ann richards: 1988 Democratic National Convention Keynote Address
thank you. thank you. thank you, very much.
good evening, ladies and gentlemen. buenas noches, mis amigos.
i'm delighted to be here with you this evening, because after listening to george bush all these years, i figured you needed to know what a real texas accent sounds like.
twelve years ago barbara jordan, another texas woman, barbara made the Keynote Address to this Convention, and two women in a hundred and sixty years is about par for the course.
but, if you give us a chance, we can perform. after all, ginger rogers did everything that fred astaire did. she just did it backwards and in high heels.
i want to announce to this nation that in a little more than 100 days, the reagan-meese-deaver-nofziger-poindexter-north-weinberger-watt-gorsuch-lavelle-stockman-haig-bork-noriega-george bush [era] will be over!
you know, tonight i feel a little like i did when i played basketball in the 8th grade. i thought i looked real cute in my uniform. and then i heard a boy yell from the bleachers, "make that basket, birdlegs!"
and my greatest fear is that same guy is somewhere out there in the audience tonight, and he's going to cut me down to size. because where i grew up there really wasn’t much tolerance for self-importance, people who put on airs.
i was born during the depression in a little community just outside waco, and i grew up listening to franklin roosevelt on the radio. well, it was back then that i came to understand the small truths and the hardships that bind neighbors together. those were real people with real problems and they had real dreams about getting out of the depression. i can remember summer nights when we’d put down what we called the baptist pallet, and we listened to the grown-ups talk. i can still hear the sound of the dominoes clicking on the marble slab my daddy had found for a tabletop. i can still hear the laughter of the man telling jokes you weren’t supposed to hear – talkin' about how big that old buck deer was, laughin' about mama puttin' clorox in the well when the frog fell in.
they talked about war and washington and what this country needed. they talked the straight talk. and it came from people who were living their lives as best they could. and that’s what we’re going to do tonight. we’re going to tell how the cow ate the cabbage.
i got a letter last week from a young mother in lorena, texas, and i wanna read part of it to you. she writes,
“our worries go from pay day to pay day, just like millions of others. and we have two fairly decent incomes, but i worry how i’m going to pay the rising car insurance and food. i pray my kids don’t have a growth spurt from august to december, so i don’t have to buy new jeans. we buy clot ……此处隐藏21799个字……kable sense about what is really important in life.
and then there?ˉs my friend and my teacher for many years, senator lloyd bentsen. and i couldn?ˉt be prouder, both as a texan and as a democrat, because lloyd bentsen understands america. from the barrio to the boardroom, he knows how to bring us together, by regions, by economics, and by example. and he?ˉs already beaten george bush once. so, when it comes right down to it, this election is a contest between those who are satisfied with what they have and those who know we can do better. that?ˉs what this election is really all about. it?ˉs about the american dream -- those who want to keep it for the few and those who know it must be nurtured and passed along.
i?ˉm a grandmother now. and i have one nearly perfect granddaughter named lily. and when i hold that grandbaby, i feel the continuity of life that unites us, that binds generation to generation, that ties us with each other. and sometimes i spread that baptist pallet out on the floor, and lily and i roll a ball back and forth. and i think of all the families like mine, like the one in lorena, texas, like the ones that nurture children all across america. and as i look at lily, i know that it is within families that we learn both the need to respect individual human dignity and to work together for our common good. within our families, within our nation, it is the same.
and as i sit there, i wonder if she?ˉll ever grasp the changes i?ˉve seen in my life -- if she?ˉll ever believe that there was a time when blacks could not drink from public water fountains, when hispanic children were punished for speaking spanish in the public schools, and women couldn?ˉt vote.
i think of all the political fights i?ˉve fought, and all the compromises i?ˉve had to accept as part payment. and i think of all the small victories that have added up to National triumphs; and all the things that would never have happened and all the people who would?ˉve been left behind if we had not reasoned, and fought, and won those battles together. and i will tell lily that those triumphs were Democratic party triumphs. i want so much to tell lily how far we?ˉve come, you and i. and as the ball rolls back and forth, i want to tell her how very lucky she is that for all our difference, we are still the greatest nation on this good earth. and our strength lies in the men and women who go to work every day, who struggle to balance their family and their jobs, and who should never, ever be forgotten.
i just hope that like her grandparents and her great-grandparents before that lily goes on to raise her kids with the promise that echoes in homes all across america: that we can do better, and that?ˉs what this election is all about.
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