It is like coming out of a stifling cellar into the open where we can breathe again and see the free spaces of the heavens to turn away from such a doleful program of submission and dependence toward the other plan, the confident purpose for which the people have given their mandate. Our purpose is the restoration of freedom. We purpose to prevent private monopoly by law, to see to it that the methods by which monopolies have been built up are legally made impossible. We design that the limitations on private enterprise shall be removed, so that the next generation of youngsters, as they come along, will not have to become proteges of benevolent trusts, but will be free to go about making their own lives what they will; so that we shall taste again the full cup, not of charity, but of liberty,—the only wine that ever refreshed and renewed the spirit of a people.
THE WAY TO RESUME IS TO RESUME
One of the wonderful things about America, to my mind, is this: that for more than a generation it has allowed itself to be governed by persons who were not invited to govern it. A singular thing about the people of the United States is their almost infinite patience, their willingness to stand quietly by and see things done which they have voted against and do not want done, and yet never lay the hand of disorder upon any arrangement of government.
There is hardly a part of the United States where men are not aware that secret private purposes and interests have been running the government. They have been running it through the agency of those interesting persons whom we call political “bosses.” A boss is not so much a politician as the business agent in politics of the special interests. The boss is not a partisan; he is quite above politics! He has an understanding with the boss of the other party, so that, whether it is heads or tails, we lose. The two receive contributions from the same sources, and they spend those contributions for the same purposes.
Bosses are men who have worked their way by secret methods to the place of power they occupy; men who were never elected to anything; men who were not asked by the people to conduct their government, and who are very much more powerful than if you had asked them, so long as you leave them where they are, behind closed doors, in secret conference. They are not politicians; they have no policies,—except concealed policies of private aggrandizement. A boss isn’t a leader of a party. Parties do not meet in back rooms; parties do not make arrangements which do not get into the newspapers. Parties, if you reckon them by voting strength, are great masses of men who, because they can’t vote any other ticket, vote the ticket that was prepared for them by the aforesaid arrangement in the aforesaid back room in accordance with the aforesaid understanding. A boss is the manipulator of a “machine.” A “machine” is that part of a political organization which has been taken out of the hands of the rank and file of the party, captured by half a dozen men. It is the part that has ceased to be political and has become an agency for the purposes of unscrupulous business.