The Framework for a Government
OURS IS A HIGH DUTY
By HAROLD E. STASSEN, Governor of Minnesota
Keynote address at the Republican Convention held in Philadelphia, June 25, 1940
Vital Speeches of the Day, Vol. VI, pp. 578-583
OUR forefathers erected here a great lighthouse of liberty, They showed a new way for men to live. At last men and women could stand erect. They were free—free to think for themselves, to speak and to work and to worship for themselves. Free to use their hands and their brains to build homes for themselves. And free to choose from among themselves their own rulers.
When those founders of our nation met in this historic city, a century and a half ago, the dark shadow of despotic government covered most of the earth. The wealth, the traditions and the power of the Old World all were arrayed against them.
Yet they succeeded. The framework for a government of free men which they drafted here became a beacon of liberty and progress for the entire world. The people of thirteen struggling States adopted their work, and made of it the living Constitution of these United States. The people took from their number a great leader and made of him, George Washington, their first President.
Their task was well done. Let us strive to do as well in this our time of crisis.
Country Put Above Party
For once again the black shadow of despotism falls over the world. Fellow Republican delegates, even as we meet lights are going out in Europe. Blackouts of dictators take the place of lighthouses of freemen. It is our grave responsibility to keep burning brightly the light of liberty.
If we meet that responsibility well, the people of this great nation of forty-eight States will make the program and principles that we here set forth their program and their principles next November.
If we meet the challenge before us, we will here nominate a man the people of these United States will make their President next November.
The challenge of the hour clearly calls for our Republican party to rise above narrow partisanship. Ours is the highduty to place the future of this nation above all other considerations, including our own desire to win.
Let us face, with calm courage, the task that is before us.
Realistic Inventory Asked
The press and the radio on this very day have brought to us added news of the horrors and tragedies of the war across the sea as ruthless rulers crush free men. Our Army Chief of Staff reports a tragic lack of preparedness for our own defense.
All about us move the discouraged evidence that we still have ten million unemployed men and women. A heavy blanket of forty-five billions of indebtedness weighs down over all of our people. Back on the farms millions of rural families face their burdens with shrunken incomes.
This would indeed be a dark picture if we did not also see the great potentialities of a free people, talented sons and daughters of every nation in the world, having in their possession natural resources unequaled by any other nation.
Let us announce here and now that we have faith in the future of this nation and its way of life.
It is for us realistically to take inventory, to draw heavily from the lessons of the past, and resolutely to turn our eyes to the future. Our first task is to cut through the clouds of confusion and of petty superficial political issues, and present to the people, crystal clear, the great underlying problems and principles upon which our real future progress must be made.
We must brush aside the brambles of prejudice, bitterness and hatred and lead through to national unity based upon understanding, tolerance and confidence.
Two Responsibilities Faced
Every citizen of this nation, regardless of his station in life, his political party, his nationality background, his creed or his race, faces two great responsibilities during these next months.
First, he faces the responsibility of supporting his government as now constituted, in every measure for the publicgood.
So long as the now President of these United States is in the White House, so long as the now Senators and Representatives are in the Capitol they are our President and our Congress, and when they together take action of vital public concern they are entitled to have, and they will have, the support of all men and women, including in full measure the support of the Republicans of this nation.
But there is a second and even greater responsibility facing every man and woman of this country. That is the duty of deciding quietly and calmly who shall exercise the leadership of this nation in the next four years of its existence. Then in keeping with that decision, each citizen should go to his ballot box next November and cast his precious vote.
These two responsibilities are both of major importance, and each is distinct and separate. He who would confuse them and would withhold support of such action now because of the conviction that there should be a change in November, is guilty of a disservice to the future of this country. And he who seeks to claim that support now must carry with it the surrender of the right to change in November, is equally guilty of a disservice to the future of this nation.
Criticism in a Democracy
It is not a pleasant task to criticize those in positions of governmental authority. Yet it is absolutely essential to the functioning of democracy.
It was not easy for the people of England to criticize their pre-war government yet how essential—in fact, how belated—was their change. It was not easy for the people of France to criticize their pre-war government or their prewar generals, yet how necessary and how fatally delayed was their change.
When democracies face a crisis, their first step must be an extremely frank and fair analysis of their leadership as they prepare to meet their hours of peril.
I consider it to be the patriotic duty of my party to analyze frankly and fairly, from the facts and the records, the leadership this country now has, and that which it should have.
Let nothing that this convention may do or say be construed or distorted by the enemies of democracies as a reflection upon our form of government.
The constructive criticism in which we must indulge, the vigorous debate in which we propose to engage, the severe condemnation we intend deliberately to visit upon those who deserve it—these are not the signs that democracy is not working. They are the living evidence that here, in the last refuge of liberal government, democracy still is working.
Four Fronts for Advance
As we face the future we see plainly that if this nation is to fulfill its high destiny, if we are to make America strong, and our way of life secure, whether the next years be years of peace or of conflict, we must advance with a decisive and determined step upon four major fronts:
The front of NATIONAL PREPAREDNESS.
The front of FIFTH COLUMN DEFENSE.
The front of DOMESTIC ECONOMIC WELFARE.
The front of GOVERNMENTAL EFFECTIVENESS
What shall be the salients of our advance? What shall be the character of our leadership? These are questions, the answer to which our Republican party must suggest, and our people must decide.
Every one recognizes the vital necessity for this nation to advance rapidly and effectively upon the front of National Preparedness. We need more than millions of men and women willing to spring to the defense of the country. We need the physical and mechanical means of answering the challenge of those who seek to turn the great benefits of machine development into a mechanical Frankenstein of destruction.
A Program for Re-Arming
We must develop our air force to take its place beside the Army and the Navy. We need large quantities of the most modern airplanes and anti-aircraft guns, the most modern tanks and anti-tank guns, the most modern ships and coast defense.
We need highly mobile trained fighting units with bases for air, water and land defense strategically located in this hemisphere. These bases must be protected as far as the ingenuity of man can do so against destruction from the air. We must be constantly alert in research and invention of the means of defense against new weapons of aggression.
To accomplish these ends we must fully utilize our mass production system, we must marshal and conserve our great credit resources, we must have executive direction and responsibility, we must cut through red tape and bureaucratic delays.
We must have a united people, with each citizen willing to make sacrifices and ready to stand shoulder to shoulder in the interests of national defense. We need that pioneering spirit that characterized the days of the covered wagon.
Defense Failure Charged
And what shall be our leadership as we move forward upon this tremendous task? Shall it be that group of men who for seven years have been in complete charge of our government, using the Democratic label? Let us examine their record.
For seven years they have had not only the Presidency and the Cabinet but strong majorities in both houses of Congress. They have had complete authority and they must take full responsibility for what has happened so far as government is concerned during these past seven years.
During these seven years ruthless dictators in other lands built the diabolical machines of destruction now crushing Europe. During these seven years cruel acts of aggression occurred in rapid succession. With full knowledge of these dangerous developments what did our national leadership do to meet the threats?
It is a fact today, well known by the heads of every other government in the world, and belatedly coming to the knowledge of the people of this nation, that we are tragically unprepared. We are too woefully weak to give the Allies that material assistance this nation wants to give them. We are sadly wanting in the state of our defenses of this hemisphere.
The Army Chief of Staff and the chief of the air force have testified to this serious lack of modern equipment for our defense. They have specifically stated that we lack almost entirely the mechanical means vital to our security.
President's Data Disputed
As this news swept across the country the President went on the radio and in an extremely clever, but dangerously deceptive manner, lumped together the equipment that was "on hand" and "on order" in an effort to smooth over the failure to fulfill the trust that the American people placed in his Administration.
The cold facts are that in many instances the totals the President gave "on hand" and "on order" were about one-fifth "on hand" and four-fifths "on order" and those orders sadly delayed in their fulfillment.
Even then he tried to give the American people the impression that they need not sacrifice, that they could move along with a shrug of the shoulders and that he would take care of things "on order."
He first placed some of the bungling members of his Administration in charge of the vital problem of production.
We can be thankful today that the overwhelming demand of the people drove him, begrudgingly to turn some portions of the task oyer to tried and experienced men of industry who gladly stepped forward to aid their country.
But he has still failed to put a single competent experienced man in charge, of the entire job of production for defense. He insists upon maintaining an unwieldy board of seven with himself in charge. No man, fulfilling the responsibilities of the position of the Presidency, can in addition direct the diverse and highly important work of this committee.
Cabinet Shift "A Confession"
This failure to understand executive responsibility and coordination, and the primary rules of production and of getting a job done, has been one of the greatest weaknesses of this Administration.
It is a terrific indictment that for many crucial months the important War Department has been disrupted by a tragic conflict of authority, with a Secretary of War and an Assistant Secretary hardly on speaking terms with one another, each conferring with the President, each playing his favorites within the department.
And during the same crisis the Navy Department has been adrift without a real head, first headed by a man physically unable to carry on his task, and then by a Secretary who was submerged in a political campaign for the Governorship of one of our States.
By the politically timed appointment on the eve of this convention of two men of our party to these two Cabinet posts, the President made an eleventh-hour confession of failure in his national defense administration. We are pleased that the prospect of our convention caused this sudden improvement over New Deal incompetence, and it is only regrettable that we cannot change the entire Cabinet and the man who heads it with equal abruptness.
Youth Camp Idea Assailed
The most dangerous example of the wrong way to prepare was the startling proposal of the President last week that all boys and girls in this country between the ages of 18 and 20 be compelled by the government to enter Federal training camps.
That was the method of Hitler and Mussolini and Stalin. It is not the American way. We need more skilled and trained mechanics and technicians, but the American way to get them is through the vocational training system of this country and through private industry.
The Federal Government should furnish the funds for the immediate expansion of these skilled training and apprentice programs. We should repeal the restrictions that make it almost impossible for industry to train young men. This part of our preparedness program should be coordinated under the officers of the Army and Navy and directed by a man who has had practical experience in training skilled men. It should be kept away from the impractical dreamers.
Give our young men and our young women the chance to train themselves for the opportunities and duties that are opening up and you will not have to herd them by compulsion to a government camp.
When we need more men in our armed forces we should secure them in accordance with the program of the Army and Navy officials and we should not turn this task over to the New Deal social experimenters.
The President said these camps would teach discipline and keep these young people away from foreign isms. I would much rather trust our churches, our schools and our homes to teach discipline and love of America than I would a compulsory government camp.
Neglect and Waste Denounced
Facing these facts, dare this nation continue for the next four years under such leadership? For too long a time industry has been hobbled by bureaucratic interference and dreamy-eyed governmental delays at every turn while the Army and Navy plead in vain for the release of restrictions so they can speed up defense.
They seriously disrupted and retarded the entire aircraft industry by the ill-considered cancellation of the air mail contracts and Army pilots crashed to the earth, just when every encouragement should have been given to build up our air industry.
It is hardly believable but it is true that because of New Deal restrictions our aircraft manufacturers have turned to foreign financial centers speedily to secure new capital for plant expansion while idle capital and idle men are all about us.
For too long a time we have wasted millions and millions of dollars on "Passamaquoddies" and "Florida canals" while neglecting needed defenses.
For too long a time our leaders have strutted down the avenues of the world jauntily knocking chips off shoulders without even preparing to raise our arms in self defense.
For too long a time we have talked boldly of quarantining aggressors in order to protect other nations and now find we are not even prepared to protect ourselves.
For too long a time our foreign policy has been one of a big noise and a little stick, and even that little stick "on order." We need again a calm, resolute voice and a big stick.
It is one of the primary challenges to the Republican party today to furnish the leadership for the calm, determined, rapid advance of this nation on the front of national preparedness.
Steps Against Fifth Column
Our citizens also know that we must defend ourselves against the fifth column. They have heard and read the almost unbelievable stories of boring from within, of treachery and of treason in one nation after another.
They have seen how this fifth column of traitors within has joined hands with enemies from without to cause the speedy downfall and ruthless destruction of sturdy little nations. They have observed how men have taken advantage of the liberties of democracy to aid in cutting out the very heart of freedom itself.
We must prepare our defense against similar actions here, carefully and vigorously but without any ill-considered witch hunts. We should take determined steps through our democratic processes to keep these borers from within away from the pillars of our Capitol.
First and foremost, there must be the determination that no one supporting communism, nazism or fascism shall be permitted upon the public payrolls of this nation.
Second, we must encourage the trade union movement, manned as it is by loyal American citizens, to divest its organizations, in its own way, of all officers and organizers who are sympathetic to either fascism, communism or nazism.
Third, we must unmask and expose those un-American organizations that are parading under false fronts.
Fourth, we must proceed vigorously to seek out and to punish by due process every violation of law committed by the fifth columnists.
And above all, by a sound and progressive advance, fair and friendly to labor, we must open new opportunities, correct maladjustments in our social and economic structure, and take away the grounds of discontent upon which these fifth columnists seek to flourish.
Coddling of Subversion Alleged
And to whom shall this nation advancing upon this front look for leadership? To those now in charge of our government? Certainly not. Under their leadership these past seven years we have seen manifold examples of fifth column activities in time of peace within this nation.
These subversive elements have incited hatred between groups of our people. They have thrown the first stone causing outbreaks of violence in labor disputes. They have split the ranks of organized labor. They have encouraged the destruction of agricultural products. They have advocated loose fiscal policies. They have stirred up and led relief demonstrations on full stomachs. They have sabotaged and stopped in many ways our great productive organization.
Sincere leaders of labor have made many protests. The clergy of our churches have sounded many alarms. Men of industry have made many pleas for help. Public-spirited men and women of all walks of life have cried out against them. Committees of Congress have brought out clear evidence of their activities.
And yet, so far as our present national leadership has been concerned, these cries have all been of no avail. In fact, as these protests arose, the New Dealers just smiled and reached over and patted the flanks of the Trojan horse.
Members of the Democratic party itself cried out against these subversive activities only to find themselves derided and belittled from the highest places and to find directed at them a vicious purge, ruthlessly using all the peacetime weapons of a powerful Administration in endeavoring to line them up against the wall for political oblivion.
No, the New Deal cannot lead our advance upon this front. It is a responsibility and a challenge to the Republican party to furnish the leadership and the program to defend this nation that we cherish against the borers from within.
Way to Widen Employment What of our advance upon the front of domestic economic welfare? First, let us make clear the general features of this advance. No one shall suffer for want of food, shelter or clothing. The needs of that portion of our population who have no other means of livelihood shall be met by society as a whole acting through its government.
But it must be equally clear that this is not the answer to our problem. After meeting the immediate need, the great challenge before the nation shall be to furnish more real jobs for the unemployed in private industry.
We must recognize that, in a free economy, government in meeting the need of its people who are unemployed is not solving a problem, but is only temporarily easing the consequences of an unsolved problem.
We must recognize that the answer to all of our problems of a domestic nature is not to shrug our shoulders and say, "Let the government do it." The role of government must be that of an aid to private enterprise, and not of a substitute for it. More and better jobs, better housing and improved living conditions can best be secured through recognition of this principle.
Incentives to Industry There has been talk to the nation of a more abundant life. In a vain attempt to secure it they have gone from a greedy contest over the division of past accumulations of production to an irresponsible squandering of mortgages on the future.
Those great revenues which our government must raise, to be financially sound, should be raised in that manner which shall to the least degree restrict and hamper the flow of idle money into the creation of new products and new jobs for idle men. Incentive taxes must take the place of punitive taxes.
We must exercise to the least possible degree the powers of government, to meet definite abuses, rather than using abuses as an excuse for the government to reach out and grab all the power in the name of regulation. Those powers which government takes must be clearly divided as to legislative, executive and judicial.
There is hardly any greater deterrent to private capital in its desire to develop more jobs than the morass of uncertainty which arises when great autocratic powers to be, rule maker and investigator, witness and prosecutor, judge and jury are all lodged in the same bureaucratic hands.
Stable Labor Relations
For too long a time American enterprise has been subjected to the strafing of dive-bombing demagogues.
To advance upon the domestic field we must unite our forces. The flames of industrial warfare, of strikes and lockouts and violence, have levied the staggering roll of eighty million days of labor in the past five years.
The loss doubled in 1939 over 1938.
The New Deal has helped to stoke these flames of industrial warfare. The present role of government in industrial disputes must be revised. Instead of cracking down here, there and everywhere, it should exercise as little arbitrary power as possible.
Its chief aim should be to aid the working out of peaceful solutions of these difficulties around the conference table before they break out in strikes and lockouts. Placing in the hands of any governmental agency the power to decide who was wrong after the loss has occurred is not a solution.
We should draw lessons from the Railway Labor Act, adopted in 1926, which we in Minnesota have used as a model, with its waiting periods and emphasis upon conciliation before strikes and lockouts occur, and its protection of the basic rights of labor.
These simple principles have met with marked success wherever used. They are in keeping with the fundamental principles of the relationship of a democratic government to a free economy.
Measures for Agriculture
We must recognize further on the domestic front that the farmers are the very backbone of America. We must raise their income and their buying power. The maintenance of millions of free farm families living on soil that they can call their own is one of the greatest bulwarks for future freedom.
When, as now, with extremely low agricultural prices, the natural economic processes do not permit them to maintain their status on the farm they must be aided. This should be as a reward for their production of the food supplies for the nation, and as an incentive to their conservation of the soil upon which they live.
These aids again must not be looked upon as a solution to the agricultural problem, but only as a temporary expedient to ease the maladjustment that exists. We must seek real solutions in keeping with the natural economic forces that are involved in our system.
We must step by step take out of production marginal land that it is economically unsound to cultivate and that only add to surpluses. We must increase the acreage in woodlots and timber tracts, we must aggressively market surpluses at home and abroad. Millions of Europeans refugees should be fed with our surplus agricultural products.
Through development of more jobs and more purchasing power for our consuming public, we must expand the domestic market. We must advance in research and discovery of new uses for agricultural products. We must furnish new jobs for the excess population upon our lands so that instead of being a burden upon agriculture they become production portions of our population and new units of consumption. We must preserve as far as it is economically sound to do so our own markets for our own farmers.
"Cushioning" of Depressions
The tragic unemployment of the young men and young women of our nation has been one of the very great losses of this depression. They have not wanted the dole. They have not wanted aimless month-by-month subsistence. They want opportunities to prepare for a life of productive activity.
The great productive process of a free people under a system of individual enterprise have made this nation the great power that it is. It has given to our people the highest standard of living in the world. This system has been and will be subject to its depressions, and its recessions, its maladjustments and readjustments as the years roll by.
We must recognize that government should furnish a cushion against the sharper fluctuations of this economic system, but that it cannot successfully furnish a bed upon which society can go to sleep. We must recognize that we gain together and we lose together.
We must continuously work to readjust and correct injustices and inequalities that are present and that will arise. Then we can have faith that this system will rise again and make ever greater progress in the interests of all of our people.
For the advance on this domestic front, can we entrust the leadership to those who have been in charge for the last seven years? No. For seven years jobs for the unemployed and parity for agriculture have been "on order." And tonight, after billions of our substance have been scattered to the winds, jobs and parity are still not "on hand" but "on order."
Here again is a challenge to the Republican party to furnish the leadership and the program for a sound, sincere, step-by-step advance in keeping with the great basic principles of American economy.
Re-Forming of Government
What of our fourth front? Events at home and abroad bring forcefully to our attention the challenge to democracy to make itself more efficient and effective without surrendering its own basic principles.
The delays and confusion of yards and yards and yards of red tape, the waste and inefficiency of overlapping stumbling boards, bureaus, departments, divisions, and agencies, the lack of effective lines of executive authority, the intermingling of powers that are legislative, executive and judicial and the proper performance of none, the incessant conflict between governments on different levels, Federal, State and local, these are the things by which Lilliputiansare restraining the slumbering giant of democracy and free enterprise and making him ineffective.
The inefficiency of our government is a travesty in a land that has developed such magnificent efficiency in private endeavor.
There is a need of a sweeping, decisive reorganization of our government. A real reorganization that streamlines our government, simplifies our procedures, consolidates and eliminates useless and overlapping boards, bureaus and agencies, establishes simple and effective lines of executive responsibility and separates the powers that are legislative, executive and judicial. We need in public office servants of the people selected for their merit instead of corporals of a political army enlisted at a patronage pie counter.
Actual administrative details should be kept on as low a local level of government as possible. Relief, welfare and farm programs should be administered locally in the counties, towns, cities and villages. The State and Federal Governments should exercise only general powers of supervision and audit of their expenditures. Needless governmental functions must be cast off.
We must trim our sails for government action in keeping with the tempo of the times. This will not only save millions of dollars of needless expenditures, but it will build up the respect and confidence of the people for their government and will give us a fair chance to keep our liberty and still compete in a world of totalitarian States.
To whom shall we entrust the leadership on this front? Shall it be to those who have added almost 400,000 men and women to the public payrolls of their political army, but have added only a few thousand to the payrolls of our regular Army? Or to those who tried to pack the Supreme Court of these United States? No. The Republican party must furnish the leadership and the program to give to this great democracy of ours clear, decisive government.
As we advance upon these fronts many overshadowing problems of foreign policies will require decision. Let us frankly state to the people that we can neither fully anticipate these problems nor can we tie our hands before meeting them. As they are reached they must be faced and the people of this nation must be made aware of what they mean so that informed public opinion may find expression in the policies of the government.
Protection for Hemisphere
It is clear that the first responsibility must be the future welfare of the people of this nation and their way of life, but it is also clear that that future welfare cannot best be served by simply burying our heads in the sand. The world is constantly changing.
Modern inventions, developments of communication and travel, the flow of trade in a highly industrialized world, all these increase the impact of what happens in one part of the world upon the rest of the world. Let us determine and define where our interests lie.
Clearly in the first instance they lie in this hemisphere. We cannot permit an armed force, aggressive in nature, with a philosophy foreign to ours to establish itself upon this hemisphere. Neither can we allow subversive elements linked to alien aggressors to undermine government anywhere on this hemisphere. It is essential that we plan in advance and take decisive steps to establish hemisphere defense.
It is a sad commentary that in the past seven years, which led right up to the outbreak of war, we have given the aid of our inventive genius, of our raw materials and of our productive ability to those with philosophies foreign to ours as well as to those with philosophies similar to ours.
We have thus aided the manufacture of the implements of destruction that Russia used upon Finland, that Germany uses against the Allies, that Japan uses against China, that Italy uses against France. How belated is our now exclusive assistance to the Allies!
It is the responsibility of government in its foreign policy to endeavor in every honorable way to create and nurture a world environment in which its people can proceed along life's path in peace, expanding their material well-being and developing their way of life.
It is thus also clear that our interests lie with the encouragement of freedom and progress for all mankind and the development of order between nations based upon eternal moral and spiritual laws, rather than upon lawless force of economic strangulation.
Failing in the creation of that environment, it is the clear duty of government to make its people strong in their own defense, to so prepare them that other portions of the world may not stamp out their way of life, and may not encroach upon their well-being.
Keeping Nation Out of War
Measured by these guides, what can our verdict be of the foreign policies of this Administration? We do not judge harshly, and yet our judgment must be that it has failed. What has this Administration done to bring about a better world environment?
Was it in its recognition of Russia? Was it in its torpedoing of the London Economic Conference? Was it in its failure to advise the people of this nation of the facts that it knew from the capitals of Europe? Was it in its announced attitude that this nation was no longer dynamic, and was not pressing forward upon new frontiers? Was it in its continued sales of the means of warfare to those very nations who threatened to be aggressors?
No, nor was it in its appointment of wealthy playboys as foreign ministers and ambassadors.
Clearly failing in its first responsibility, neither did it meet its second duty of national preparedness. This nation has had the shifting foreign policy of the politicians, unwilling to present hard facts to the people of the nation.
The great need for our future foreign policy is a leadership that is frank and fair with the people. The people must have confidence that their leaders place the nation's welfare above their own political future. The people must know that their leaders, while resolute in support of these basic policies, nevertheless have the earnest hope to keep this nation out of war.
"Third Term Tradition"
Have we been too harsh in our judgment? No, in fact, we have not even referred to the strong self-indictment of the obvious effort to break down one of our bulwarks of freedom by violating the third-term tradition. The saddest chapter of the last four years has been that the National Administration, instead of keeping its eyes, statesmanlike, upon the welfare of the people of this nation, has turned its political gaze upon a third term. This un-American desire for a third term completely undermines their forth-rightness in meeting all of our issues. It has destroyed statesmanship. Cleverly and surreptitiously they have strengthened the iron-handed control of the President over the Democratic party. Building upon the corrupt political machines of Kelly and Nash and Hague and their kind, they have erected as a superstructure a political machine such as this country has never before seen. Democracy within the Democratic party has been destroyed.
With this background they move on toward their convention, tossing aside the traditions of Washington and Jefferson.
"Free Choice of Leadership" Let us fully recognize that this very situation is an added challenge to our party. With the Democratic party's right of free choice of leadership denied to them, we must furnish the leadership for the men and women of all parties. To do so we must make our party truly representative of the people, independent of domination by any group, and fair to all.
Fellow-delegates, if we could reverse the magic of radio tonight, if we could turn the millions of radio receiving sets throughout this land into microphones and if we could turn our microphone here in this great convention hall into a receiving set we would hear an overwhelming message sweeping in upon us.
It would be a cry for a statesmanlike leadership to make America strong and our way of life secure. Shall we rise to meet this challenge? Let us proceed with our deliberations here in this historic city of Philadelphia.
Let us present to the people of this nation a program worthy of their support. Let us nominate a man to carry out that program, a man the people will elect the next President of these United States.
Let us remember the words George Washington spoke in this very city: "If to please the people we offer what we ourselves disapprove, how can we afterwards defend our work? Let us raise a standard to which the wise and honest can repair. The event is in the hands of God."