"Standing in this same place a third of a century ago, Franklin Delano Roosevelt addressed a nation ravaged by depression, gripped in fear. He could say in surveying the Nation's troubles: 'They concern, thank God, only material things.' Our crisis today is in reverse. We find ourselves rich in goods, but ragged in spirit; reaching with magnificent precision for the moon, but failing into raucous discord on earth. We are caught in war, wanting peace. We are torn by division, wanting unity. We see around us empty lives, wanting fulfillment. We see tasks that need doing, waiting for hands to do them. To a crisis of the spirit, we need an answer of the spirit. And to find that answer, we need only look within ourselves. When we listen to 'the better angels of our nature,' we find that they celebrate the simple things, the basic things--such as goodness, decency, love, kindness. Greatness comes in simple trappings. The simple things are the ones most needed today if we are to surmount what divides us, and cement what unites us. To lower our voices would be a simple thing. In these difficult years, America has suffered from a fever of words; from inflated rhetoric that promises more than it can deliver; from angry rhetoric that fans discontents into hatreds; from bombastic rhetoric that postures instead of persuading. We cannot learn from one another until we stop shouting at one another--until we speak quietly enough so that our words can be heard as well as our voices."


This is part of Richard Nixon's Inaugural Address.