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270   My Brother Theodore Roosevelt

"The propositions are definite and concrete. They represent for the first time in our political history the specific and reasoned purpose of a great party to use the resources of the government in sane fashion for industrial betterment... .

"To sum up, then, our position is, after all, simple. We believe that the government should concern itself chiefly with the matters that are of most importance to the average man and average woman, and that it should be its special province to aid in making the conditions of life easier for these ordinary men and ordinary women, who compose the great bulk of our people. To this end we believe that the people should have direct control over their own governmental agencies, and that when this control has been secured, it should be used with resolution, but with sanity and self-restraint, in the effort to make conditions fairer and better for the men and women of the nation."

I have inserted this quotation from his own writings in 1913, for it gives clearly the objects and aims of that party, born at Chicago amid scenes of almost religious enthusiasm in June, 1912, nor did that enthusiasm wane for one single moment during the following months; on the contrary, it rose to the heighths of dedication.

There were some who lost their sense of proportion, but by far the greater number of those who followed Theodore Roosevelt in that extraordinary campaign were imbued with a high sense of a "Great Cause," a cause which had never before been translated into the common sense of possible achievement. The New York State Progressive Convention met at Syracuse, and at that assemblage I was able to be present, and whatever doubts might have been in my breast before were swept away by a deep conviction of the fact that the Progressive Party was the true interpretation of the highest ideal of democracy.

Just about the time of the Progressive Convention at Syracuse, an article appeared, written by a citizen of Unadilla, N. Y., C. C. Penny by name, in which the above citizen gives

The Great Denial   271

the reasons which induced him to vote for "Teddy," as he affectionately calls the colonel.


"To the Editor of the Utica Daily Press:

"Having had the question put up to me as to what Roosevelt has ever done politically to better conditions, I would submit the following: First,-What did Mr. Roosevelt do as President that he should not have done in the public interest, or that was dangerous or hurtful to business? Mr. Roosevelt's intervention in the coal strike benefited all consumers; Mr. Roosevelt is responsible for the Pure Food and Drugs Act; the open door to American commerce with China; the settlement of the Russo-Japan War; Panama Canal project; conservation of natural resources; reduction of interest-bearing debt by more than ninety million dollars; settlement of the Alaska boundary dispute; an act calling for the extension of forest reserves; national irrigation act; employers' liability act; safety appliances and regulation of railroad employees' hours of labor.-Was Mr. Roosevelt's work in bringing about the settlement of the RussoJapan War dangerous and hurtful to business? Was Roosevelt's Panama Canal project dangerous and hurtful to business? Was his movement for the conservation of our natural resources dangerous and hurtful to business? These are a few of the things which he suggested and carried through with the help of his followers. Besides, he recommended many other reforms such as Postal Savings Bank, Parcels Post, and Inheritance Tax and Income Tax which he had not time to carry through during his last term.

"All these, it seems to me, are reforms to better the conditions of the great mass of people. The Progressive platform has been growing for the last sixteen years all through the Northwest, and West and South, only waiting for a man to come out, bold enough to take the lead. Mr. Roosevelt, it seems, has dared to take this step, and whether we win or lose, it is a step forward to the betterment of the conditions of all who toil and consume.


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