|Sen. Robert F. Kennedy|
My confidence is based upon an excerpt from RFK’s speech at the University of Kansas (18 March 1968). It was a life-affirming speech about a better America and a measure of what "makes life worthwhile".
RFK said, “…we can do better in this country.”
He said: “…the fact is, that men have lost confidence in themselves, in each other, it is confidence which has sustained us so much in the past - rather than answer the cries of deprivation and despair - cries which the President's Commission on Civil Disorders tells us could split our nation finally asunder - rather than answer these desperate cries, hundreds of communities and millions of citizens are looking for their answers, to force and repression and private gun stocks - so that we confront our fellow citizen across impossible barriers of hostility and mistrust and again, I don't believe that we have to accept that. I don't believe that it's necessary in the United States of America. I think that we can work together - I don't think that we have to shoot at each other, to beat each other, to curse each other and criticize each other, I think that we can do better in this country. And that is why I run for President of the United States.“
As Jon Meacham explains in, The Soul of America The Battle for Our Better Angels, we need “… a president of the United States with temperamental disposition to speak to the country’s hopes rather than to its fears.”
Had he lived, I believe RFK would have tried to “speak to our hopes” as a nation.
Robert F. Kennedy - University of Kansas Address - 18 March 1968