All the great leaders of ancient times realized and taught that the establishment of a state of permanent peace among the nations depended upon the release of human ideals.
One of the most ancient of man’s constructive ideals is the dream of a universal democracy and a cooperation of all nations in a commonwealth of States. The mechanism for the accomplishment of this ideal was set in motion in the ancient temples of Egypt. So brilliant was the plan and so well was it administered that it has survived tour time, and it will continue to function until the great work is accomplished.
And so it is from the remote past, from the deep shadows of the medieval world as well as from the early struggles of more modern times, that the power of American democracy has come.
There can be no doubt that the Ancient Egyptians were aware of the existence of a great continent in the Western Hemisphere. It is nothing short of foolish to assume that the ancients lacked ships sufficiently seaworthy to navigate the larger oceans. Long before the Christian era, the older civilizations had constructed boats far larger and more seaworthy than any of the vessels used by Columbus.
Foreign nations came to this continent in times long ago; but they formed no permanent settlements nor attempted any program of colonization. And so the soil was not impoverished by thousands of years of intensive cultivation, nor were the natural resources ravished to supply the substance to maintain endless wars and ageless feuds.
It was the rise of the democratic dream in Europe that supplied the beginning of western civilization. Those in search of a promised land turned to the West.
By the nineteenth century America was definitely the land of golden opportunity, and to it came streams of immigration from nearly every country on earth. The better way of life drew them here, for it had been established that here men and women could build a future free of tyranny, intolerance, and enforced poverty. Here all were given opportunity for education, for free enterprise, and living a life according to the dictates of hope and conscience.
In a comparatively short time many racial stream have met and mingled, and a new race has been born, the American race is not one to be determined by an analysis of blood or by the proportions of the cranium.
No. Americans are a race determined by the measure of conviction, set apart by that conviction; it is the conviction that human beings are created free, and are entitled to equal opportunity to perfect themselves in life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Among men and women of all races and all nations are those who share our conviction, and because they share it they are of our kind and belong to our race.
The old philosophers taught that physical birth is an accident, for men and women are born into various races and nationalities according to the laws of generation; but there is a second birth, which is not an accident; it is the consequence of proper intent. By this second birth we are born by enlightened intelligence out of nation and out of race into an international nation and an international race; America.
America cannot refuse the challenge of leadership in the postwar world. It is not enough that we solve particular problems. We must solve the very cause of the problem itself. Wars, depressions, crime, dictators and their oppressions, are the symptoms giving clear indication of a greater ailment. To examine each problem solely in terms of the problem itself, without recognition of its true relationship to a larger and more universal necessity, is to fail in the broader implications of an enduring peace and prosperity.
Live and learn. We All Do.
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