Richard Nixon photo

Excerpts from Remarks of the Vice President at Bergen County Courthouse, Hackensack, NJ

October 04, 1960

I was rather struck by a comment Senator Kennedy made the other day. I suppose you read it, a major foreign policy speech, in upper New York, where he said "I am tired of reading in the paper what Mr. Khrushchev is doing. I'm tired of reading in the paper what Mr. Castro is doing. I want to read in the papers what our President is doing."

Well, my friends, if he would quit talking and start reading, he'd find out what President Eisenhower is doing.

And all that I can say: We can be thankful that our President isn't making a fool of himself as Castro and Khrushchev have at the United Nations.

We can be thankful that our President is putting out real disarmament proposals rather than phony ones, that he's standing for the peace of the world, rather than to stir up trouble in the world, that instead of muscling into the Congo to try to take it over, he's standing with the United Nations. I say that it's time, with all this criticism of the President and his policies, that, in pointing out, as we should, the things that are wrong, that we recognize the things that are right about America as well. And there are plenty of things right about this country.

So, I submit to you: We will work for peace, without surrender. We will be firm, but nonbelligerent. We will keep this country strong. But, above all, we will stand for the ideals that will be decisive in this struggle.

What are they? Oh, they don't sound like much when you think of missiles and atomic bombs and productivity of factories and growth rates, but 185 years ago the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence didn't sound like much, because it was a tiny little country, weak militarily, weak economically, but the words, the ideals in those documents, caught the imagination of the world, and they still hold that imagination of the world, and the most important lesson I leave with you is this: Keep the moral and spiritual fiber of this country strong. See that our young people know what it means to be an American. See that they have faith in God, belief in the dignity of men, belief in the rights of all men to be free, regardless of their background.

Let us do everything that we can to correct the injustices in this country so that a man like Khrushchev, who has enslaved millions and slaughtered thousands will no longer be able to come to our own country and point the finger to the United States and say, "You're denying rights to people." This is what we must do.

These are things which must come from you.

A leader, a President, can help, but in the churches, in the schools, in the homes of America we make America's ideals strong.

And, so, I say to you, as I close: Keep ideals strong for America, and if they are, the next President of this country will be able to lead this Nation as is its destiny - to peace without surrender - but, more than that, he will be able to lead this Nation to victory without war - and that means freedom not only for America, for the free world, but for men throughout the world.

Richard Nixon, Excerpts from Remarks of the Vice President at Bergen County Courthouse, Hackensack, NJ Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/273722

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