From the book I was reading, which was published in 1951:
“What are we going to install or innovate to ‘make America new’ or restore it to ‘life, vigor, and activity’?
“We must look at the Republic of the United States in the world that is coming (remember, he is looking ahead from 1951) as being something even a thousand times better than anything we knew prior to 1929. We must view the prospect of a Free Republic, under enlightened and capable leaders, as being even freer than anything we’ve seen in the country’s whole history. We must have the brains and acumen to say: ‘This is the country we want and if we want it intensively enough, it must come into form.’
“Our country was founded on the basis of individuality. We were free to talk as we please, engage in business as we please, make and spend money as we please, worship as we please, dress as we please, vote for whom we please.
“No paternalistic Administration handed out juicy checks of our own tax money for old-age pensions, socialized medicine, or workmen’s compensation. We didn’t need those things. We took care of our own folks, or they learned to be provident and put something aside for their sunset years. We paid our own family doctors what we could and drank dandelion wine or squirrel whiskey made of our own dandelions or apples behind the barn — but we rarely got sick anyhow. We didn’t have time to waste on being sick.
“If we couldn’t hold a job, we expected to be fired, and it was up to us to have something put aside to tide us over until we got another. We didn’t have a regiment of professional do-gooders visiting us by Divine Right and coddling or bossing us in the Holy Name of Welfare.
“We were forced to stand on our own two feet and take the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune without whining or feeling sorry for ourselves and it made for character. It made for the character in the average citizen that, taken in the accumulate, gave us the Republic, self-sufficient and great.
“Our forebears and our mothers and fathers weren’t weaklings, because the whole pattern of American life fostered and developed strength and self-reliance in them. There’s something indescribable in the immortal human spirit that glories in such strength and self-reliance when left untrammeled to develop as God and Nature intended.
“We have been a nation of self-reliant, adventurous, fortune challenging legionnaires — and its shown in our institutions, our great corporations, our magnificent railroads, our super commercial industries — all because until 1933, political authority as political authority kept it’s hands off the average citizen’s life.
“The biggest headache in civic affairs which we confront in this country at present is this: The average man or woman lacks the mental grasp, or intellect, to encompass the enormity of the forces battling for control of this mighty country, with its stupendous resources, in its position in world affairs.
“We have become allotted the divine right of approving somebody whom a nondescript State or National committee has endorsed for a given office. Some personal deal has been negotiated in a backroom somewhere, and it is there that the true process of government has been negotiated. Strange as it may seem to many of the political illiterate among us, George Washington himself, Father of His Country, warned and inveighed against the blind machinations of political parties. Because exactly the thing would happen, he saw, that has happened. Political gangsters, he foresaw, would capture control of the Republic. What went on in backrooms would be the true ruling.
Checking a box next to a candidate’s name isn’t ruling. It’s following political orders - be it Democratic or Republican.”
This next statement was quite interesting. I guess his crystal ball wasn’t as gleaming as he thought:
“Never could we undergo such a system of a Federal President’s dictating to Congress as we saw happen in the erstwhile Roosevelt Administration and the imposition of the New Deal fiats on a confused and stricken citizenry. What I’m saying is, in other words, no President or other political potentate could ever rise to such heights of influence that he could, in one burst of personal persuasion, sell a whole electorate overnight on a program that gave him dictatorial powers so long as 49 percent of the country’s voters reposed in the opposite political camp. He would have, so to speak, no subservient henchmen in a national legislative body, to advocate and promote his designs.”
Never say never.
More to come....