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Nomination by Archibald Cox of Morris K. Udall to be President of the United

Mr. Cox. Mr. Chairman, Delegates, and ladies and gentlemen.

This year, there came out of the politically small State of Arizona a candidate beloved among his constituents, admired by his colleagues in the House of Representatives. but little known to the wider public.

He knew that the chief need of the Nation was to restore confidence in the honor of Government, and in the honesty of the political system.

He knew that enduring trust in Government could not be restored by the politics of image. That the responsibility and opportunity of a candidate, like public officials, is not to dictate to us, nor to tell us what the polls say a majority of us want to hear, it is to help us work out together the new meaning amidst the complexity of modern life of the ancient promise of liberty, equality, dignity and opportunity for all men and women, to restate that meaning and to help us find together ways of converting the promise into reality.

The press marked the little-known candidate a loser. By the count of votes, he did come in second, but he succeeded in the larger aim. His defeat was a greater triumph than victory, for he proved that a public figure, even in a long and heated political contest can exemplify the best of the American spirit, that honor need not yield to ambition, that open-mindedness and willingness to listen are not inconsistent with devotion to principle, that civility can accompany tenacity, and that humility should go hand and hand with power.

By example he dissipated the despair and raised the spirits of millions of young men and women wishing to enter politics as an honorable profession.

With graceful humor in the face of defeat, he reminded us all that we are all Americans, and in the end are all engage in a joint adventure, joint in the sense that even those with whom we most strongly disagree are not enemies, as the Nixon White House erroneously supposed, but fellow voyagers in the same boat, where the

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neglect of anyone is a wound to every other. Joint in the sense that lying, snooping, cheating, deviousness and other breaches of reason and civility which destroy our mutual trust can never be justified, by whomever used and regardless of the objective.

Joint, too, in the sense that none can move very far toward his personal goals unless the vessel moves, and the vessel cannot move if some voyagers pull ahead, others backwater, still other demand a new boat, and others drop out to go fishing.

In honoring this gallant candidate. we rededicate ourselves to his ideals and to this high adventure.

Ladies and gentlemen. I am proud to nominate for the Presidency of the United States. and I present to you now, the Honorable Morris K. Udall of Arizona. [Applause]

[A demonstration occurred on the floor.]

Address of the Honorable Morris K. Udall, A Representative in Congress 

from the

State of Arizona

Mr. UDALL. Thank you, thank you very much.

If this goes on much longer, I just might accept the nomination, and I know that -- [Applause]

I am not sure the Georgia folks would appreciate that, and besides, this is a night for peaches and peanuts, and not a very good night for cactus. [Applause]

So let me say just a few things to this Convention. We are a big, brawling political Party, and we fight. Somebody said that when Democrats assemble a firing squad, they always gather in a circle. [General laughter and applause]

But when we get together, watch out, and tonight we are together, and I am up here to see that in this critical next 100 days this Party stays together, and that it deliver a beating to those Republicans that they richly deserve, and we are going to give it to them. [Applause]

Before I say what I came to say, I want to thank that good man Archibald Cox--how proud I am to have him place my name in nomination--because he has a special place in our hearts and in our history, and I want to say how proud I am of that army of Udall campaigners who gave us time and money and votes and dedication and saw us through the most second-place finishes in the history of politics. [Applause]

Down in Boot Hill Cemetery in Tombstone there is a grave-marker and all it says on it is "Johnson, he done his damndest", and I guess that is the story of the Udall campaign.

We thought we had a special campaign, old and young. We did our best, and we hit hard, but we hit fair, and we tried to talk

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issues or to talk about change, and we were not afraid to be gentle with each other, and we tried to laugh a bit at ourselves now and then. [Applause]

But it is all over now, and in a few minutes this Convention will vote, and I want that vote to be one of good will and I want it to be of good conscience.

I've got some Delegates at this Convention. [Applause]

I came here to authorize every Delegate in this hall elected under my banner to cast the vote of his conscience and to vote as they wish, and I release those Delegates to do that now. [Applause]

For myself, those who know me, as I leave this Convention Hall tonight, I'm going to have on one of those green buttons that dogged me all over America -[Applause]

Jimmy, if you are listening tonight, if I can't put your buttons down, I'm going to put them on, I guess. [Applause]

And tomorrow morning, I am enlisting as a soldier in the Carter campaign, and I will do everything I can to have this man elected. [Applause]

We had a big field and we had a lot of tough fights, and I guess sometimes the words got a little loud and a little harsh, but I remembered an old prayer that was written for Democratic primaries, and it said, "Oh Lord, help me to utter words which are gentle and tender, because tomorrow we may have to eat them." [Laughter]

When Jimmy says he'll beat you, he'll beat you, and he beat us fair and square, and I say to America and to all of the delegates here tonight, this is a good man, Jimmy Carter, and he will make a strong President, and I am behind him. [Applause]

Just a few more things, if I may, because what leads us is almost as important as who leads us. We are the oldest political party in the world and we are the oldest party and we survive despite our fights because of two things. In every generation we have to change our country to make it work, and Democrats have always led the change, and in that constant fight between the forces of wealth and privilege and the hopes and needs of our ordinary people, we have been with the people.

And yes, this generation is going to have to build some bridges and climb some mountains as the others have, and in every generation there are the pessimists and the skeptics who say you can't do it, and they are pending a lot of skepticism these days.

They tell those good men, Hubert Humphrey and Congressman Gus Hawkins, it's all right to make speeches about your full employment bill but it costs too much, and it will cause inflation.

They tell us we really can't help our cities, we really can't do tax reform. They tell us that Senator Kennedy's health bill won't fly,

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but we are going to fly the B-1 bomber at a $40 billion tag. [Applause]

This is nonsense, and it's dangerous and our history rejects it, and our Platform rejects it. [Applause]

So I say let the word go out of this Convention this week, we've got a program and it's in our Platform, and it's supported by our candidate, and we say what we mean and we mean what we say, and we say that the working people of America, you are tired of promises and excuses and welfare checks and you want jobs and you are going to have jobs in the next Administration. [Applause]

We say that our minorities and our women have not had a fair shake in America, and they are going to get a fair shake in the next Administration. [Applause]

We say that our cities are rotting and decaying and it's spreading and it's destroying people's lives and hopes, and I saw these cities in Boston and South Bronx and Philadelphia and Detroit, and they're destroying people's lives. And we're going to make our cities work again.

We are going to help them. They need help and our cities are going to have help, and so are the people who live in them. [Applause]

We say here tonight to these oil companies and giant conglomerates that have dominated our lives and fixed our prices and corrupted our politics and exported our jobs, we've had enough, and we're going to have competition in America for a change. [Applause]

If the Party of Theodore Roosevelt, who busted the trusts, won't help us bust them up again--and it won't--then the Party Franklin Roosevelt is going to do the job alone, starting next year. [Applause]

Yes, we say tonight that we reject that bogus idea that somehow we have to choose between jobs and the environment. This Ford Administration is the worst Administration on the environment since Warren G. Harding, and you ought to run him out of office for that alone. [Applause]

We're not going to say to our grandchildren 25 years from now, your air is poisoned and your beaches are fouled and your wilderness areas and your fishing streams are gone, we had to have jobs in our generation.

We are going to have jobs, and we are going to have a clean environment to hand on, both. We are going to do both. [Applause]

Because a people which does not respect its land and its mountains and its beaches and its waters does not respect itself, and we respect our environment, and we are going to preserve it. [Applause]

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Finally, we say here in this Platform and this Convention, we are going to get a handle on this bloated Defense budget and this arms race and we are going to slow them down, because -- [Applause]

Because we believe with Harry Truman that the nations that give the most to the Admirals and Generals and the least to the people are the first nations to fail.

And so, my friends, tonight I say to you one final thing, America is a good country and we are a good people. Our country isn't working very well. We have lost our confidence and we lost our way, and with the help of the Independents and the sensible Republicans that go with us when we are right, we are going to win a victory in November. We are going to turn this country around and we are going to make America work again.

This good country is going to work again, and thank you very much.

*  *  *  *


Keynote Address: The Honorable Morris K. Udall, U.S. Representative from the State of Arizona

Mr. UDALL. I want to thank Geraldine Ferraro who is a great legislator, and a great woman, and a great credit to this country and our party, and after that introduction I can hardly wait to hear what I have to say. And I guess the first thing to say is that we've got a tough fight on our hands, and we'd better get to work right here and right now. [Applause]

I'm sure that those people at home have already heard the news, and I expect most of you have, but just about half an hour ago Senator Kennedy announced that his name would not be placed in nomination.

So I think we know who the next Presidential nominee for our party is going to be tonight. [Cheers and applause]

It isn't in my speech, but I wanted to say something about Senator Kennedy who is a great American and a great man, and who has dominated -- [Cheers and applause]

For four straight elections the polls have shown that he could beat almost any opponent in his own party or the other party. You know, the rarest thing in politics is a true draft, a real, honest draft. I think you have to say looking back this movement that

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started about a year ago, the draft Kennedy movement was as close to a genuine draft as we come in our political system.

And the second thing I wanted to say is that almost anybody can be a good winner. What takes real class and real gallantry is the kind of performance that Senator Kennedy has put on these last months through disappointment of all kinds. [Applause]

A year ago Congressmen and Governors and party leaders all over the country were saying you've got to run, you've got to save us, and Senator Kennedy was beating everyone in the polls at that time. He picked up his sword and said all right, I'll go into battle, and he got out and put on his armor and picked up his sword, and he looked back and a lot of people who'd been telling him to run weren't there any more.

And so I know that he's disappointed, but he fought a great fight, and we all owe him a debt of gratitude. [Applause]

And I remember with tears quite frequently 1968 when two of his brothers had been killed in a period of 5 years, and Senator Edward Kennedy at the memorial for his slain brother Robert finished up with this tribute to Robert Kennedy, which I think applies to his brother Edward.

He said, "This man saw suffering and tried to stop it; he saw war and tried to end it; and he saw injustice and sought to block it." I think that's the kind of performance we've had from Senator Kennedy, and I'm greatly indebted to him. [Applause]

And I want to say something about President Carter and Vice President Mondale. I think no administration in modern times has received less credit for some pretty solid achievements they've developed in the last 3 years. [Applause]

And we'd better start getting that message out to the country because we've got a tough fight on our hands. You know, back in 1928 Governor Al Smith of New York was the first Catholic to ever be nominated to the presidency, and it was a time of bigotry and not a great deal of tolerance, and some people were saying that the Pope already had his bags packed and was ready to come to the United States and take over this country just as soon as Al Smith was elected.

Well, Smith had a pretty good sense of humor and the night that Herbert Hoover clobbered him for the presidency in 1928 Smith told a rally, he said, "I have just sent a cable to the Pope, His Holiness, at the Vatican," and he said, "It reads 'Unpack.'"

Well, I guess we've got a message for Ronald Reagan out there in Pacific Palisades somewhere tonight: Unpack and stop working on that inaugural address because you may not need it. We're going to win. [Cheers and applause]

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And I guess Governor Reagan feels pretty good about the big lead he has in the polls, but so did Tom Dewey, and Governor Reagan, if you're listening out there, we're coming after you and we're going to win. [Cheers and applause]

You need a sense of humor in this business, and Franklin Roosevelt who was hated by a lot of the big business community, and I think saved the free enterprise system, used to tell of the tycoon in the 1930s who went to his Wall Street office each morning, paid a nickel for a newspaper, glanced at the front page, and threw it in the trash.

After about a week the newsboy said sir, why do you waste your money? You buy a paper, look at the front page, curse and throw it in the trash. And the old man said, son, it's none of your business but to be honest, I'm looking for an obituary. And the boy said, but, sir, the obituaries are not found on the front page; they're in the back of the paper. And the old man said, listen, kid, the obituary I'm looking for will be on the front page.

Well, a lot of folks are writing Democratic obituaries for 1980, but let me say that this old Democratic mule isn't that easy to get rid of; and if we handle ourselves right in the next 72 hours, we can come out of here with a fighting chance to put this all together.

This is serious business that we're talking about here tonight, but I can't help kidding my Republican friends a little bit and poking fun at them. These candidates they crank up now and then seem to be recycling old ideas and old candidacies.

You remember back in 1964 when they said that Barry Goldwater had said that he could carry all 13 States, all of the States, all 13 of them? And somebody reported the other day that the Reagan plan was if there was a nuclear attack, he would have Michael Landon get the wagons in a circle the first thing around.

And the other old story, that Ronald Reagan has signed a new film contract with that studio called 18th Century Fox. [Laughter and applause]

A few weeks ago I tuned in on that Republican telethon out in Detroit, and most of you won't believe what was going on. I saw Ronald Reagan, I mean the real Ronald Reagan quoting with approval from Franklin Roosevelt. And that was a little like Spiro Agnew quoting from Henry Kissinger on the need to be humble in public office, I thought. [Laughter and applause]

And you won't believe it but Gerald Ford, I mean Gerald Ford, was out there saying that one of his greatest Presidents that he admired was Harry Truman, and that wasn't quite what he was telling the folks out in Grand Rapids back in the 1940s and '50s.

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But old gave-em-hell Harry was my kind of man and our kind of Democrat. You remember back when he retired Truman was asked why he always gave the Republicans hell? He said I didn't give them hell. I just told the truth and it sounded like hell to the Republicans. [Applause]

Everybody in this hall and everybody out in American knows we're behind, and sure we've got a rough road ahead of us for the next 90 days. But as we gather in this hall, some kind of volume, there are going to be serious things at stake, like the kind of country we're going to have for the next generation, and we'll be selecting the man, the head of the world's most powerful country, the man who will hold in his hand the power of survival or destruction, and not just for the United States but to a larger extent of this entire planet.

Yes, strange things are going on these days in our party, the Democratic Party. We've been chastised by Republicans for as long as I can remember on something called fiscal responsibility. There are great old Republican speeches, you remember about how you can't spend yourself rich, and money doesn't grow on trees, and balance the budget, and reduce the national debt.

The party of Calvin Coolidge has been warning us as long as I can remember that we can't spend ourselves rich and that there no free lunch. And now here in 1980 this party meets out in Detroit, and they tell us that there is a free lunch, that you really can spend yourselves rich.

I held in my hand a few moments ago the Republican platform, this document. It wasn't our platform. It wasn't the libertarians' platform. It wasn't even written by the Trilateral Commission which the John Birch Society is so afraid of. This was the 1980 Republican platform, the party of Harding and Hoover and Coolidge. And it says to Americans, yes, you can spend yourselves rich. This free lunch they're talking about now is this discredited Kemp-Roth-Reagan tax plan, and it's the Republicans' promise to the American people.

Democrats and sensible Republicans and independents, hard-pressed businessmen and every respectable economist, and conservative editors all agree that you can't have $140 billion in tax cuts and $100 billion in new defense spending over the next 3 years and a balanced budget.

I'm not making this up. That's what they promised this American people, and we're going to hang this thing around their neck this fall. [Applause]

Let me give it to you another way, if I can. A fellow knocks on your door and says he wants to manage your finances and he has got a new plan. What he proposes is that he is going to cut down

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your income by 30 percent and you are going to had a lot more money to spend on things you want, and, third, he tells you you are going to balance the family budget and get out of debt. Now, any kind of a sensible American would laugh this guy off the front porch, but this is what they are peddling.

There is an old story about a Texan back in the thirties in depression time named Pappy Leo Daniel. Pappy was running for Governor of Texas and he would go into a little town with a hillbilly band and he would play and get a crowd together. Then pretty soon he would get up and tell them about his new plan. There is going to be a hundred dollars given to every family every month so that you would have food and clothes for the little kids. Then they would play some more music and then he would tell them more about the plan of a hundred dollars every month.

Finally in a little town a heckler said, "Just a minute, Pappy," he says, "Where is the State of Texas going to get all the money to provide a hundred dollars for every family, a hundred dollars a month, to buy shoes and clothes for little children?"

Pappy stared at the heckler for a while and he said, "Let's play them another tune, boys."

Well, if you believe that this funny-money Kemp-Reagan tax plan will work, you believe that Ronald Reagan really wanted George Bush on his ticket or that John Connally is really humble, truly humble.

We haven't had this kind of economics since Calvin Coolidge's time. You will remember that Coolidge said "When the great masses cannot find work we have unemployment." Well, that is the kind of logic we are getting here today. But if Coolidge were alive, as some famous Republican once said, "He would be turning over in his grave to see what they are doing to Republican economic policies."

Business Week Magazine said 2 years of this same Kemp-Roth magic money tree, and I quote, it said, "It would add a hundred billion dollars to the deficit that is already dangerously swollen. It would touch off an inflationary explosion that would wreck the country and impoverish everyone on fixed incomes."

The big business people have consistently supported the Republican Party and they talk a lot about competition and free enterprise, and the more they talk the less we see of it. The big conglomerates have always been on the side of the Republicans, but in their hearts they know that it is the small business people of America who keep our economy going and they know the truth of the old joke that if you want to live like a Republican you have got to learn to vote democratic.

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Democrats don't just preach competition, we practice it. As I said, Franklin Roosevelt, I believe, saved the free enterprise system, and American business has nearly always done better under a Democratic President. Business and government have talked a generation about deregulation, but it was a Democratic Congress working this last year with President Carter and the incumbent Administration that moved to deregulate the airline industry, the trucking industry and we are about to deregulate the railroads.

This party has been for competition, for giving small and medium business a better piece of the action, for letting the new and innovative companies have a chance. Well, we always seem to get too much partisan rhetoric in an election year. The good guys have their convention here and the bad guys out in Detroit, and it is a part of our system that we are all used to, and so on.

But I think the people of America want us to get together. They want to get government and working families of America to get going on making this system of ours work. We ought to lay it straight and talk it through and not just point the finger of blame. The truth is that serious difficulties lie ahead of this country and we should not insult the intelligence of the American people by holding out some famous quick fix for our economy.

I believe that history is going to record that we are in a major period of transition more difficult than we have had in this century. There are no simplistic answers. Progress, change, prosperity, we have always had slow growth and steady prosperity for our country over the last century. It took us 100 years to do the industrial revolution and become the first major industrial nation.

But right after World War II something very different happened to our country. Let's stop and ponder this a minute. In the 20 years between 1948 and 1968 the real income of working families in America doubled, I mean the real income after inflation and after taxes. Inflation was one or two percentage points back in the '50s and '60s. All at once we had the Jet Age and the Space Age and the computers and we went to the moon and we built a hundred million automobiles and the biggest highway system ever constructed and productivity was up every year. My generation in thought we had discovered the Golden Fleece. We all deserved an annual pay raise and dividends had to go up each year or there was something wrong with your company. The watch words were "more" and "bigger" and "better."

It reminded me somewhat of the old song, "Those were the days, my friend, we thought they would never end." But they did end, because between 1968 and 1978 the real incomes of American working families didn't double or go up 50 percent or 25 or 10. The fact

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is they didn't go up at all in that 10-year period. Productivity which had been our strength was actually down in that time.

Oil production peaked in 1971 and we started on a dangerous diet of ever more expensive foreign oil. There is no quick and easy solution. We face problems as we change our lives to use less energy, to rebuild our industrial system and to regain our productivy and get tough and competitive again. Sure we need energy, sure we need coal and more oil and they will play a part in our future and we are going to go out and find them. But along with that we are going to have to conserve. We are going to had to shift to safe, renewable energy sources like solar and wind and geothermal and gasohol and all of the rest.

Let me tell you that this Democratic Congress working with this Democratic Administration have worked together to turn our energy situation around. In 1980, due to the conservation program of the Congress and the Administration, we will be using a million barrels a day of oil less than was the case in 1977. This turn around is permanent, it is important, and we are finally heading in the right direction on energy conservation.

My friends, rumors have it that we will still have a quarrel or two to settle at this convention, and that is nothing new to our Democratic Party. Will Rogers once said, "I belong to no organized political party. I am a Democrat."

Sure we have fights and we kick and yell and scream and maybe even scratch a bit, but we fight because we are big diverse party and because we have always tried to listen up to new ideas. Republicans want to boast, I suppose, of the unity they have this year, but let them boast, because it isn't very difficult to unify a narrow-based political party which the Republicans have become.

When you watched that convention out in Detroit, the kind of people, contrary to the delegates we have here tonight, who are overwhelmingly white, nearly all white, 71 percent were men, and the average person was middle-aged and in the $45,000 a year income bracket.

I suppose my friend, Barry Goldwater would seem to most Americans a genuine conservative, Mr. Republican he has been to so many people. Yet, 4 years ago this narrow-based political party in Arizona, under control of the Reagan forces, denied this man a delegate a seat at the Republican convention. Mr. Republican wasn't welcome at their convention, and do you know why? The sin Barry Goldwater had committed was to endorse a friend of 30 years, a dangerous liberal by the name of Gerald Ford.

Since Lincoln's time the Republican Party has held an honorable place in our history. Most of the time the Republican Party was broad based. There were strong conservatives, but the Republican

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Party had a welcome out for moderate Easterners like Saltonstall and Javits and Case and George Aiken and all of the others, and for moderate Westerns like the great Earl Warren and Tom Kuchel and Mark Hatfield.

But today we see a Republican Party that is increasingly narrow. It has become a party with no left and no center and it is dominated by the radical right and the Republican Party is urging radical economics at home and dangerously belligerent policies abroad. There is little room in the Republican Party for a Howard Baker or a Bill Scranton or George Romney or Chuck Percy or even for Mary Crisp, a great lady from Arizona.

You know the elephants don't forget old grudges, and I was shocked to find that they barely had room a few minutes in Detroit even in a grudging kind of way for a small tribute to a former Vice President, Nelson Rockefeller.

Harry Truman once said that the differences between Democrats are nothing compared to the differences that we have with Republicans, and Harry Truman was right.

So this week while we are arguing among ourselves all of us should ask that the fight be clean and that it be fair and all of us should remember that the real battle comes in November.

Winston Churchill used to tell about the lady member of Parliament who was very critical of him and finally in exasperation she said, "Sir Winston, if I were your wife I would put poison in your coffee." He said, "Madam, if I were your husband I would drink it."

So we do have our fight, but let none of us poison the well here this week. In this uphill fight we face we need every part of this Democratic coalition. In this media age political parties seem to be losing strength, but this old donkey is the oldest political party in the world and it is alive and respected and let me tell you one more reason why it has survived.

In almost every society like ours people tend to divide into two competing philosophies and both philosophies are honorable and both are needed and both are a part of the mainstream of political lives. It is the ground between the two 35-yard lines that they talk about in football games.

And the conservative philosophy, one of these impulses stop and slow down, we are losing the old values and don't change too fast. But the liberal or progressive philosophy says, yes, but sure we need to keep the old values, that the solutions of yesterday aren't adequate today and we have got to make some changes.

Franklin Roosevelt compared this kind of society of ours with the tree. The tree grows and becomes large and after many years dead branches come out and it looks unhealthy. The radical says "Cut

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Next Page: Selected Speeches and Writings (Part 2 of 2)

Section Contents: Selected Speeches and Writings
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Main | Contents | Illustrations | Book Cover | Title Page

Addresses and Special Orders Held in the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate, Presented in Honor of The Honorable Morris K. "Mo" Udall, A Representative from Arizona, One Hundred Second Congress, First Session
Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1993