Barbara Jordan: Speaking the Truth with Eloquent Thunder

By Max Sherman | Go to book overview

DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL CONVENTION KEYNOTE
ADDRESS, NEW YORK, JULY 12, 1976

WHO THEN WILL SPEAK FOR THE COMMON GOOD?

Thank you, ladies and gentlemen, for a very warm reception.

It was one hundred and forty-four years ago that members of the Democratic Party first met in convention to select a presidential candidate. Since that time, Democrats have continued to convene once every four years and draft a party platform and nominate a presidential candidate. And our meeting this week is a continuation of that tradition.

But there is something different about tonight. There is something special about tonight. What is different? What is special? I, Barbara Jordan, am a keynote speaker.

A lot of years have passed since 1832, and during that time it would have been most unusual for any national political party to ask a Barbara Jordan to deliver a keynote address. But tonight, here I am. And I feel that notwithstanding the past that my presence here is one additional bit of evidence that the American Dream need not forever be deferred.

Now that I have this grand distinction, what in the world am I supposed to say?

I could easily spend this time praising the accomplishments of this party and attacking the Republicans.

But I don't choose to do that.

I could list the many problems which Americans have. I could list the problems which cause people to feel cynical, angry, frustrated: problems which include lack of integrity in government;

-35-

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