Aug 24

"Go into politics and change the system"

by Sargent Shriver Peace Institute | 08/24/2020 9:39AM | Quote of the Week | Leadership | Public Service


Our Quote of the Week underlines the fact that we can turn our doubts about the political system into action -- perhaps by entering into a life of public service ourselves! At the same time, the quote reminds us of a vitally important characteristic any political leader must have -- honesty.

We're continuing our exploration of the 1972 Presidential campaign this week with Sargent Shriver's Graduation Speech at St. Ignatius high school in Cleveland, Ohio. In a speech that focuses on the importance of truthfulness and that encourages the young audience to get involved in public service, Sargent Shriver makes the case for his Democratic Presidential running mate, George McGovern. If you watched this year's Democratic Convention, we believe you'll find some similarities between the messages of the 2020 speakers and Sargent Shriver's message here. Shriver's words remind us that policies are important, but that as a minimum, a President must show their humanity and be trustworthy and honest.

Sargent Shriver ends his remarks by stressing all of these points for the young audience He says:

Presidents are people just like you. One of you - boys or girls - may grow up to be President and you’re not going to be any different then than you are now. You will make mistakes. But the best thing for our country would be to have a person in the presidency who tells you the truth. And even if they make mistakes, they don’t try to hide them from you.

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