“’But the way of the righteous is not all roses. Before I close I must call your attention to a problem we have to face, this coming year. The worst menace to sound government is not the avowed socialists but a lot of cowards who work under cover—the long-haired gentry who call themselves “liberals” and “radicals” and “non-partisan” and “intelligentsia” and God only knows how many other trick names! Irresponsible teachers and professors constitute the worst of this whole gang, and I am ashamed to say that several of them are on the faculty of our great State University! The U. is my own Alma Mater, and I am proud to be known as an alumni, but there are certain instructors there who seem to think we ought to turn the conduct of the nation over to hoboes and roustabouts.
“’Those profs are the snakes to be scotched—they and all their milk-and-water ilk! The American business man is generous to a fault. But one thing he does demand of all teachers and lecturers and journalists: if we’re going to pay them our good money, they’ve got to help us by selling efficiency and whooping it up for rational prosperity! And when it comes to these blab-mouth, fault-finding, pessimistic, cynical University teachers, let me tell you that during this golden coming year it’s just as much our duty to bring influence to have those cusses fired as it is to sell all the real estate and gather in all the good shekels we can.
“’Not till that is done will our sons and daughters see that the ideal of American manhood and culture isn’t a lot of cranks sitting around chewing the rag about their Rights and their Wrongs, but a God-fearing, hustling, successful, two-fisted Regular Guy, who belongs to some church with pep and piety to it, who belongs to the Boosters or the Rotarians or the Kiwanis, to the Elks or Moose or Red Men or Knights of Columbus or any one of a score of organizations of good, jolly, kidding, laughing, sweating, upstanding, lend-a-handing Royal Good Fellows, who plays hard and works hard, and whose answer to his critics is a square-toed boot that’ll teach the grouches and smart alecks to respect the He-man and get out and root for Uncle Samuel, U.S.A.!’”
Babbitt promised to become a recognized orator. He entertained a Smoker of the Men’s Club of the Chatham Road presbyterian Church with Irish, Jewish, and Chinese dialect stories.
But in nothing was he more clearly revealed as the Prominent Citizen than in his lecture on “Brass Tacks Facts on Real Estate,” as delivered before the class in Sales Methods at the Zenith Y.M.C.A.
The Advocate-Times reported the lecture so fully that Vergil Gunch said to Babbitt, “You’re getting to be one of the classiest spellbinders in town. Seems ’s if I couldn’t pick up a paper without reading about your well-known eloquence. All this guff ought to bring a lot of business into your office. Good work! Keep it up!”