The great liability of the engineer compared to men of other professions is that his works are out in the open where all can see them. His acts, step by step, are in hard substance. He cannot bury his mistakes in the grave like the doctors. He cannot argue them into thin air or blame the judge like the lawyers. He cannot, like the architects, cover his failures with trees and vines. He cannot, like the politicians, screen his shortcomings by blaming his opponents and hope the people will forget. The engineer simply cannot deny he did it. If his works do not work, he is damned.
A good many things go around in the dark besides Santa Claus.
The President is not only the leader of a party, he is the President of the whole people. He must interpret the conscience of America. He must guide his conduct by the idealism of our people.
We supported the cooperative movement among farmers. The movement was still young and stubbornly opposed to the commercial distributors. I believed it to be one of the most helpful undertakings, for according to my social theories any organization run by citizens for their own welfare is preferable to the same action by the government.
Every collectivist revolution rides in on a Trojan horse of “emergency”. It was the tactic of Lenin, Hitler, and Mussolini. In the collectivist sweep over a dozen minor countries of Europe, it was the cry of men striving to get on horseback. And “emergency” became the justification of the subsequent steps. This technique of creating emergency is the greatest achievement that demagoguery attains.
Words without actions are the assassins of idealism.
Older men declare war. But it is the youth that must fight and die.
You convey too great a compliment when you say that I have earned the right to the presidential nomination. No man can establish such an obligation upon any part of the American people. My country owes me no debt. It gave me, as it gives every boy and girl, a chance. It gave me schooling, independence of action, opportunity for service and honor. In no other land could a boy from a country village, without inheritance or influential friends, look forward with unbounded hope. My whole life has taught me what America means. I am indebted to my country beyond any human power to repay.
Our fathers and grandfathers who poured over the Midwest were self-reliant, rugged, God-fearing people of indomitable courage….They asked only for freedom of opportunity and equal chance. In these conceptions lies the real basis of American democracy. They and their fathers give a genius to American institutions that distinguished our people from any other in the world.
I am firmly opposed to the government entering into any business the major purpose of which is competition with our citizens… for the Federal Government deliberately to go out to build up and expand… a power and manufacturing business is to break down the initiative and enterprise of the American people; it is the destruction of equality of opportunity amongst our people, it is the negation of the ideals upon which our civilization has been based.
You cannot extend the mastery of government over the daily life of a people without somewhere making it master of people’s souls and thoughts…. Every step in that direction poisons the very roots of liberalism. It poisons political equality, free speech, free press, and equality of opportunity. It is the road not to more liberty but to less liberty.
Our individualism is rooted in our very nature. It is based on conviction born of experience. Equal opportunity, the demand for a fair chance, became the formula of American Individualism because it is the method of American achievement.
Freedom requires that government keep the channels of competition and opportunity open, prevent monopolies, economic abuse and domination.