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A public man must never forget that he loses his usefulness when he as an individual, rather than his policy, becomes the issue.
But above all, what this Congress can be remembered for is opening the way to a new American revolutiona peaceful revolution in which power was turned back to the peoplein which government at all levels was refreshed and renewed and made truly responsive. This can be a revolution as profound, as far-reaching, as exciting as that first revolution almost 200 years agoand it can mean that just 5 years from now America will enter its third century as a young nation new in spirit, with all the vigor and the freshness with which it began its first century.
In our own lives, let each of us asknot just what government will do for me, but what can I do for myself?
No president in history has been more vilified or was more vilivied during the time he was President than Lincoln. Those who knew him, his secretaries, have written that he was deeply hurt by what was said about him and drawn about him, but on the other hand, Lincoln had the great strength of character never to display it, always able to stand tall and strong and firm no matter how harsh or unfair the criticism might be. These elements of greatness, of course, inspire us all today.
The easiest period in a crisis situation is actually the battle itself. The most difficult is the period of indecision -- whether to fight or run away. And the most dangerous period is the aftermath. It is then, with all his resources spent and his guard down, that an individual must watch out for dulled reactions and faulty judgment.
The lesson of all history warns us that we should negotiate only when our military superiority is so convincing that we can achieve our objective at the conference table, and deny the aggressor theirs.
There are these and other great causes that we were elected overwhelmingly to carry forward in November of 1972. And what we were elected to do, we are going to do, and let others wallow in Watergate, we are going to do our job.
True greatness comes not when things go always good for you; but true greatness comes when you are really tested, when you have taken some knocks, faced some disappointments, when sadness comes. Because only if you have been in the deepest valley, can you ever know how magnificent it is to be atop the highest mountain.
We must maintain the integrity of the White House, and that integrity must be real, not transparent. There can be no whitewash at the White House.
We must never forget that if the war in Vietnam is lost the right of free speech will be extinguished throughout the world.
Yet we can maintain a free society only if we recognize that in a free society no one can win all the time. No one can have his own way all the time, and no one is right all the time.
You think of those kids out there. I say kids. I have seen them. They are the greatest. You see these bums, you know, blowing up the campuses. Listen, the boys that are on the college campuses today are the luckiest people in the world, going to the greatest universities, and here they are burning up the books, I mean storming around about this issueI mean you name itget rid of the war; there will be another one. Out there weve got kids who are just doing their duty. I have seen them. They stand tall, and they are proud. I am sure they are scared. I was when I was there. But when it really comes down to it, they stand up and, boy, you have to talk up to those men. And they are going to do fine; weve got to stand back of them.
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