tv 1968 Richard Nixon Speech CSPAN July 3, 2016 10:00am-10:45am EDT
in-depth study shows about reform and representation changed over time. [applause]. >> you are wanting american history tv all weekend and every weekend on c-span3. like us on facebook at c-span history. >> each week until the 2016 election, wrote to the white house rewind brings archival coverage of presidential races. richard nixon excess his party's presidential nomination at the
republican national convention in miami beach, florida. in his speech, the former vice president says he would restore law and order following a year of civil and political unrest. he pledged to work to an honorable end to the vietnam war. mr. nixon defeated hubert humphrey in a close general election with less than 1% of the popular vote separating the two. independent candidate george wallace came in third. this speech is just over 40 minutes. our coverage is from nbc news. ♪ [applause] [laughter] mr. nixon: thank you very much. much.you very thank you. thank you very much.
16 years ago, i stood before this convention to accept your nomination as the running mate of one of the greatest americans of our time or of any time, dwight d. eisenhower. [applause] mr. nixon: eight years ago, i had the highest honor of accepting your nomination for president of the united states. [applause] mr. nixon: tonight, i again proudly accept the nomination for president of the united states. [applause]
mr. nixon: i have news for you. this time, there is a difference. this time, we are going to win. [applause] mr. nixon: we're going to win for a number of reasons. first, a personal one. , critical in the walter reed hospital tonight. i have talked with mrs. eisenhower on the telephone. she says his heart is with us. she says there is nothing that he lives more for, and it was nothing that would lift him more than for us to win in november, and i say let us win this one for ike. [applause]
mr. nixon: we are going to win because this great convention has demonstrated as a nation that the republican party has the leadership, the platform, and the purpose that america needs. we are going to win because you have nominated as my running mate a statesman of the first rank it will be a great campaigner and one who is fully qualified to undertake the new responsibilities i should give to the vice president of the united states. [applause] mr. nixon: he is a man who fully shares my conviction and yours that after 40 years one power has gone from these cities and states to the government in washington, d.c., it is time to
have power go back from washington to the states and cities of this country all over america. [applause] we are going to win because at a time america cries out with unity that this administration has destroyed the republican party after a spirited contest for its nomination for president and vice president stands united before the nation tonight. [applause] mr. nixon: i congratulate governor reagan. [applause] mr. nixon: i congratulate governor rockefeller. [applause]
i congratulate governor romney. [applause] congratulate all of those who have made the hard fight night have for this they have -- fight for this nomination, and i know you will find for the great victory over party will win in november because we will be together in the election campaign. [applause] mr. nixon: a party that can unite itself, will unite america. [applause] americans,my fellow most important, we are going to win because our cause is right. we make history tonight, not for ourselves, but for the choice we be then 1968 will
future for the world, and the question answer tonight, can american meat this great challenge -- meet this great challenge? for a few moments, let us look at america, let us listen to america, and find the answer to that question. as we look at america, we see cities enveloped in smoke and flames. we hear sirens in the night. we see americans dying on distant battlefields abroad. we see americans hating each other, fighting each other, killing each other at home. as we see and hear these things, millions of americans cry out in english. did we come all this way for this? did americans die in normandy and valley forge for this? listen to the answers to those questions. it is another voice. it is a quiet voice in the
tumult of a shouting. it is a great of the majority of americans, the non-shouters. they are not guilty of the crime that plays the land. black, white, young, old, they worked at america's factories, the right america's businesses, they serve in government. they provide most of the soldiers who died to keep us free. they give drive to the spirit of america. they give lift to the american dream. they give steel to the backbone of america. they are good people. they are decent people. they worked, and they saved, and y their taxes, and they care. this country will not be a good place for any of us to live in a less it is a good place for all of us to live in -- in unless it is a good place for all of us to live in. [applause] to youon: this, i say
tonight is the real voice of america. in this year, 1968, this is the message i that will broadcast to americans in the world. let us not forget the fighter folks, america is a great nation, and america is great because the people are great weh winston churchill saying have not journeyed all this way across centuries, across oceans, across mountains, across the prairies because we are made of sugar candy. america is in trouble today not because the people have failed , but because the leaders have failed, and american needs the leaders to match the greatness of the people. [applause]
mr. nixon: this great group of americans, the forgotten americans and others, know that the great question americans must answer by their votes in november is this, when we should continue for four more years the policies of the last five years, and this is their answer, and this is my answer to that question. when the strongest nation in the world can be tied down for four years in a war in vietnam with no end in sight, when the richest nation in the world cannot manage its own economy, when a nation with the greatest tradition in the rule of law is plagued by lawlessness, when a country known for quality of opportunity is torn by violence, and when the president of the united states cannot
mr. nixon: thank you. i fellow americans, tonight, accept the challenge and the commitment to provide the new leadership for america, and i ask you to accept it with me. let us accept this challenge not as a grim duty, but as an exciting adventure in which we are convinced to help a great nation realize its destiny, and let us begin by committing th, to seeto the tru= it like it is and tell it like it is. to find the truth, to speak the truth, and to live the truth. that is what we will do. [applause] mr. nixon: we have had an update promises and little action -- had enough of big promises and
little action. the time has come in america. [applause] notnixon: so tonight, i do promise the millennium in the morning. i do not promise we can eradicate poverty and end discrimination and eliminate all danger of war. i do promise action. a new policy for peace abroad, a new policy for peace and progress and justice at home. look at our problems abroad. do you realize that we face the stark truth that we are worse off in every area of the world tonight than we were when president eisenhower left office eight years ago? that is the record. [applause] mr. nixon: there is only one answer to set the record of failure, and that is a complete housecleaning of those responsible for the failures of that record. [applause]
mr. nixon: the answer is the complete reappraisal of america's policies in every section of the world. we shall begin with vietnam. we all hope in this room that there is a chance the current negotiations may bring an honorable and to the war -- end to the war. thisll say nothing in campaign that may destroy that chance, but if the war is not ended when the people choose in november, the choice will be clear. here it is. for four years, this administration has had at its disposal the greatest advantage any nation has had over another in history. for four years, america's fighting men have set a record for courage and sacrifice unsurpassed in our history. , never has so much military and economic and diplomatic power been used so ineffectively. if after all of this time and after only sacrifice and all of
the support there is still no end in sight, i say the time has come for the american people to turn to new leadership not tied to the mistakes and policies of the past. that is what we offer you, america. [applause] i pledge to you tonight that the first priority, or a of our next administration, will to be bring an honorable end to the war in vietnam. [applause] we shall not stop there. we need a policy to prevent more vietnams. all of america's peacekeeping institutions, at all of america's foreign commitments must be appraised. years, rec as provided more than $150 billion in foreign aid than any nation
of ron. in korea -- in any nation abroad. in korea, america did the most to help them defend themselves against aggression.we are a rich country, a strong nation, a populous nation, but there are 200 million americans, and there are 2 billion people that live in the free world. i say that time has come for other nations of the free world to bare their fair share of the burden of defending peace and freedom around the world. [applause] mr. nixon: one i called for is not a new isolationism. it is a new internationalism, in which america enlists its allies in friends around the world struggles in which their interest is as great as ours.
now, to the leaders of the communist world, we say, after an era of confrontation, the time has come for an era of negotiations, where the world's superpowers is concerned, there is no acceptable alternative to peaceful negotiations because this will be a period negotiation. we shall restore the strength of america so we shall always negotiate from strength, and never from weakness. [applause] mr. nixon: as we seek peace through negotiations, let our goals be made clear. we do not seek domination over any other country. ideas,eve deeply in our but we believe they should travel on their own power, and on the power of our arms. we shall never be belligerent,
but we shall be as firm in defending our system as they are and expanding their -- in expanding bears. -- theirs. this should be peaceful. we extend the hand of friendship to all people, to the russian people, to the chinese people, to all people in the world, and we shall work toward a goal of an open world, open sky, open cities, open hearts, and open minds. the next eight years, my friends -- [applause] mr. nixon: this period in which we are answering, i think we will have the greatest opportunity for world peace, but also face the greatest danger of world war in any time in our history. i believe we must have peace. i believe we can have peace, by don't underestimate the difficulty of this task.
because you see the art of preserving peace is greater than that of waging war and much more demanding. but i am proud to have served in and didistration which one war and kept the nation out of other wars for eight years. [applause] mr. nixon: and it is that kind of experience and that kind of leadership that america needs today and that we will get to america with your help. [applause] mr. nixon: as we commit to new policies for america tonight, let me make one further pledge.for five years whendly a day has gone by we have not read or heard a report of the american flag being stood on, an embassy being stoned, a library being burned,
or an investor being assaulted somewhere in the world. in each incident, the ultimate occurs, and ibly say to you tonight that went respect for the united states of ow that aalls so l power like north korea will seize an american naval vessel in the high seas, it is time for new leadership to restore respect to the united states of america. [applause]
mr. nixon: thank you very much. my friends, america is a great nation. it is time we started to act like a great nation around the world. when weonic to note were a small nation, weak militarily and were economically, america was respected. the reason was that america stood for something more powerful than military strength or economic wealth. was aerican revolution shining example of freedom in action which captured the imagination of the world. america is an example to be avoided and not followed, a nation that cannot keep the present home will not be trusted
to keep the peace abroad. a president who is not treated with respect at home will not be treated with respect ofabroad. if we are to restore prestige and respect for america abroad, the place to begin is at home in the united states of america. [applause] mr. nixon: my friends, we live in an age of revolution in america in the world. to find answers to our problems, let us turn to a revolution, a revolution that will never go. the world's greatest continuing revolution, the american revolution. the american revolution was and is dedicated to progress, but our founders recognized that the first requisite of progress is order.
there is no quarrel between progress and order because neither can exist without the other. so let us have order in america, not be order that suppresses and discourages change, but the order that guarantees the right to dissent and provides the basis for change. tonight, it is time for honest talk about the problem of order in the united states. let us always respect as i do our courts and those who serve on them, but let us also recognize that some of our courts and their decisions have gone too far in weakening the piec these forces against the criminals in this country -- the peace forces against the criminals in this country. [applause] let those who have the responsibility to enforce our laws and judges who have a
responsibility to interpret them be dedicated to the great principles of civil rights. most will recognize the first civil right of every american is to be free from domestic violence, and that right must be guaranteed in this country. [applause] mr. nixon: if we are to restore order and respect in this country, there is one place we will begin. we are going to have a new attorney general of the united states of america. [applause] mr. nixon: i pledge to you that our new attorney general will be president of the united states to launch a war against organized crime in this country. i pledge to you that the new atorney general will be
belligerent against the loan sharks and racketeers that rob the urban poor in our cities. i pledge to you the new attorney general will open a new front against the narcotics sellers who are threatening the lives of our children in this country. [applause] mr. nixon: because my friends, let this message come through clear from what i say tonight. time is running out for the merchants of crime and corruption in american society. not goingf crime is to be the wave of the future in the united states of america. [applause] we shall reestablish freedom from the air in america so that america can take the lead in reestablishing freedom from fear in the world. to those who say law and order is the code word for racism,
states of america. [applause] mr. nixon: to put it bluntly, we are on the wrong road. it is time to take a new road to progress. again, we turn to the american revolution for our answers. our own property did not begin five years ago in this country. it began when this country began. it has been the most successful war on poverty in the history of the nation. there is more well in the nation today than in any nation in the world. we are a great nation. we must never forget how we became great. america is a great nation today not because of what government did for people, but because of what people did for themselves over 190 years in this country. [applause] mr. nixon: so it is time to apply the lessons of the american revolution to our
present problem. let us increase the wealth of america so we can provide more generously for the needy and aging and all those who cannot help themselves. for those who are able to help themselves, what we need are not more millions on welfare, but more on payrolls in america. [applause] mr. nixon: instead of government jobs and government housing and government welfare, let us government in list in this battle the greatest engine of progress ever developed in the history of man, american private enterprise. let us in list in this great americansmillions of in volunteer organizations will bring dedication to this task that no amount of money can ever buy. let us build bridges my , my friends. let us build bridges
to connect black america and white america. [applause] , theyxon: black america do not want more government programs which perpetuate dependency. they don't want to be a colony in a nation. they want the pride and self respect and dignity that can only come if they have an equal homes, toown that own own their own businesses, to be managers, to have a piece of the action in the exciting adventures of private enterprise. [applause] mr. nixon: i pledge to you tonight that we shall have new programs which will provide an equal chance. -- that equal chance.
we make great history tonight. we do not fire a shot heard round the world, but we shall light the lamp of hope in millions of homes across the land in which there is no hope today, and that great light shining out from america will again become a "for all of those hope for all of those around the world. i believe historians will recall that 1968 marked the beginning of the american generation in world history. just to be a life america, just to be alive at this time, is an experience unparalleled in history. here is where the action is. 32 years from now, most of americans living today will celebrate a new year that comes once in a thousand years.
eight years from now and the second term of the next president, we will celebrate the 200th anniversary of the american revolution. by our decision in this election, all of us here, all of you listening on television and radio, we will determine what kind of nation america will be on its 200th birthday. we will determine what kind of a world america will live in in the year 2000. day i seee kind of for america eight years from now. day when americans are once again proud of their flag. once again at home and abroad, it is honored. i see a day when the president of the united states is respected and his office is honored because it is worthy of respect and worthy of honor. i see a day when every child in this land, regardless of background, has a chance with
the best education that our wisdom and schools can provide an equal chance to go just as high. when life in rural america attracts people to the country rather than driving them away. i see a day when we can look back on massive breakthroughs in solving the problems of slums and pollution and traffic, which are choking our cities to death. i see a day when our senior citizens and millions of others can plan for the future with the assurance that government is not going to rob them of their savings by destroying the value of their dollar. [applause] i see a day that we will again have freedom from fear in america and freedom from fear and the world. i see a day when our nation is at peace, and the world is at
peace. everyone on earth, those who hope, those who aspire will look to america as realized and dreams achieved. my fellow americans, this is the cause i ask you to vote for. this is the cause i ask you to work for. this is the cause i ask you to commit for not just her victory in november, but beyond that because the time when one man or if you leaders can save america is gone. we need tonight nothing less than the total commitment and total mobilization of the american people if we are going to succeed. butrnment can pass laws, respect for law can come only from people who take the law into their hearts and minds and not into their hands. [applause] government can provide opportunity, but opportunity means nothing unless
people are prepared to seize it. a president can ask for , butciliation reconciliation comes only from the hearts of people. tonight, therefore, as we make this commitment, let us look into our hearts, and let us look down into the faces of our children. worldre anything in the that should stand in their way? none of the old hatreds mean anything when you look down into the faces of our children. in their faces is our hope, our love, and our courage. tonight, i see the faces of tomorrow. he lives in a great city, he is black, or white, he is mexican, italian, polish. none of that matters. what matters is he is an american child. that child in that great city is more important than any politician's promise.
he is america. he is a poet. he is a scientist. he is a great teacher. he is a proud professor. he is every thing we hope to be and everything we dare to dream to be. d, sleeps a sleepless childhoo he yet when he awakens, awakens to a nightmare of poverty, neglect, and despair. he fails in school. he ends up on welfare. for him, the american system is one that believes its stomach and starves its soul. it breaks his heart, and in the end, it may take his life. the millions of children in this ridgeland, this is their prospects for the future, but this is only part of what i see in america. i see another child tonight.
, and he the train go by dreams of faraway places where he would like to go. seems like an impossible dream. but he is helped on his journey through life. a father who had to work before he finished the sixth grade sacrificed everything he has so that his sons can go to college. a gentle quaker mother with a passionate concern for peace quietly wept when he went to war, but she understood why he had to go. a great teacher, a remarkable football coach, an inspirational minister encouraged him on his way. loyal children stood by him in victory and also in defeat. in his chosen profession of politics, there were scores and then hundreds, then thousands, finally, millions.
ago, the: 108 years newly elected president of the united states, abraham lincoln, left springfield, illinois, never to return again. he spoke to his friends gathered at the railroad station. listen to his words. today, i leave you. . go to assume a greater task the great god who helped him will help me. without a great assistance, i will surely fail. with it, i cannot fail. abraham lincoln lost his life, but he did not fail. the next president of the united states will face challenges, which in some ways will be
greater than those of washington or lincoln because for the first time in our nation's history, and american president will not only face the problem of , butring peace of abroad of restoring peace at home. without god's help and your help, we will surely fail. with god's help and your help, we shall surely succeed. long,low americans, the dark night for america is about to end. [applause] mr. nixon: the time has come. the time has come for us to leave the valley of despair and climb the mountain so that we may see the glory of the dawn. a new day for america, and a new dawn for peace and freedom in the world. [applause]
>> wrote to the white house rewind continues with hubert humphrey accepting his party's presidential nomination at the 1968 democratic convention in chicago. the primary season was a turbulent one for the democrats with president lyndon johnson dropping out of the race and senator robert kennedy's assassination. violent demonstrations outside the convention hall overshadow the proceedings as anti-vietnam war protesters clashed with police and the national guard. vice president humphrey lost to republican richard nixon in a close general election with less than 1% of the popular vote separating the two. independent candidate george wallace finished third in the race. this portion of the speech is just under 40 minutes. our coverage is from nbc news. ♪ hubert humphrey: