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Reel Number: 250301A
Year / Date: 1979,1970s
TC Begins: 00:01:08
TC Ends: 00:33:42
1979 USA - Color, President Jimmy Carter: Crisis of Confidence Speech. Good evening: This is a special night for me. Exactly 3 years ago on July 15, 1976 I accepted the nomination of my party to run for President of the United States. I promised you a President who is not isolated from the people, who feels your pain, and who shares your dreams and who draws his strength and his wisdom from you. During the past 3 years I've spoken to you on many occasions about national concerns: the energy crisis, reorganizing the Government, our Nation's economy, & issues of war & especially peace. But over those years the subjects of the speeches, the talks, & the press conferences have become increasingly narrow, focused more & more on what the isolated world of Washington thinks is important. Gradually, you've heard more & more about what the Government thinks or what the Government should be doing & less & less about our Nation's hopes, our dreams, and our vision of the future. 00:02:26 Ten days ago I had planned to speak to you again about a very important subject: energy. For the fifth time I would have described the urgency of the problem & laid out a series of legislative recommendations to the Congress. But as I was preparing to speak, I began to ask myself the same question that I now know has been troubling many of you. Why have we not been able to get together as a nation to resolve our serious energy problem? It's clear that the true problems of our Nation are much deeper - deeper than gasoline lines or energy shortages, deeper even than inflation or recession. And I realize more than ever that as President I need your help. So, I decided to reach out & listen to the voices of America. I invited to Camp David people from almost every segment of our society - business & labor, teachers & preachers, Governors, Mayors, & private citizens. And then I left Camp David to listen to other Americans, men & women like you. It has been an extraordinary 10 days & I want to share with you what I've heard. First of all I got a lot of personal advice. Let me quote a few of the typical comments that I wrote down. 00:04:11 This from a southern Governor: "Mr. President, you are not leading this Nation, you're just managing the Government." "You don't see the people enough any more." "Some of your Cabinet members don't seem loyal. There is not enough discipline among your disciples." "Don't talk to us about politics or the mechanics of government, but about an understanding of our common good." "Mr. President, we're in trouble. Talk to us about blood & sweat & tears." "If you lead, Mr. President, we will follow." Many people talked about themselves & about the condition of our Nation. This from a young woman in Pennsylvania: "I feel so far from government. I feel like ordinary people are excluded from political power." And this from a young Chicano: "Some of us have suffered from recession all our lives." "Some people have wasted energy, but others haven't had anything to waste." And this from a religious leader: "No material shortage can touch the important things like God's love for us or our love for one another." And I like this one particularly from a Black woman who happens to be the mayor of a small Mississippi town: "The big-shots are not the only ones who are important. Remember, you can't sell anything on Wall Street unless someone digs it up somewhere else first." This kind of summarized a lot of other statements: "Mr. President, we are confronted with a moral & a spiritual crisis." 00:06:49 Continued on 250301B
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