John Anderson, Independent presidential candidate, speaking in Minneapolis Auditorium at Minnesota State Fairgrounds, as part of his "National Unity" campaign. More than 2,000 of the devoted and the curious paid three dollars each to hear Anderson speak.
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You know I was about to begin by. Making a little bit of a pun and saying that this is only been a fair day for me because I really haven't had time to do very much more than simply a 10-2 of the state fairs one down in the state of Iowa and this afternoon one up here in the state of Minnesota. But I think after the kind of reception that you have given us here tonight here at the Minneapolis Auditorium that I would have to do better than that. I would have to say it was more than just a fair day. It's been a magnificent day a magnificent. It's always been fun for me over the years and I've made a great many visits to your state as many others have of course to enjoy the sparkling lakes and the great natural beauty and the salubrious climate and the well, I could go on and on and describe all of the other things that make Minnesota a great great place to live. but even more importantly, of course, then the geography of this Stake Land the great physical beauty of this day even more important is the character of its people Because really and I have to say this now in the true Spirit of a national Unity candidate. Reaching out to both sides of the political aisle to join us. There is a sense in which both the Republican and the Democratic parties and this state have been refreshingly different in some respects from their counterparts in other in other states. And in other parts of the country the Republicans even began a few years ago to call themselves independent Republican, so they're they're halfway in our Direction already. But it isn't just in the political complexion and the political makeup of the state of Minnesota, but it's basically in the people themselves in what they have built-in. They kind of rugged independent Pioneer spirit that they have exemplify that I think I find the the great challenge for our campaign in 1980 in this state and I'm aware of the poles. I'm aware of the fact that we're doing pretty well. We don't have to have to apologize One according to the Minneapolis Tribune the we are tied with President Carter for second place and not that far behind Ronald Reagan. But we already here just to boast about past successes in the rest on our Laurels. We're here tonight because the encouragement and the Very visible sign of your participation in this campaign along with thousands and thousands of others across this great state tonight is really the launching the launching of the Anderson Unity campaign in the state of Minnesota. You know, the political conventions are over. We have completed not only here in the state of Minnesota, but in A majority the vast majority of the states of the union. We have completed the formalities that have to be completed in order to qualify as a candidate when you can't have a convention when you can't put on the kind of show that they did in Madison Square Garden or up in Cobo Hall in Detroit when you've got to go out and really man to man woman to woman get as we have to date more than a million and a half people the sign their names in effect saying we want this man to run takes a little time. It takes a little delayed and yep, we've had literally thousands of Volunteers in all of the states of the Union helping us reach that point in a campaign wear tonight. We can confidently tell you that on the 4th of November. I believe we will be on the ballot in every one of those 50 states plus the District of Columbia. It's just four months since I decided to run for the presidency of the United States as an independent. I am more convinced tonight. Then I was back on the 24th of April when I made that leap of faith that took me into the political Arena as an independent. I'm more convinced tonight than I was then that the reasons that impelled me to do that are shown that our nation does indeed when you look at our problems at home. When you look at our problems abroad when you look at the totality of those challenges confronting this Republic in 1980, they represent perhaps the most serious challenge to us as a nation as a people. At least since World War II and you know. Campaigns have been conducted of course for many years in the life of our country. And all of those campaigns are different in some respects and yet they tend to be characterized by the candidates pretty much spending their time to Nam sinh their opposition as superficial as uninformed as hypocritical as ineffective and you can add a whole long string of adjectives to those that I've already used and then the candidates having dispatched that part of their assignment then they seek to identify themselves with every single conceivable political constituency the bacon segment out of the American Body politic that they can identify. They identify themselves with those political constituencies and they proceeded to ingratiate them by promising them everything that will fall very soothing lie on the ear of those to whom they are speaking. That's what we used to call in the Army. Sop standard operating procedure. I think the American people want something better than that in 1980. And I'm not going to suggest that in my campaign, but I will be unable to avoid voicing my disagreement. With my two opponents, obviously when we get to the point of debating is eventually I hope we will the real issues confronting the American people. Then I think we're going to have to call a spade a spade. We're going to have to mark out as plainly as we can those areas in which we do not agree to do otherwise would simply be dishonest and yet I think that is a different task that is a far different thing then simply engaging in the criticism in very Bland and general terms of your opponents as being people who are simply not worthy in any sense of the word of the office that they say and I hope I can avoid that and I hope that I can speak to those things that do deeply concerned Americans young and old you know, something happened in this country and it's probably happened in the last two decades, which is over the. Of time that I have been interested in National issues as a member of the Congress now for almost 20 years because I look back at the history of our country. There was a century after the Civil War. And that would have ended of course about 1965 in the mid-60s. There was a century in which we grew and we flourished and we prospered and we build a great economy and we had two during that. Of course also fight two great Wars. For the preservation of democracy and yet we persevered and we Triumph and we felt that we were making progress as a nation we plan for the future and yes, a lot of Americans believe it or not even denied themselves some things along the way and they invested in the future of this country and our country worked and other countries admired what they felt was our efficient and our commonsensical approach to solving problems. It was pretty much as the poet Goethe said in in another Century America allow Hast it far better than the old world. On the world ask what is the future? Where is the future remember that story about a great labor leader was Walter Reuther who back in the 1921 over there to the Soviet Union and worked in some of the plants the industrial plants of the USSR and he found out he discovered that that wasn't where the future was and increasingly increasingly. I think it's clear that a Marxist oriented Society the kind of state planned economy that is growing up in societies of that kind don't work but we can't simply rely on the fact that those societies are not working because somehow I have the feeling that ours isn't working the way it once did either that somewhere along the line. Somewhere along the line. We stopped planning. We stopped investing. We stop saving we stopped doing some of those things that our fathers and our grandfathers and those who came before us it done and we started Living for the day and we ignored tomorrow and tomorrow is catching up with us and it's arriving rather sooner than we would like and it's almost as if him that title of the book recently published by the futurist Alvin Toffler, we find that ninth wave crashing down on us it's arrived and we aren't ready we weren't prepared. So I think the challenge of this new decade is clear. It's one we can't avoid we've got to rebuild this country. That's a huge job. It's easy just a couple of words to rebuild America. I'm under no Illusions about what I'm asking. It's a gigantic task. But I think that if we want to restore our pride as a nation, it isn't going to be in some new militaristic philosophy where we try to extend. For we try to extend some how to expand the mantle of American dominance over other parts of the world know. I think we have to lay a new foundation for social progress and National Security and we have to lay that Foundation right here at home within the United States. now one of the candidates And he's entitled to his views again. This is not a personal attack, but it is an effort to differentiate my position very clearly from his one of the major party candidates. Mr. Reagan says that we can do it by cutting Jackson. We can give everybody what they want and what they need we can gin up this economy again and have it operating as it's not operated in a long long time simply by across-the-board cutting taxes by 30%. Of course in the same. We're going to have to spend 40 billion dollars more. He says for one expensive new weapon systems after another but he says that's the road. That's the road that we ought to follow. But I think that if we take his advice. Where there is going to be saying anything left over to save I think by the time we get paying that kind of a bill. And you know, his running mate is a very forthright man. And when he was campaigning against us to Reagan and called at Voodoo. We conomic some said it would cause 30% inflation by the third year. I think he was sincere. I think he meant what he said. Now I said that way incidentally, I guess it's just a little aggression but there's been so much interest manifest today and yesterday and in the last few days about the Anderson running mate. I want to make you a promise tonight. I want to pledge that when I pick a running mate and I will do that very soon. I assure you I'm not going to let him leave the country. I'm going to keep him right here campaigning and the United States. I'm not I'm not going to send them to Peak. I'm not going to send them to Peking. I'm not going to send them to Peking because I'm not going to make I'm not going to make the I'm sorry. I'm not going to I'm going to try very hard not to precipitate my first International crisis before I'm elected so that I have to send him or her around the world to explain that I didn't really mean things quite the way they sounded when I talked about new official relationships with Taiwan. Well, I don't want to pick on you much. What about mr. Carter? You know, we had quite a show up there in New York City. I watched it with great interest as I'm sure you did but you know the sad and sobering fact my friends is simply this the three and a half days of Hope live in Madison Square Garden simply cannot make up for three and a half years of mismanagement as far as our country is concerned in Washington. And I didn't write the script. I didn't write the script. I wasn't the one who came out a week or so ago with the figures that they've annualized would show that wholesale prices were still going up a 22 and a half percent of I didn't come out with a figure 3 days ago that indicated that pre-tax pre-tax business profits had fallen as low as they have been in more than 25 years. You've got to go back to the Great Depression and that's because of what's happened in automobiles and steel and none of the other basic industries of our country. No such as you heard last Thursday night cannot obscure the truth and the problem has been the basic problem is not going to want a Good intentions. I'm sure that they're there but the problem has been that those policies have been shifting constantly and that the vision the vision for the future has not been gone any farther than than the latest public opinion poll. Rhapsodielle is a good poster and I don't want to say anything against him or his profession but we've got to have a a solider basis for the policies that we pursue in this country then depending on reading public opinion polls cuz the time is going to come. In fact, I think the time has already arrived when some things are going to have to be done. Some steps are going to have to be taken my friends that are not that totally popular that are not going to cause the crowds that break out in great cheers as you announce that this is what in conscience and in truth you think you have to do Our cities and in a sense, you know, you got a great City here. I never visit Minneapolis without wondering it at the bustle and the vitality and the growth and development that I've seen a curb in recent years, but you know, I've been all over this great land. Actually traveling for 14 almost 15 months and I've seen a great many cities. I've seen a great many metropolitan areas from one coast of our country to the other and let me tell you our cities are in trouble. We have cities where the streets are crumbling. We have cities where the water mains are bursting. We have cities where the very basic amenities that would support the kind of economic environment that would make it an attractive place to locate a business to put a plant so that you could internal hire people who in turn could live in the vicinity of the places where they work. They just don't exist those amenities don't exist. They've been allowed to crumble and fall into a state of disrepair. They've got to be rebuilt. We've got to rebuild home. We're down to about a million two hundred thousand Homes at the present time. That's the current rate at which were constructing housing way back in 1969 more than a decade ago. We passed the Housing Act and we set for ourselves a national goal of 25 million new homes in a decade. That's about two and a half million homes a year. We're falling so far short of that. Now we've got to rebuild this country in the housing that our people have got to have we've got to put We've got to put small business back as a central and important part of the economy of this country. Actually, the facts are the facts are the two thirds of the new jobs that are created in this country are being created currently by small business enterprises that employ 20 people or less. Those are the kind of businesses that I want to see flourish in this country. And I'm spending a great deal of time looking at the problem and talking to people about the issue a public transportation. public transportation we're never going to come to grips with the energy problem unless we do a far better job not just in big cities. Although it's a it's a real problem that remains to be solved their butt in the rural and semi-rural areas of our country as well. We've got to find the way that we ought to be ingenious enough to find Transportation methods that can replace the private automobile to some extent in those areas as well. Now having said what I just said about automobiles, I want to make it clear. I want to see an automobile industry continue in this country. I want to see steel factories continue to turn out so I don't want someday to be at the mercy of a steel cartel that because we have lost the basic capacity to provide that very necessary industrial commodity for our economy that we are wholly dependent on imports from other country. So it's going to take retooling reconstruction rebuilding the Japanese today. They tell me our building new plants after 20 years and that particular industry steel after 20 years. They're tearing them down and building new computerized plants that are fantastically efficient something that we can even compete with and we wait until 40 years has gone by and we still can't quite get up. The point where we can match the competition know my friends, we've got to rebuild and retool the industry of our country and I think as we do some of the things that we are talking about as we rebuild our cities as we give the kind of incentives to small business to develop and to grow and as we deal with the problems of public transportation as we deal with public education in a new and different way where we really begin to use our educational system to educate young men and young women for the kind of jobs that are going to be there in the economy in the years. They have I think we can put people back to work and that's how I want to solve the economic problems of our country with job. And I want to say something on that score of jobs. We've got to pay a lot more attention than we have paid in in past decades. I'm convinced and I say this after some recent conversations that I've had with automobile workers in places like Detroit, they want to feel part of the productive process. They don't want to feel that they're simply pushing pieces and parts out the door of that plant like a ton of times. They want some flexibility in the way. They conduct themselves and do their jobs. They want to feel that they are honored as individuals with some creativity and with some ability to make a contribution. And I won't take time to go into all of this tonight. But anybody who has studied the economies of two of the major competitors that we have in the world today and I talked of course about the Japanese in the west German know that that is why the workers of those countries are out producing it isn't that they work harder. It isn't that they are more intelligent, but I think it is because they have been given a sense of participation in that Enterprise a feeling that they are making a contribution to West being produced. I talked about public transportation and my concern about it and it it relates to my feeling about energy. I don't think that the policies that I'm talking about tonight that are needed to rebuild America. I don't think that they're going to succeed unless we can declare our independence from OPEC unless we can make more progress than we've made. So I make this plea to my fellow Americans and I will make it over and over again in the course of this campaign. Let's take some really tough steps to conserve gasoline. Let's begin to use that rebuild public transportation that I'm calling for. Let's begin to show that we can carpool and find innovative ways of using that particular mechanism. Let's weatherize homes Across America. Let's invent and find the new sources of energy for our farms and for our factories we can do all of those things. We have the ability. But if we move toward that new energy self-reliance, we cannot ignore the safety the health in the safety of our people nor can we ignore? The precious Heritage that has been given us of the land and the resources that we enjoy Three Mile Island, I think was that we had not been careful enough in the design and in the training and in the operation of that nuclear power plants, and we have to pause to reflect there isn't anything wrong about taking another look at a situation when new facts and new evidence has been brought to your attention and I have said and I will continue to say if we cannot lay down with Assurance the kind of Regulation. That will assure the American people that these plants are going to operate safely and that we can dispose of the nuclear waste in a manner that will not leave it around for other generations to have the deal with after we are gone if we can't discharge those responsibilities and do it in a reliable way. If we can't do it in a responsible way. We should not be expanding that program. We should not be issuing. We are the trustees of future Generations. We are the stewards of the land and the water and the air that we so freely and sometimes thoughtfully spotlessly yours and we cannot betray or neglect that trust for that responsibility, you know, it was two years ago that I co-sponsored with a man who is I think he was one of the coach sponsors the mayor of this city enlarged The Boundary Waters canoe area right here in the state of Minnesota. I will always as I look back on my own record of congressional service be proud of the fact that I was listed as the principal co-sponsor with Morris Udall of the Udall Anderson, Alaska National interest lands build a great conservation measure. I haven't talked very quickly. And I must I'm assuming close about the importance of the national at the natural environment because there are those today who are scoffing at that and we think that in the drive or energy that we somehow need pay no reference at all to what I think is still a very very important caused. But let me quickly say that when it comes to the human environment within our own country. We have got to complete the job that is still on done and that is of securing the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment in this country. My friends I've given you quite an agenda quite on the agenda for the future. I don't pretend that it's going to be quick that it's going to be easy, but it's going to be painless or it will be cheap. And I turn for my closing point to the question of the defense of our country. When I first came to the Congress almost 20 years ago. I took his every member must do and O's to support and defend the Constitution and the laws of this country and I used to know on in my belief that I would spare nothing if I felt that it should be done and it was necessary to defend this great country against those who would commit aggression against those who would seek to deprive us of our Democratic Liberties and the night my concern at the direction that we seem to be heading in both the Democratic and the Republican party we have on the one hand a republican candidate who talks about almost mindlessly about an arms race as if that was nothing to be concerned about And then on the other hand, we have a Democratic candidate who came into office 350 Rosa go and in his inaugural address, you may recall in January of 1977 thrilled all of us when he spoke to the issue of nuclear disarmament and said let us lift this awful burden from mankind. Let us pursue the gold of reducing and eliminating nuclear arms in the world. And now this same candidate faced with a tough battle for re-election has suddenly come out with a new doctrine of limited nuclear war saying that yes, we can manufacture and we can store up and we can deploy and if necessary, we can use weapons that are targeted against hard silos and hard military Target and command-and-control positions of the Soviet Union and we can fight that time. War and then after a few hours or a few days we can count the casualties on both sides and declared a winner. Don't you? Believe it? Don't you believe it? I'm going to continue as president of this country. to pursue the gold the pursuit of the goal of reaching agreement with the other superpower in this case the Soviet Union reaching agreement on this whole question of a limitation on nuclear, and I think we ought to have a salt agreement and we ought to have it now and not later. This is a Unity campaign. The basic premise of this campaign is that it is possible to unite America that you can elect the president outside of the two party system and you know, I get asked that question over and over again. How can you win? How can you win you have to go back to poke or somebody a hundred and fifty years ago to find a historical precedent for an independent candidate, but I don't think they had their problems then and we haven't had them since up until 1980. We haven't had the kind of problems that we face in our country in this year in this time in which we live and I think when I pledge to you that when elected I will bring to Washington Democrats Republicans Independents men and women of all political parties in Persuasion with the kind of talents and energies and dedication and ability that begin to go to work on some of the things that we've talked about tonight. We can Pro why it is that in 1980 America? Ought to elect an independent as its next president. Thank you very much.