Back when American politicians would speak about fundamental issues

Too much and too long, we seem to have surrendered community excellence and community values in the mere accumulation of material things. Our gross national product … if we should judge America by that – counts air pollution and cigarette advertising, and ambulances to clear our highways of carnage. It counts special locks for our doors and the jails for those who break them. It counts the destruction of our redwoods and the loss of our natural wonder in chaotic sprawl. It counts napalm and the cost of a nuclear warhead, and armored cars for police who fight riots in our streets. It counts Whitman’s rifle and Speck’s knife, and the television programs which glorify violence in order to sell toys to our children.

“Yet the 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 worthwhile. And it tells us everything about America except why we are proud that we are Americans.”

Robert F. Kennedy Address, University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas, March 18, 1968

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One thought on “Back when American politicians would speak about fundamental issues

  1. That speech was taken three months before he was killed in California, and Nixon ended up winning the election and escalating our involvement in Vietnam.

    Robert Kennedy was one of the few politicians who wanted to improve inner cities, poverty, and human rights in general. Of course he had his flaws which made him human.

    In my opinion, the goverment today is without a doubt one of the most inactive we have ever had. People elect members for the wrong reasons and do not research the candidates.

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