25 juni, 2008

1968: de kandidaat sprak

Is dit waarachtig een toespraak van senator Robert Kennedy, gehouden aan de Universiteit van Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas, 18 maart 1968 - grotendeels zoals opgetekend door Tom Hayden?
Kom hier nog eens om - afgezien van de inhoud die niet direct marktconform is, in een tijd waarin alleen lege platitudes geuit kunnen worden door presidentskandidaten? Jimmy Carter was de laatste die nog iets opmerkelijks of slims te zeggen heeft gehad, van de mainstream kandidaten - toch ook alweer een tijd geleden.
De intelligentste president die de VS nooit gehad hebben? Enfin, Robert Kennedy:

We will never find a purpose for our nation nor personal satisfaction in a mere continuation of economic progress, in an endless amassing of worldly goods.
We cannot measure national spirit on the basis of the Dow Jones Average, nor national achievement by the Gross Domestic Product.
For the Gross National Product includes air pollution and ambulances to clear our highways of carnage.
It counts special locks for our doors and jails for the people who break them. The Gross National Product includes the destruction of the redwoods and the death of Lake Superior. It grows with the production of napalm and missiles and nuclear warheads, and armoured cars for police who fight riots in our streets. It counts Whitman's rifle and Speck's knife, and the television programmes which glorify violence to sell goods to our children.
And if the Gross National Product includes all this, there is much that it does not comprehend. It does not allow for the health of our families, the quality of their education, or the joy of their play. It is indifferent to the decency of our factories and the safety of our streets alike. 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.
The Gross National Product 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 can tell us everything about America except why we are proud that we are Americans.

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