I thought it might be a good idea to occassionally post great progressive speeches here. This is the great “The Dream will never die” speech by Teddy Kennedy at the 1980 Democratic Convention.
The speech is usually remember for its closing passage:
“For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die.”
Reading it today, however. i thought the following passage was quite apposite:
“We must not permit the Republicans to seize and run on the slogans of prosperity. We heard the orators at their convention all trying to talk like Democrats. They proved that even Republican nominees can quote Franklin Roosevelt to their own purpose.
The Grand Old Party thinks it has found a great new trick, but 40 years ago an earlier generation of Republicans attempted the same trick. And Franklin Roosevelt himself replied, “Most Republican leaders have bitterly fought and blocked the forward surge of average men and women in their pursuit of happiness. Let us not be deluded that overnight those leaders have suddenly become the friends of average men and women.”
“You know,” he continued, “very few of us are that gullible.” And four years later when the Republicans tried that trick again, Franklin Roosevelt asked, “Can the Old Guard pass itself off as the New Deal? I think not. We have all seen many marvelous stunts in the circus, but no performing elephant could turn a handspring without falling flat on its back.”
Great speech, and an fantastic defence of progressive values at a time when they were deeply politically unfashionable.