AllPolitics - News

Prepared text of Newt Gingrich's speech to the Republican National Convention in San Diego on Tuesday night.

Thank you all very much. We share a common dream.

Thirty-three years ago, the greatest Georgian of the 20th century, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. stood before the Lincoln Memorial and declared, "I have a dream." On that day, he outlined a vision of America as a better nation, a nation of freedom, compassion, and charity for all.

Tonight, I'd like us to reflect on that vision. Because in every respect, our philosophy represents the most compassionate, charitable, and hopeful vision for America today.

We, too, have a dream. Our dream is of a Monday morning when we wake up and not a single child has been harmed in America.

A Monday morning when it is easy to find a job or create a job and your own government doesn't punish you for trying.

A Monday morning when working Americans keep enough of the money they earn so that they have the resources to be better parents, better neighbors and better volunteers.

A Monday morning when every child in America goes to an effective school that works.

And lives in a neighborhood that is safe, free of drugs, violence and crime.

My friends, we can realize this dream. And the power to make it happen, lies within each of us. It is the spirit that helped create America. The spirit that compels us, when we face a problem, to solve it.

When we find an opportunity, to seize it. And when we see a person in trouble, to offer a helping hand-up, not merely a hand-out.

True compassion is measured by our own good works, not by how many tax dollars we spend to support a failed federal bureaucracy. We've learned that the only way to truly help people is to empower them to help themselves.

Progress with humans comes slowly, one person or one family at a time. It requires a personal relationship that no impersonal government bureaucracy can ever deliver.

The solutions are found in our own neighborhoods, in the courageous struggles of everyday heroes and heroines.

Remarkable Americans, like Jennifer Arnold of Alpharetta, Georgia. After being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, Jennifer established a private, volunteer charity called Canine Assistants. Her organization rescues dogs from shelters and trains them to be the legs for those who cannot walk and the arms for those who cannot reach.

It is the ultimate example of helping others help themselves. As one disabled child, when naming his dog, said, "I will name him Freedom, because freedom is what he will mean for me." It is a tremendous honor to have Jennifer here with us tonight, along with her canine assistant, Nicholas.

In San Diego we are helping build two Habitat for Humanity houses. It's an experience that teaches you first-hand about helping others, the real spirit of America, as you see volunteers of all backgrounds work alongside families to build their homes. In New Jersey, Reverend Lee Schmookler runs one of the state's most successful private shelters.

When describing the rescue mission which once saved him from suicide, he says, "At that mission I found people who loved me and accepted me. I wasn't a client for which they were being paid. I was a life worthy of love." That is as powerful a statement as you will ever hear about the value of private and volunteer efforts to this country.

And it goes to the very soul of America. As Toucqueville wrote, "The genius of America is to be found in its voluntary organizations, its houses of worship and in the hearts of individual Americans."

This is the very spirit of America -- the spirit that has made this the freest, the fairest, the most generous nation on the face of the earth.

As we move into the fall and beyond, let's vow to remember the principles we are fighting for.

This is not about power or glory or political games. This is about the kind of country we want for our children and our grandchildren.

With your work and commitment, and under the heroic leadership of President Bob Dole, we are going to build a better tomorrow for all Americans. And with your courage, we are going to secure the future for freedom because that's what America is all about.

Thank you, God bless you, and God bless America.

(Copyright 1996 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

AllPolitics home page


Copyright © 1997 AllPolitics All Rights Reserved
Terms under which this information is provided to you