A New Frontier, JFK
MASSACHUSETTS SENATOR JOHN F. KENNEDY CALLS ON AMERICANS TO BE NEW PIONEERS ON THE "NEW FRONTIER"
We are not merely running against Mr. Nixon. Our task is not merely one of itemizing Republican failures. Nor is that wholly necessary. For the families forced from the farm will know how to vote without our telling them. The unemployed miners and textile workers will know how to vote. The old people without medical care - the families without a decent home the parents of children without adequate food or schools-they all know that it's time for a change. . . .
Today our concern must be with the future. For the world is changing. The old era is ending. The old ways will not do.
Abroad, the balance of power is shifting. There are new and more terrible weapons-new and uncertain nations-new pressures of population and deprivation. One-third of the world . . . may be free-but one-third is the victim of cruel repression-and the other one-third is rocked by pangs of poverty, hunger, and envy. More energy is released by the awakening of these new nations than by the fission of the atom itself. . . .
Here at home, the changing fact of the future is equally revolutionary. . . .
A technological revolution on the farm has led to an output explosion - but we have not yet learned to harness that explosion usefully, while protecting our farmers' right to full parity income.
An urban population revolution has over-crowded our schools, cluttered up our suburbs, and increased the squalor of our slums.
A peaceful revolution for human rights- demanding an end to racial discrimination in all parts of our community life-has strained at the leashes imposed by timid Executive leadership.
A medical revolution has extended the life of our elder citizens without providing the dignity and security those later years deserve. And a revolution of automation finds machines replacing men in the mines and mills of America, without replacing their income or their training or their need to pay the family doctor, grocer, and land- lord.
There [has] also been a change - a slippage - in our intellectual and moral strength. Seven lean years of drought and famine have withered the fields of ideas. Blight has descended on our regulatory agencies - and a dry rot, beginning in Washington, is seeping into every corner of America - in the payola mentality, the expense account way of life, the confusion between what is legal and what is right. Too many Americans have lost their way, their will, and their sense of historic purpose.
It is time, in short, for a new generation of leadership-new men to cope with new problems and new opportunities. . . .
I tell you the New Frontier is here, whether we seek it or not. Beyond that frontier are uncharted areas of science and space, unsolved problems of peace and war, unconquered pockets of ignorance and prejudice, unanswered questions of poverty and surplus . . .
I believe the times demand invention, innovation, imagination, decision. I am asking each of you to be new pioneers on that New Frontier. My call is to the young in heart, regardless of age - to the stout in spirit, regardless of party - to all who respond to the . . . call: "Be strong and of good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed."