Lyndon B. Johnson photo

Remarks in Indianapolis at Soldiers and Sailors Square

October 08, 1964

Governor Welsh, Senator Hartke, distinguished guests on the speaker's rostrum, ladies and gentlemen:

I came out here to beautiful Indiana today to tell you that we need your help in sending two good men to Washington Vance Hartke and Andy Jacobs. Vance Hartke has served with great distinction in the United States Senate, and Martha has helped him along every step of the way. We need him back. Won't you help us?

And you ought to be represented in a Democratic administration, in a Democratic year, by Democratic Congressman Andy Jacobs.

I want to also tell you what a grand young pair of people you sent us 2 years ago, Birch and Marvella Bayh. They have brought great pride to this State and great pride to my administration. I am so happy they are there, and I am so glad they are my friends.

Indiana on other occasions has voted for another party, but I know that you want to consider this very carefully this time. In the first place, I am not just sure whether there is a real Republican candidate to vote for this year.

Then, I think probably you will want to think back to when Indiana did vote for a Democratic President. That was back in 1936. The choice that year was something like the choice this year--between the past and the future.

Indiana in 1936 voted for the future, and Indiana in 1964 is going to vote for the future again.

The Bible tells us "Every man's work shall be made manifest." This is true, too, of our Government.

Seldom has an administration's work been made manifest more abundantly than this one. We promised 4 years ago, under the leadership of that beloved, great champion of this country, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, that we would get the country moving again. Well, it is moving.

In the 44th month of unbroken advance, the record of the Kennedy administration speaks not just for itself, but it speaks for all of you--you, the American people. Americans today are earning $89 billion more than they were earning 4 years ago.

Your stocks on the Exchange are worth $100 billion more than they were worth 10 months ago.

Manufacturers are pouring out 29 percent more goods.

Four million additional jobs have been created since 1961.

Our economy is producing one-fifth more goods and services than 4 years ago.

Prices have been kept stable. Wholesale prices are actually down 1 percent from last year.

Our economic growth is now 5 percent annually. In the 4 years of the present administration, our growth is greater than in the entire 8 years of the previous administration.

And thanks to the foresight and the vision and the courage and the love of humanity of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, his administration was unblemished by the scars of depression or recession. And we have carried on for him.

I want to thank the people of the good State of Indiana, the Democrats, the Republicans, the whatnots--but first of all, all Americans--I want to thank you for the share that you have played and that you have contributed to this tremendous prosperity. The record bears it out. Let me cite that record.

In the last 3 years the unemployment rate in Indiana has dropped from 8.4 percent to 3.4 percent. In 1960 Indiana's per capita personal income was below the national average. By 1963 it was far above the national average.

And this is only the beginning. When the tax cut becomes fully effective, here is what it is going to do for your State of Indiana:

--It will increase your total income by over three quarters of a billion dollars. It will increase your income by an average of $350 for every single family of four.

--It will create 50,000 new jobs in your great State.

--It will boost State and local revenues by more than $64 million.

--It will cut the taxes, the withholding payments that you now pay, by $210 million a year, and that is an average saving in withholding payments of $125 per year for a family of four.

They all said it could not be done in Indiana or anywhere else, but it has been done. We have the job done.

I said again and again and again for the first 37 days that I worked on my budget, that as a Democrat I believed in a responsible fiscal and monetary policy. And the proof that I believe in fiscal and monetary responsibility is in this administration's record.

As a percentage of our gross national product, Federal spending in this fiscal year will be the lowest in 14 years. The budget I presented for fiscal 1965 was almost $1 billion lower than the budget in 1964, and that is only the third such decrease in 10 years. For the months of July and August this year, the first 2 months of the Johnson budget, the fiscal year ended June 30th, our Government spent $676 million less, in July and August this year, than it did last year. In July this year your Federal Government had 25,000 less employees than they had in July last year.

That is a demonstration of a responsible fiscal policy.

Our prosperity is the basis for our strength.

In 4 years we have built a military might that is first among all nations, and I promise you that we are going to keep it first. We will use our strength with restraint. We will use firmness always, prudence always, because these are the twin pillars of our national policy.

That was Harry Truman's policy.

That was Dwight Eisenhower's policy.

That was John Fitzgerald Kennedy's policy.

And that will be Lyndon Baines Johnson's policy.

Now, let there be no mistake. The experience of 20 years in a nuclear age tells us that our foreign policy must not be conducted by men that are "carried about with every wind of doctrine." Only those should lead us who, in the words of the scripture, are "swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath."

As long as I am your President, that will be my policy.

Ten months ago, in a moment of tragedy, I was called upon to assume the awesome responsibilities of the Presidency. Our great leader had fallen, and the rest of the world and the rest of this country looked to America during that transition period. I told you then that I would do my best to embrace his program and lead America forward as best I could. I could promise you only that I would do my dead level best. I have done that.

On that day, the 22d of November, our beloved President, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, had 51 major recommendations pending before the Congress of the United States. Last weekend I sat in the White House and looked down that list, and observed that we had passed every single one of those 51 measures through the Senate of the United States.

And the three or four that didn't pass through the House of Representatives are going to pass through the House of Representatives when we get this election behind us.

The senior citizens of this country are not going to allow any two or three men to keep them from having medical care.

I am proud to be standing here only a few blocks from the War Memorial Plaza which honors men who sacrificed for freedom.

I am happy to be here in this great city where the American Legion has its headquarters. I know what the Legion has done to maintain our vigilance in the struggle against communism.

The men of the Legion know war. They love peace. They want peace, and so do I, and so do we all. But we must know in order to have peace we must have strength, and we must always be willing to keep our guard up, but our hand out.

We do not get peace by bluff, or bluster, or ultimatum. We do not get peace with the other 120 nations in the world by rattling our rockets or threatening with our bombs.

I say here on this peaceful, beautiful day, in this peaceful State of Indiana, that I need your help. I want your hand. I ask for your prayers.

I am willing to go anywhere, I am willing to talk to anyone, I am willing to do anything that I can with honor to bring peace to the world. It will not be an easy achievement. It will not be one that can be reached by pushing a button. It will take patience. It will take understanding. It will take people who will follow the Golden Rule of "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

Freedom is marching in the world. We have an adversary in communism. The Communists thrive on the ancient enemies of mankind: disease, illiteracy, ignorance. But I would have you know that freedom is marching, too. The last nation the Communists took over was Cuba in 1959, and of all the new nations that have been born, not a single one of them has joined the Communist orbit.

Because the other peoples of the world want for their children what you want and what you have for yours--a school with a schoolroom, with a teacher, a home, a church where they can go and worship their God, freedom to think and to speak, they want what democracy gives.

And it is our responsibility as leaders of the world to follow the Golden Rule with all the peoples of the world just as we do with ourselves: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

I have faith in people. I have hope for the future. I have no doubt that freedom is going to survive and democracy is going to win. But we are not going to win by talking about each other, and using a lot of ugly names, and slinging a lot of mud, and chewing on each other. America cannot win by dividing brother against brother, sister against sister; we must have a united America--united we stand; divided we fall.

It makes you feel so much better to have faith than to have doubt. You are a lot happier if you love than if you hate. So let's look to the future with hope and faith and courage. Let's extend a helping hand to those that have not been quite as fortunate as we have been here at home and abroad. Let's try to find the areas which can unite America instead of the few, petty things that divide America.

Let's teach our children to love thy neighbor instead of hate each other, and let's say to those men of little faith, let's say to those doubters and those critics and those who are distressed and those who are frustrated, and those who are bitter, let's turn the other cheek. Let's look up there and say, "God, forgive them, for they know not what they do."

Let all the good people of Indiana, of all religions, of all colors, of all faiths, of all parties--let us all as good Americans do not what is good for the Democratic Party or what is good for ourselves, or what is good for the Republican Party. Let us, on November 3d, go and do what is best for our country.

If I had some time I would go into some detail on telling you what my personal opinion is about what is good for our country. But I have enough confidence in your good judgment and the good judgment of the people of Indiana to just leave it with you.

Thank you and goodby.

Note: The President spoke at 12:12 p.m. at Soldiers and Sailors Square in Indianapolis, Ind. In his opening words he referred to Governor Matthew E. Welsh and Senator Vance Hartke, of Indiana. Later he referred to Andrew Jacobs, Jr., Democratic candidate for Representative, Senator Hartke's wife, Martha, and Senator Birch Bayh and his wife, Marvella, all of Indiana.

Lyndon B. Johnson, Remarks in Indianapolis at Soldiers and Sailors Square Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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