Address at the Americans for Democratic Action Dinner, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

February 24, 1967


Philadelphia, PA

More and more of our children are estranged, alienated in the literal sense, almost unreachable by the familiar premises and arguments of our adult world. And the task of leadership, the first task of concerned people is not to condemn or castigate or deplore—it is to search out the reason for disillusionment and alienation, the rationale of protest and dissent— perhaps, indeed, to learn from it. And we will learn most, I think, from the minority who most sharply articulate their criticism of our ways. And we may find that we learn most of all from those political and social dissenters whose differences with us are most grave; for among the young as among adults, the sharpest criticism often goes hand-in-hand with the deepest idealism and love of country.