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304 My Brother Theodore Roosevelt

Convention, which met within a few weeks, a letter stating his position as follows:

"Gentlemen : In accordance with the message I sent to the National Progressive Convention as soon as I had received the notification that it had nominated me for President, I now communicate to you my reasons for declining the honor which I so deeply appreciate. . . . Before speaking of anything else, I wish to express my heartiest and most unstinted admiration for the character and services of the men and women who made up the National Progressive Convention in 1916. . . . They represent the spirit which moved Abraham Lincoln and his political associates during the decade preceding the close of the Civil War. The platform put forth in 1912 was much the most important public document promulgated in this country since the death of Abraham Lincoln. It represented the first effort, on a large scale, to translate abstract formulas of economic and social justice into concrete American nationalism... .

"Events have shown us that the Progressive party in 1912 offered the only alternative to the triumph of the Democratic party. . . . The results of the terrible world war of the past two years have now made it evident to all who are willing to see, that in this country there must be spiritual and industrial preparedness, along the lines of efficient and loyal service to the nation, and of practical application of the precept that `each man must be his brother's keeper.' Furthermore, it is no less evident that this preparedness for the days of peace forms the only sound basis for that indispensable military preparedness based on military universal training, and which finds expression in universal obligatory service in time of war. Such universal obligatory training and service are necessary complements of universal suffrage and represent the realization of the true American, the democratic ideal in both peace and war.

"Sooner or later, the national principles championed by the Progressives of 1912 must, in their general effect, be embodied in the structure of our national existence. With all my

heart, I shall continue to work for these great ideals, shoulder to shoulder with the men and women, who, in 1912, championed them. . . . The method however by which we are to show our loyalty must be determined in each case by the actual event. Our loyalty is to the fact, to the principle, to the ideal, and not merely to the name, and least of all, to the party name. The Progressive movement has been given an incalculable impetus by what the Progressive party has done. Our strongest party organizations have accepted and enacted into law, or embodied in their party platforms many of our most important principles. Yet it has become entirely evident that the people under existing conditions are not prepared to accept a new party... . Under such circumstances, our duty is to do the best we can and not to sulk because our leadership is rejected.-It is unpatriotic to refuse to do the best possible, merely because the people have not put us in a position to do what we regard as the very best. . . . In my judgment, the nomination of Mr. Hughes meets the conditions set forth in the statement of the Progressive National Committee, issued last January and in my own statements. Under existing conditions, the nomination of a third ticket would, in my judgment, be merely a move in the interest of the election of Mr. Wilson. I regard Mr. Hughes as a man whose public record is a guarantee that he will not merely stand for a program of clean-cut, straight principles before election but will resolutely and in good faith put them through if elected. It would be a grave detriment to the country to re-elect Mr. Wilson. I shall, therefore, strongly support Mr. Hughes. Such being the case, it is unnecessary to say that I cannot accept the nomination on a third ticket. I do not believe that there should be a third ticket. I believe that when my fellow Progressives actually consider the question, they will, for the most part, take this position.

"They and I have but one purpose,-the purpose to serve our common country. It is my deep conviction that at this moment we can serve it only by supporting Mr. Hughes."

"Do It Now"


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