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                               PAPER XXV

". . . We shall help those who block the dictators in their march toward 
domination of the world." 

Address over the radio in celebration of Jackson Day, Fort Lauderdale, 
   Fla., April 1, 1941

I am sitting in the little cabin of the little ship POTOMAC, in the 
harbor of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., after a day of sunshine out in the Gulf 
Stream. That I cannot in person attend one of the many Jackson Day 
dinners I regret, but it is good that you are again celebrating the 
memory of a great American leader who believed, fanatically almost, in 
the principles of a democracy based on the freedom of the ballot box. 

I try to get away a couple of times a year on these short trips on salt 
water. In Washington, as you know, the working day of the Presidency in 
these days averages about fifteen hours. Even when I go to Hyde Park or 
to Warm Springs, the White House office, the callers and the telephone 
all follow me. But at sea the radio messages and the occasional pouch of 
mail reduce official work to not more than two or three hours a day. 

So there is a chance for a bit of sunshine or a wetted line, or a 
biography or a detective story, or a nap after lunch. Above all, there 
is the opportunity for thinking things through-for differentiating 
between principles and methods, between the really big things of life 
and those other things of the moment which may seem all-important today 
and are forgotten by the world in a month. That means that if today the 
fellow next to you catches a bigger fish than you do, or vice versa, you 
don't lie awake at night thinking about it. 

Yes; you recapture your philosophy, but in so doing you do not sit down 
mentally and become a fatalist. You still seek peace of mind and of 
spirit but you come to realize that today you have to work overtime, and 
work harder than ever before in your life to make that peace possible 
later on. If we sit down now we may get run over later. And if our kind 
of civilization gets run over, the kind of peace we seek will become an 
unattainable hope. 

That is why, in the comparative quiet of this week, I have become more 
than ever clear that the time calls for courage and more courage-action 
and more action. 

That is why it is appropriate today to honor the name of Andrew Jackson-
because he was first and foremost a great American, who placed his 
devotion to country above adherence to party, and provided an ever-
living symbol of the rugged, courageous spirit of our people. 

Responsibility lay heavily upon the shoulders of Andrew Jackson. 

In his day the threat to the Federal Union came from within. It was a 
sectional threat. More than that, it was a threat which came from 
Jackson's own people-indeed, from some members of his own 

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party. It was inspired by refusal to recognize the sovereign authority 
of the United States. And by his actions Jackson placed himself far 
above section and party. 

In our own day the threat to our Union and to our democracy is not a 
sectional one. It comes from a great part of the world which surrounds 
us, and which draws more tightly around us, day by day. 

Again, to do this job, we Americans-nearly all of us-have risen above 
any considerations of party politics. 

Long before Jackson became President the two-party system of government 
had become firmly entrenched as a basic principle of American political 
life. It had shown its value as a method of obtaining free and open 
discussion of public issues, formulating new policies to meet new 
conditions, and fixing responsibilities in affairs of government as an 
indispensable part of our conception of free elections. 

The dictators cannot seem to realize that here in America our people can 
maintain two parties and at the same time maintain an inviolate and 
indivisible nation. The totalitarian mentality is too narrow to 
comprehend the greatness of a people who can be divided in party 
allegiance at election time but remain united in devotion to their 
country and to the ideals of democracy at all times. 

In dictatorships there can be no party divisions. For all men must think 
as they are told, speak as they are told, write as they are told, live-
and die-as they are told. In those countries the nation is not above the 
party as with us. The party is above the nation, the party is the 

Every common man and woman is forced to walk the straight and narrow 
path of the party line, as drawn by the dictator himself. 

In our country, disagreements among us are expressed in the polling 
place. In the dictatorships, disagreements are suppressed in the 
concentration camp. 

Last year we held an American election, in which the people-Democrats, 
Republicans, Independents, and others-by secret ballot, and without 
plodding by the bayonets of storm troopers, voted for their public 
officers-local, State, and national. 

And we are determined so to act that America will go on year after year, 
holding free elections. 

All of the great freedoms which form the basis of our American democracy 
are part and parcel of that concept of free election, with free 
expression of political choice between candidates of political parties. 
For such elections guarantee that there can be no possibility of 
stifling freedom of speech, freedom of press and the air, freedom of 

These are the eternal principles which are now being threatened by the 
alliance of dictator nations. 

Ours is the responsibility of defending those principles which have come 
to us as our national heritage, ours is the responsibility of passing 
them on-not only intact, but stronger than ever, to all the generations 
yet to come. 

We Americans realize how tenuous would be the existence of our party 
system, our freedom of election, our freedom of living, if the doctrines 
of dictatorship were to prevail. For if they were to prevail it would 
not be in Europe alone. 

The history of nations betrayed during the past year, the history of 
nations conquered during the past year, should show us and the

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rest of the world what it means to live in a world organized and ruled 
by the Gestapo. 

Let us ask ourselves, frankly and seriously: How long could we maintain 
our ancient liberties under these terrible conditions? How soon would we 
have to accept the doctrine that one must fight fire with fire? 

How long would it be possible to maintain a semblance of our two-party 
system, with free elections, in a Nazi-dominated world? 

How soon would we decide to imitate nazi-ism and abandon our two-party 
system and regiment our people into one party-which would certainly be 
neither Democratic nor Republican? 

Should that evil time come, we would no longer hold these friendly 
gatherings, either on Jackson Day or on Lincoln Day. 

We Americans have already weighed these questions carefully and 
thoughtfully. We Americans have announced our determination that, with 
all our resources and all our power, we shall help those who block the 
dictators in their march toward domination of the world. 

The decision we have reached is not a partisan decision. The leader of 
the Republican Party himself, Mr. Wendell Willkie, in word and in 
action, is showing what patriotic Americans mean by rising above 
partisanship and rallying to the common cause; and now that the plain 
people of America have spoken their determination, Republicans and 
Democrats, in the Congress and out of the Congress, are patriotically 
cooperating to make that determination take positive form. 

The enemies of democracy are now trying, by every means, to destroy our 
unity. The chief weapon they now use against us is propaganda. 

The propaganda comes in ever-increasing quantities, with ever-increasing 
violence, from across the seas. And it is disseminated within our own 
borders by agents or innocent dupes of foreign powers. 

It is directed against all Americans-Republicans and Democrats, farmers 
and bankers, employers and employees. 

Propagandists, defeatists, and dupes, protected as they are by our 
fundamental civil liberties, have been preaching and are still preaching 
the ungodly gospel of fear. They use insinuation and falsehood. They 
have tried to shatter the confidence of Americans in their Government 
and in one another. 

We have seen what has happened to the great industrialists of Germany 
who supported the Nazi movement, and then received their reward in Nazi 
concentration camps or in death. 

We have seen how the workers of France were betrayed by their so-called 
champions, the Communists. For no matter what Communist lips have to 
say, their actions have proved that in their hearts they care nothing 
for the real rights of free labor. 

The agents of nazi-ism and those who unwittingly help them are still 
trying to play both ends against the middle. They have attempted to 
exploit the natural love of our people for peace. They have represented 
themselves as pacifists when actually they are serving the most brutal 
warmongers of all time. They have preached "peace-peace!" in the same 
way the devil can quote scripture. 

Of course, the purpose of all this has been to spread terror among us. 
The effect of it has been only to fortify our determination. 

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When Abraham Lincoln became President he had to face the awful reality 
of War between the States. On July 4, 1861, in his first message to the 
Congress, he presented this vital question:

"Must a government, of necessity, be too strong for the liberties of its 
own people or too weak to maintain its own existence?"

Lincoln answered that question as Jackson had answered it-not by words, 
but by deeds. And America still marches on.

We of today have been presented with that same question. We, too, are 
answering it by deeds. Our well-considered philosophy for the attainment 
of peace comes not from weakness but everlastingly from the courage of