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  Alfred E. Smith Presidential Nomination Acceptance Speech 1928
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ContributorThomas Walker 
Post Date ,  12:am
DescriptionUpon the steps of this Capitol, where twenty-five years ago I first came into the service of the State, I receive my party's summons to lead it in the nation. Within this building, I learned the principles, the purposes and the functions of government and to know that the greatest privilege that can come to any man is to give himself to a nation which has reared him and raised him from obscurity to be a contender for the highest office in the gift of its people.

Here I confirmed my faith in the principles of the Democratic Party so eloquently defined by Woodrow Wilson: "First, the people as the source and their interests and desires as the text of laws and institutions. Second, individual liberty as the objective of all law." With a gratitude too strong for words and with humble reliance upon the aid of Divine Providence, I accept your summons to the wider field of action.

Government should be constructive, not destructive; progressive, not reactionary. I am entirely unwilling to accept the old order of things as the best unless and until I become convinced that it cannot be made better.
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