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My fellow Americans, this is an amazing moment for me. To think that a once-scrawny boy from Austria could grow up to become governor of the state of California and then stand here… then stand here in Madison Square Garden and speak on behalf of the president of the United States – that is an immigrant’s dream. It is the American dream.
There are a million boys growing up in the United States who have never seen a saloon, and who will never know the handicap of liquor and this excellent condition will go on spreading over the country when the wet press and the paid propogandists of booze are forgotten. The abolition of the commercialized liquor trade in this country is as final as the abolition of slavery.
Many of the most successful men I have known have never grown up. They have retained bubbling-over boyishness. They have relished wit, they have indulged in humor. They have not allowed ‘dignity’ to depress them into moroseness. Youthfulness of spirit is the twin brother of optimism, and optimism is the stuff of which American business success is fashioned. Resist growing up!
I think back to when I was growing up in Fort Worth, Texas, in the 1950s, during the [John] McCarthy era, with two parents who founded a Unitarian Church. We lived in a little frame house, and my bedroom was just down the hall from the kitchen. My favorite memories of childhood are of the smell of coffee wafting into my bedroom as my parents and their friends talked about the big, important things – about racism and about how to move our country to live its values.