Radio Address to the Nation on Administration Goals
My fellow Americans:
This is the first time I will have spoken to you in 1988, so let me begin by saying very simply what your friends and neighbors will have said to you already: Happy New Year! And as Americans, we do indeed have much to be happy about as this New Year commences. Our nation is at peace. Our economy is growing with new jobs being created at the rate of more than 200,000 a month. But of course, there is still much to be done. Join me then in considering some of the issues that we'll be facing as 1988 gets under way.
The first matter I want to mention is one already before the Congress: the confirmation of Judge Anthony Kennedy to a seat on the Supreme Court. The Senate hearings on Judge Kennedy have already taken place. You may have seen portions of the hearings on television. He made clear his belief that it's a judge's job to interpret the law, not make it. And on an issue that affects every American -- crime -- Judge Kennedy's testimony and record are clear. Judges must respect the rights of the accused, but they must also keep firmly in mind the rights of crime victims and of society itself. The Supreme Court has been one Justice short for many months now. So, I urge the Senate to confirm Judge Kennedy with all due speed.
next item I want to discuss with you is one that touches on my recent summit
meeting with General Secretary Gorbachev of the
now, let me just say this: Under this treaty, for the first time in history, an
entire class of
the economy -- I don't want to delve into ancient history as this New Year
begins, but it's important to keep in mind what the economy our administration
inherited some 7 years ago was like: double-digit inflation, the highest
interest rates since the Civil War, rising unemployment. Our economic program
changed all that and changed it so dramatically that today
an hour, I will be signing the U.S.-Canada free trade agreement, a truly
historic pact that will create more jobs and lower prices for consumers on both
sides of the border. It is a win-win situation for both countries. Even more
importantly, the agreement is an example of the market-opening steps the entire
world should be pursuing and which the
Finally, of course, 1988 is an election year, a year in which we will choose new officials at all levels and, yes, a new President. To tell you the truth, I've always loved election years -- the rallies, the excitement, all of it so American. But more than the excitement, something of immense importance will be taking place, for this year we will be taking stock of ourselves as a nation and deciding in a free and peaceful democratic election -- that is still the marvel of much of the world -- where our highest hopes and dreams will lead us. Yes, in 1988, the 212th year of our independence and the 201st of our Constitution, ours remains a free nation truly ruled by we the people.
Until next week, thanks for listening, and God bless you.
Note: The President's
address was recorded at on