The Nation Calls for Unselfish Service


By JOHN W. BRICKER, Governor of Ohio

Delivered before the Republican National Convention, Chicago, Ill., June 28, 1944

Vital Speeches of the Day, Vol. X, pp. 592-593

I AM deeply grateful to the many friends who have expressed their loyalty to me, far more important than that, to the cause for which I have tried to stand. I have traveled throughout the United States for the last six months preaching to the best of my ability the gospel of Republicanism, which is the gospel of Americanism.

I have talked with you in your homes and your public meetings. I have talked with you privately, and I know the heart, the feeling, the longing, and the determination of the people of America, expressed through the representatives assembled here to preserve, not only for America but for the whole world, the blessings of free government and liberty as we have them here in America.

There has been a magnificent response everywhere to the preaching of fundamental American constitutional doctrine. Everywhere Republicans have come, and come enthusiastically, and Democrats have come by the thousands to Republican meetings.

Time and again I have said throughout this country, to the Democratic friends who are supporters of our cause, that the old-line Democrats, the Jeffersonian Democrats, and the Republicans have so much in common now; neither side has anything to say about what goes on in Washington today.

Party Is Greater

A thousand times I have said to you and Republicans everywhere that this is an hour when personal ambition should not prevail, that the party is greater than any individual ambition. In this hour, when the nation calls for unselfish service, the Republican party unselfishly goes into the campaign to redeem free government that the world may be better tomorrow.

A thousand times I have said to you that I am personally more interested—and this comes from the depths of my heart—that personally I am more interested in defeating the New Deal philosophy of absolutism which has swept free government from the majority of countries throughout the world; I am more interested in defeating that than I am in personally being President of these United States.

I say to you today that it is the first duty of every Republican, as of every patriotic American citizen of every political party, to do all in its power to promote the war effort and bring speedy victory, that our boys may soon come home again.

I would not be here today, pleading the cause of the Republican party, if I did not believe with all sincerity in my heart that the best thing that could happen, the one thing that would bring speedy victory, a better world in which to live, better international relations, would be the election of a Republican President and a Republican Congress this fall.

Industry, under the impetus of such a victory, would produce as it never produced before. Labor would work as never before. When victory comes, we should have a stable, consistent economic tax policy in this country which would give greater hope of return than possibility of loss.

Would Spur Labor

Labor would work as never before because it knows, as you and I well know, that this government cannot reach out its tentacles and take a strangle hold on one segment of society unless ultimately every segment of society comes under the domination and dictates of government.

Agriculture would be encouraged as nothing else could encourage it—by a Republican victory—because a bureaucratic government would be taken off its neck and farmers again could till the soil as independent farmers of America have always tilled the soil.

Appreciative as I am of the devotion to the cause which I have tried to represent of the many that are gathered here, I understand it is the overwhelming desire of this convention to nominate a great, a vigorous, a fighting young American, the noble and dramatic and appealing Governor of the State of New York—Thomas E. Dewey.

He charged the ramparts of crime and took them. He took over the government of the great State of New York, the largest state of the Union, and what a magnificent job he has done as Governor of that state! He understands not alone domestic problems, but international issues. The relationships of the nations of the world of tomorrow are going to be more trying than they ever have been before, and we cannot separate our domestic policies from our international program.

The hope of a better tomorrow lies in Thomas E. Dewey becoming the leader of the Republican hosts who will free us from the clutches of bureaucracy next January.

The Best President

Time and again I have said that as this campaign goes on my heart and soul will be behind it, regardless of who might be nominated here today. Let me say to you that the best President of the United States to build a better international order tomorrow will be the best American President.

He shall speak for the people of America through the platform which has been adopted by this convention, one of sound American doctrine, which will preserve our form of representative republican government and which will bring a Republican victory this fall.

I am conscious of the fact that it is the desire of the great majority of the delegates to this convention to nominate the gallant righting Governor of the State of New York for President. I believe in party organization, as expressed in this legally constituted representative body of my party.

I believe a Republican victory is not only necessary this fall to preserve the Republican party, but it is necessary likewise to preserve our two-party system. To preserve a representative system of government here in America, and likewise necessary to preserve the Democratic party.

I appreciate the support which has been accorded me by the delegates from Ohio, especially the support which they have given in the last few days; but I am now asking them not to present my name to this convention, but to cast their votes, along with those of the host of friends I have here, for Thomas E. Dewey for President of the United States.