Opinion writer

Speech(1) by Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky accepting the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, as prepared for delivery:

(1) Source: Wikipedia

Dana Milbank writes about political theater in the nation’s capital. He joined the Post as a political reporter in 2000. View Archive

My fellow Americans,

With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, I proudly accept your nomination for president of the United States, in the name of all those who do the work, pay the taxes, raise the kids and play by the rules, in the name of the hardworking Americans who make up our forgotten middle class.

Tonight, to you, the great silent majority of my fellow Americans, I ask for your support. I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth. I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.

So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself — nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.

But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land!

I pledge you, I pledge myself, to a new deal for the American people. This nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom. The new frontier of which I speak is spread like stars, like a thousand points of light. A society with the motto “every man a king.” Every man a king, so there would be no such thing as a man or woman who did not have the necessities of life, who would not be dependent upon the whims and caprices and ipsi dixit of the financial barons for a living. What do we propose by this society?

Read my lips: A chicken in every pot and a car in every garage; tear down this wall; you shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold; give me liberty or give me death.

Tonight is a particular honor for me because — let’s face it — my presence on this stage is pretty unlikely. My father was a foreign student, born and raised in a small village in Kenya. He grew up herding goats. I still believe in a place called Hope. I am paying for this microphone. I knew Jack Kennedy; Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine. Ich bin ein Berliner. I have not only grown gray but almost blind in the service of my country. I am not a crook. I am not a potted plant. Four score and seven years ago — a day which will live in infamy — I did not have sexual relations with that woman.

I have a dream! It was a little cocker spaniel dog in a crate that he’d sent all the way from Texas, black and white, spotted. And our little girl Tricia, the 6-year-old, named it “Checkers.”

We hold these truths to be self-evident: Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice; a city set on a hill cannot be hidden; a house divided against itself cannot stand; an iron curtain has descended across the Continent; it takes a village; Atlas shrugged; if it doesn’t fit, you must acquit.

This is the war to end war. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills, we shall never surrender. The world must be made safe for democracy. We must be the great arsenal of democracy. We must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. In war there is no substitute for victory. Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.

And so, my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you; ask:

Have you no sense of decency, sir?

Where’s the beef?

Can we all get along?

For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives and the dream shall never die.

Keep hope alive! I have not yet begun to fight. Old soldiers never die; they just fade away. Our long national nightmare is over. Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! Let’s roll.

Twitter: @Milbank

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