What Politics Should Be

“Politics should not be a war of tricks and sabotage, it should be a place of peaceful co-existence among fellow citizens, a process of reasoned persuasion, a competition of ideas and dreams.”
Sargent Shriver| Andover, NH| June 2, 1973

Sargent Shriver spoke these words as the Watergate investigation was intensifying. We believe they describe not just what politics “should” be, but indeed, what they still can be. His words can guide not only our political leaders, but all of us as citizens. If we each take responsibility for setting the tone about the direction of our politics, if we commit to speaking with each other and with our leaders in a civilized way, our debates can bring us to true solutions to our national challenges. In the process, we can also transform the tone of political discourse.

We invite you to read the speech this quote is from, the Commencement Address at Proctor Academy. With his usual combination of optimism and pragmatism, Sargent Shriver encourages the graduating class to consider a career in politics and he reminds them of the potential of a life in public service. Perhaps his words will inspire you today.

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Peace requires the simple but powerful recognition that what we have in common as human beings is more important and crucial than what divides us.
Sargent Shriver
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