It cannot stop. For this is a time for courage and a time for challenge. Neither conformity nor complacency will do. Neither the fanatics nor the faint-hearted are needed. And our duty as a party is not to our party alone, but to the Nation, and, indeed., to all mankind. Our duty is not merely the preservation of political power but the preservation of peace and freedom.
So let us not be petty when our cause is so great. Let us not quarrel amongst ourselves when our Nation's future is at stake. Let us stand together with renewed confidence in our cause--united in our heritage of the past and our hopes for the future--and determined that this land we love shall lead all mankind into new frontiers of peace and abundance.