WALTER CRONKITE ON THE NEED FOR DEMOCRATIC WORLD FEDERATION

September 28, 2009 by cgsstlouischapter

While we spend much of our time and a great deal of our treasure in preparing for war, we see no comparable effort to establish a lasting peace. Meanwhile, emphasizing the sloth in this regard, those advocates who work for world peace by urging a system of world government are called impractical dreamers. Those impractical dreamers are entitled to ask their critics what is so practical about war.

  It seems to many of us that if we are to avoid the eventual catastrophic world conflict we must strengthen the United Nations as a first step toward a world government patterned after our own government with a legislature, executive and judiciary, and police to enforce its international laws and keep the peace.

  To do that, of course, we Americans will have to yield up some of our sovereignty. That would be a bitter pill. It would take a lot of courage, a lot of faith in the new order.

  But the American colonies did it once and brought forth one of the most nearly perfect unions the world has ever seen.

  The circumstances were vastly different, obviously. While the colonies differed on many questions, at least the people of the colonies were of the same Anglo-Saxon stock. Yet just because the task appears forbiddingly hard, we should not shirk it.

  We cannot defer this responsibility to posterity. Time will not wait. Democracy, civilization itself, is at stake. Within the next few years we must change the basic structure of our global community from the present anarchic system of war and ever more destructive weaponry to a new system governed by a democratic UN federation.
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     — Excerpt from the October 19, 1999 speech of Walter Cronkite in New York on the occasion of his being given the Norman Cousins Award by the World Federalist Association.  The whole speech as well as Hilary Clinton’s praise of Cronkite can be seen at video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-4576126608705279626.
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