This is a transcription of this speech made for the convenience of readers and researchers. A copy of the text of this speech exists in the Senate Speech file of the John F. Kennedy Pre-Presidential Papers here at the John F. Kennedy Library.
The next Democratic Administration must offer a new liberalism for the sixties -- a liberalism which reaches beyond the era of the New and Fair Deals to the problems of a new age. The Liberal Party of New York -- with its searching questions, its creative proposals, its new ideas -- is playing an important part in the birth of this new liberalism. The Liberal Party helps to keep the oldest party in the world -- the Democratic Party -- young, vigorous, creative and liberal. And that is the kind of Democratic Party which the nations needs.
First, we must extend and modernize the great social welfare programs of Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman. We must raise the minimum wage, extend unemployment compensation, provide our older citizens with a decent system of medical care, feed our hungry and care for our sick. We must make a living reality of the vision of Franklin Roosevelt -- the vision of a decent life with dignity for all men.
Secondly, we must carry on with new vigor and effectiveness the fight for equal opportunity for all men -- regardless of race, creed or color. During the primary campaigns Hubert Humphrey said that if the price of political success was a betrayal of the cause of human rights then the people could look elsewhere for a candidate. And I say that if anyone expects the next Democratic Administration to betray that same cause -- they can look elsewhere for leadership.
We must faithfully carry out the law of the land as interpreted by the Supreme Court. And this includes the protection of people exercising their Constitutional rights of peaceful protest. But this is not just a matter of law and order. Above all moral issues are involved. The high office of the Presidency must be used to provide the effective, creative, persuasive leadership necessary if we are to fulfill our great Constitutional promise of equal protection for all Americans.
Beginning in 1961 the Presidency will be a place of strong moral leadership. That leadership will be exercised until every American, of every color and faith, has achieved equal access to all of American life -- and that means equal access to the voting booth, to the schoolroom, to jobs, to housing and to the lunch counters.
Third, we must formulate and carry forward a coherent, consistent, convincing American program for peace -- an effective program for arms control and disarmament. And, while we work toward peace, we must also remember the hard lessons of the Summit: The lesson that peace takes more than talk -- the lesson that friendly words, and goodwill trips, and public relations programs are not enough -- the lesson that only a strong America can hope to be a peacemaking America. And this means we must begin to rebuild our strength -- not merely our missiles and armies, although these are important, but economic strength at home, the strength of our allies overseas, the strength of our ideas, the strength of our determination and the strength of our purpose.