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Robert F. Kennedy
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We can perhaps remember, even if only for a time, that those who live with us are our brothers; that they share with us the same short moment of life; that they seek, as we do, nothing but the chance to live out their lives in purpose and happiness, winning what satisfaction and fulfillment they can.  

Surely this bond of common faith, this bond of common goal, can begin to teach us something. Surely, we can learn, at least, to look at those around us as fellow men. And surely we can begin to work a little harder to bind up the wounds among us and to become in our own hearts brothers and countrymen once again.
 

Robert Kennedy
1966

The one thing you could count on with Robert Kennedy was that he would speak his mind. He held nothing back, for fear of the audience or how a particular subject may be received. Therefore, to determine his position on a particular policy, one had only to refer to his speeches for clarification.

Vietnam
Our brave young men are dying in the swamps of Southeast Asia.  Which of them might have written a poem?  Which of them might have cured cancer?  Which of them might have played in a World Series or given us the gift of laughter from the stage
or helped build a bridge or a university? 
Which of them would have taught a child to read?  It is our responsibility to let these men live....It is indecent if they die because of the empty vanity of their country.
Robert Kennedy
March 24, 1968


Courage
Few men are willing to brave the disapproval of their fellows, the censure of their colleagues, the wrath of their society. Moral courage is a rarer commodity than bravery in battle or great intelligence. Yet it is the one essential, vital quality for those who seek to change a world which yields most painfully to change.
Robert Kennedy
1966

Peace
I do not want to simply withdraw or surrender in Viet Nam. But for two years I have been concerned that our course would not bring victory; would not bring peace; would not stop bloodshed; and would not advance the interests of the United States. I have been concerned that we could fight for a government which would not end its widespread corruption; would not make its best efforts in its own defense; and would watch as more American lives are lost. These brave men fighting this difficult war must know that we are vigorously pursuing an honorable peace.

 


Robert Kennedy


1968 Presidential Campaign Brochure


Civil Rights
For on this generation of Americans falls the full burden of proving to the world that we really mean it when we say all men are created equal and are equal before the law. All of us might wish at times that we lived in a more tranquil world, but we don't. And if our times are difficult and perplexing, so are they challenging and filled with opportunity.
Robert Kennedy
Athens, Georgia
May 6, 1961

Leadership
We must close the gaps between black and white, rich and poor, young and old in this country and around the world. I run for the Presidency because I want the United States of America to stand for hope instead of despair, for the reconciliation of men instead of the growing risk of world war
Robert Kennedy
1968 Presidential Campaign Brochure

Poverty
We must begin to bring the talents, skill and resources of the private enterprise system into the struggle to end poverty and deprivation, in urban and rural America. Government must join in a partnership with industry, permitting private enterprise to help solve the problems of housing and unemployment in our deprived areas.
Robert Kennedy
1968 Presidential Campaign Brochure

Indifference
There is another kind of violence, slower but just as deadly destructive as the bomb or the shot in the night. This is the violence of institutions; indifference and inaction and slow decay.
Robert Kennedy
Truth
Fear not the path of truth for the lack of people walking on it. Robert Kennedy
June 6th, 1968
Communism
The greatest enemy of freedom today of course is communism a tyranny that holds it s captives in a vice like subjugation on a global scale. For nearly twenty years we and our Allies have striven to halt the Communist advance. But one of the weaknesses in our common front has been the restraint on freedom sponsored by our Allies and accepted by ourselves. The conduct of our foreign affairs should be consistently based on our recognition of every man's right to be economically and politically free. This is the American tradition.
Robert Kennedy
March 17, 1964


Taxes
We must reform the flagrant tax loopholes which enable too many Americans to escape their fair share of the cost of shaping our nation's destiny.
Robert Kennedy 1968 Presidential Campaign Brochure

Poverty
Half a million American children suffer from serious malnutrition, and I have seen of them, some of them, I have seen personally some of them starving in the state of Mississippi, their stomachs bloated, their bones and their bodies scarred, many of them retarded for life. Up to 80 percent of some Indian tribes are unemployed. And the suicide rate among the high school children is shockingly high, dozens of times the national average. For the black American of the urban ghetto, we really do not know what its unemployment rate is, because from one-fifth to one-third of these adult men in these areas have literally dropped out from sight, uncounted and unknown by all of the agencies of government, drifting about the cities, without hope and without family and without a future. By these standards, we are not so rich a country.
Robert Kennedy
January 4, 1968

Greatness
Few will have the greatness to bend history itself, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total of all those acts will be written the history of this generation.
Robert Kennedy

Agriculture
Agriculture is the root of our economic strength, with twice the workers and four times the assets of any other industry -- yet more and more farmers are being forced off the land. In parts of America, farm income is one-third to one-fourth off. We must bring greater income to farmers and provide realistic credit in adequate amounts, especially for the small farmer and the young man beginning an agricultural life.
Robert Kennedy
1968 Presidential Campaign Brochure

Equality
We must recognize the full human equality of all our people - before God, before the law, and in the councils of government. We must do this not because it is economically advantageous - although it is; not because the laws of God and man command it - although they do command it; not because
people in other lands wish it so. We must do it for the single and fundamental reason that it is the right thing to do.
Robert Kennedy

1968 Election
These are not ordinary times, and this is not an ordinary election. At stake is not simply the leadership of our party or even our country -- it is our right to moral leadership on this planet.
Robert Kennedy
1968 Presidential Campaign Brochure

Gross National Product
Too much and too long we seem to have surrendered community excellence and community values to the mere accumulation of material things…Our gross national product does not allow for the health of our children, the quality of their education, or the joy of their play.  It does not include the beauty of our poetry or the strength of our marriages, the intelligence of our public debate or the integrity of our public officials.  It measures neither our wit nor our courage, neither our wisdom nor our learning, neither our compassion nor our devotion to our country; it measures everything, in short, except that which makes life worth while.  And it can tell us everything about America except why we are proud that we are Americans.
Robert Kennedy
University of Kansas
March 18, 1967

Children
Our answer is the world's hope; it is to rely on youth. The cruelties and obstacles of this swiftly changing planet will not yield to obsolete dogmas and outworn slogans.  It cannot be moved by those who cling to a present which is already dying, who prefer the illusion of security to the excitement of danger. It demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind, a temper of the will, a quality of the imagination, a predominance of courage over timidity, of the appetite for adventure over the love of ease.
Robert Kennedy
Cape Town, South Africa
June 6, 1966


Environment
We in Government have begun to recognize the critical work which must be done at all levels—local, State and Federal—in ending the pollution of our waters.
Robert Kennedy

Violence
Rising crime rates and community violence are an intolerable threat to every American, black or white. A violent few cannot be permitted to threaten the well being of the many. We must wipe this stain of violence from our land.

But punishment is not prevention. We will reestablish our domestic tranquility only when we resume our march toward full constitutional justice -- so that every American citizen has a fair chance at a job and an education and a decent place to live.
Robert Kennedy
1968 Presidential Campaign Brochure


Future
The future is not a gift: it is an achievement. Every generation helps make its own future. This is the essential challenge of the present. The future does not belong to those who are content with today, apathetic toward common problems and their fellow man alike, timid and fearful in the face of bold projects and new ideas. Rather, it will belong to those who can blend passion, reason and courage in a personal commitment to the great enterprises and ideals of American society.
Robert Kennedy

Right to Vote
An integral part of all this is that we make a total effort to guarantee the ballot to every American of voting age - in the North as well as in the South. The right to vote is the easiest of all rights to grant. The spirit of our democracy, the letter of our Constitution and our laws require that there be no further delay in the achievement of full freedom to vote for all. Our system depends upon the fullest participation of all its citizens.
Robert Kennedy
University of Georgia Law School
Athens, Georgia
May 6, 1961

Leadership
People are selfish, but they can also be compassionate and generous, and they care about the country. But not when they feel threatened. That's why this is such a
crucial time. We can go in either direction. But if we don't make a choice soon, it will be too late to turn things around. I think people are willing to make the right choice. But they need leadership. They're hungry for  leadership.
Robert Kennedy
Law
We know that it is law which enables men to live together, that creates order out of chaos. We know that law is the glue that holds civilization together. And we know that if one man's rights are denied, the rights of all others are endangered.
Robert F. Kennedy
May 5, 1961