OUR NATION’S PAST AND FUTURE
In accepting the Democratic Party’s nomination for
President, Mr. Carter told the Democratic National
Convention meeting at Madison Square Garden in
New York City on July 15, 1976:
My name is Jimmy Carter, and I’m running for President.
It’s been a long time since I said those words the first time, and now I’ve
come here after seeing our great country to accept your nomination.
I accept it, in the words of John F. Kennedy, with a full and grateful heart
and with only one obligation: to devote every effort of body, mind and spirit to lead
our party back to victory and our nation back to greatness.
It’s a pleasure to be here with all you Democrats and to see that our
Bicentennial celebration and our Bicentennial convention has been one of
decorum and order without any fights or free-for-alls. Among Democrats that can
only happen once every two hundred years. With this kind of a united Democratic
Party, we are ready, and eager, to take on the Republicans—whichever
Republican Party they decide to send against us in November.
Nineteen seventy-six will not be a year of politics as usual. It can be a year
of inspiration and hope, and it will be a year of concern, of quiet and sober
reassessment of our nation’s character and purpose. It has already been a year
when voters have confounded the experts. And I guarantee you that it will be the
year when we give the government of this country back to the people of this
There is a new mood in America. We have been shaken by a tragic war
abroad and by scandals and broken promises at home. Our people are searching
for new voices and new ideas and new leaders.
Although government has its limits and cannot solve all our problems, we
Americans reject the view that we must be reconciled to failures and mediocrity,
or to an inferior quality of life. For I believe that we can come through this time of
trouble stronger than ever. Like troops who have been in combat, we have been
tempered in the fire; we have been disc