The greatest guide of all is moral principle

From Franklin Roosevelt’s Acceptance Speech at the Democratic National Convention on June 27, 1936.

The whole speech is a beautiful example of language and imagery. I encourage you to read the full text.

“Here, and in every community throughout the land, we are met at a time of great moment to the future of the Nation. It is an occasion to be dedicated to the simple and sincere expression of an attitude toward problems, the determination of which will profoundly affect America…

“I cannot, with candor, tell you that all is well with the world. Clouds of suspicion, tides of ill-will and intolerance gather darkly in many places. In our own land we enjoy indeed a fullness of life greater than that of most Nations. But the rush of modern civilization itself has raised for us new difficulties, new problems which must be solved if we are to preserve to the United States the political and economic freedom for which Washington and Jefferson planned and fought…

“It has been brought home to us that the only effective guide for the safety of this most worldly of worlds, the greatest guide of all, is moral principle… We do not see faith, hope and charity as unattainable ideals, but we use them as stout supports of a Nation fighting the fight for freedom in a modern civilization.”

Franklin D. Roosevelt: “Acceptance Speech for the Renomination for the Presidency, Philadelphia, Pa.,” June 27, 1936. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project.


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