Presidential Candidates and Campaigns

Eugene McCarthy for President 1968 Campaign Brochure

Eugene McCarthy for President 1968 Campaign Brochure

‘Portrait of a Leader in His Own Words’

America's Greatest Need

"The need now is for a great reconciliation, a reconciliation of the young and the old, of race with race, of the academic community with society as a whole, of Congress with the Presidency, but principally of the thought and spirit and the best traditions of America with the pressing need for action."

                                                                                                                                        March 26, 1968

 New Rights for All Americans

"I have said that, having secured the constitutionally guaranteed, legal civil rights, we must now move to establish a whole new set of civil rights.

"First among these, is the right to a decent job becoming the dignity of a man, a job which returns an income with which he can support his family in dignity and decency.

"To secure this right I propose that the federal government determine a minimum income which it will assure for all Americans.

"The second of these new civil rights is the right to adequate health care, without regard to race.

"To secure this right, we must have a federally subsidized insurance program to assure that no citizen will be deprived of health care for lack of funds. Most states require automobile liability insurance. There is no reason why the same concept cannot apply to the vital area of health care.

"Third, every American must now be accorded the right not simply to equal education, but to the amount and kind of education which is necessary to develop his full potential.

To secure this right I propose a mass program to up-grade the education of our adults who are trapped in poverty. This can be accomplished

Through federally subsidized on-the-job training, through special vocational schools and through adult literacy courses.

"For younger Americans, projects such as the Headstart Program must be expanded. Vocational training should come, not in the form -- of public works, but in on-the-job training programs provided by the private sector. These projects should then be subsidized, either directly or through tax credits, by the federal government.

"The fourth new civil right I have spoken of is the right to a decent house, not a house in isolation, not a house in the ghetto, but a house in a neighborhood which is part of a community, which is part of the United States of America.

"To accomplish this I propose, just as the President's Commission proposed, a massive building program to bring within reach of low and moderate income families, six million housing units within the next five years. Much of this can be accomplished through the private sector, as it was with the Interstate Highway Program, but the federal government must assure the financing of its part of the program so that the construction industry, the building trades, and home finance companies can plan for the long effort."

                                                                                                                                                                April 11, 1968

The Role of the Presidency to Unite This Nation

"I am not seeking the Presidency because party leaders sought me and urged me to run. Nor could I say that I have any claim to the office by way of succession.

 

"I said in 1960 that power sometimes came to men who sought it and I said I was not sure that the record of history showed that those who sought to gain power necessarily exercised it best in a democratic society. And the seeking of me as a candidate came like the dew in the night. It was rather gentle, I must say, soft, but there were signs in the morning that something had happened during the night; so here we are.

"I think that anyone who offers himself or permits himself to be offered for the Presidency must meet three conditions of character and experience and understanding. He must, I think be able to read with reasonable judgment the needs and aspirations of the people of this nation. And I do hope that some twenty years in the House and in the Senate, my travels around this land and a limited amount of reading, have brought me to the point where I have some comprehension of what this country is all about, what it needs, what its people seek.

"I think a man who is presented for the Presidency must also know the limitations of power. He should understand that this country cannot be governed by coercion, that it needs a special kind of leadership, which itself recognizes that the potential for leadership exists in every man and every woman. He must be prepared to be a kind of channel for those desires and those aspirations, largely by way of setting people free.

"The office of the Presidency of the United States must never be a personal office. A President should not speak of 'my country' but always of 'our country,' not of 'my Cabinet' but of 'the Cabinet.'

"The role of the Presidency -- at all times, but particularly in 1968 -- must be one of uniting this nation, not by adding it up in some way, not by putting it together as a kind of jigsaw puzzle. To unify this nation means to inspire it, to encourage the development of common purposes and shared ideals, and to move toward establishing an order of justice in America."

                                                                                                                                                            March 23, 1968

The War in Vietnam

"Our stated objectives in Vietnam are in reality different from our practical ones. We proclaim that our ultimate purpose is support for self-determination, to let the people of South Vietnam work out their own future, free from foreign interference. In reality, we have interfered in South Vietnam and have continued in power in Saigon a government dependent upon the United States. This was the policy of John Foster Dulles in 1954. It is the policy of Dean Rusk today."

"Our objective -- in actions as well as in words should be a government in Saigon that reflects as nearly as possible what the people of Vietnam want.

"I do not believe that the National Liberation Front, the successor to the Viet Minh which defeated the French and which, in the eyes of the Vietnamese people, freed the country from the yok of Western imperialism, can be denied a role as a political force in the future of South Vietnam. The Front is the government in large parts of the country. It is just not feasible to try to 'roll back' a political structure that is deeply rooted in the thoughts and feelings of the people; nor is it necessary from the point of view of American interests 

"While the United States should not insist on specific agreements, we should press the Saigon government to enter into negotiations with the NLF as a political force. The question of whether there should be a coalition government, or an interim government, or some other mechanism, can be settled among the Vietnamese themselves 

"We must make it clear to the authorities in Saigon that our commitment is not open-ended, that they must begin to work out in the South the shape of their future.

"There is never a totally painless way to pull back from either unwise, ill-advised or outdated ideas or commitments. As with the French decision to permit self-determination in Algeria, following the honorable, though difficult course would reflect credit on this nation in the eyes of the world and in the eyes of our own citizens."

                                                                                                                                                            April 1, 1968

Biography of Eugene J. McCarthy

Senator Eugene J. McCarthy (Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party of Minnesota) was born in the small Minnesota farming community of Watkins in 1916. He graduated from St. John's University in Collegeville, Minnesota, in 1935, and received a Master of Arts degree from the University of Minnesota in 1938.

Senator McCarthy was a teacher in public high schools and private colleges for ten years. During, World War II, he served as a civilian technical assistant in military intelligence for the War Department. He was acting head of the sociology department at the College of St. Thomas in St. Paul at the time of his election to Congress in 1948.

McCarthy was elected to the United States Senate in 1958. During his first term he served on the Senate Committees on Finance, Agriculture and Forestry, and Public Works. In 1959 and 1960 he was chairman of the Senate Special Committee on Unemployment Problems.

In 1964, Senator McCarthy was re-elected to the Senate by the largest popular majority of any Democratic candidate in the history of Minnesota. He presently serves on the Senate Committees on Foreign Relations, Finance, Standards and Conduct. and on the Democratic Steering Committee.

Senator McCarthy is the author of four books: Frontiers in American Democracy (1960), Dictionary of American Politics (1962), A Liberal Answer to the Conservative Challenge (1964), and The Limits of Power (1967).

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