Monday, December 15, 2003

From today's foreign policy speech . . .

It was during the 1960 presidential campaign when then candidate John F. Kennedy stood at the rear of his campaign train and delivered one of his major foreign policy speeches, "Pathways to Peace." He did not stand at a think tank in Washington D.C. He did not address a policy group in a bigger city, and he did not travel thousands of miles away to another country to tell the American people how he planned to make us safer and stronger. He went west and spoke directly to the people of Fresno, California.
This is how we should speak about America's role in the world - in personal settings with young people and old; schoolteachers and students; businessmen and nurses. For your lives are the ones affected the most by the decisions and direction a president takes our great nation. Many of the books that surround us in this library, teach us invaluable lessons. When we face challenges alone, more often than not we fail. When we shut out most of the world, our challenges are twice as hard. And when we discard our common sense, we lose sight of the future.
There are a lot of grand theories about how best to conduct our foreign policy. But it seems to me that much of foreign policy - like much of life - boils down to good judgment, common sense, and common decency. We use them in our daily lives and we should use them in America's common defense as well. That is why it is critical in these challenging times that people like me talk to you, directly. That we get out of the typical settings and trappings of Washington and do more than continue an ongoing dialogue between the so-called best and the brightest in our nation's capital and in capitals around the world - we talk with the American people about our vision for the country.
Foreign policy, just like domestic policy, is about improving people's lives. It is about expanding opportunity. The opportunity to make America stronger, safer, and more secure. And the opportunity to stand for values like tolerance, freedom, and democracy around the world.

Who's foreign policy speech? John Edwards' foreign policy speech.