My proposal is that we stop going through the mimic play; that we get out and translate the ideals of American politics into action; so that every man, when he goes to the polls on election day, will feel the thrill of executing an actual judgment, as he takes again into his own hands the great matters which have been too long left to men deputized by their own choice, and seriously sets about carrying into accomplishment his own purposes.
THE EMANCIPATION OF BUSINESS
In the readjustments that are about to be undertaken in this country not one single legitimate or honest arrangement is going to be disturbed; but every impediment to business is going to be removed, every illegitimate kind of control is going to be destroyed. Every man who wants an opportunity and has the energy to seize it, is going to be given a chance. All that we are going to ask the gentlemen who now enjoy monopolistic advantages to do is to match their brains against the brains of those who will then compete with them. The brains, the energy, of the rest of us are to be set free to go into the game,—that is all. There is to be a general release of the capital, the enterprise, of millions of people, a general opening of the doors of opportunity. With what a spring of determination, with what a shout of jubilance, will the people rise to their emancipation!
I am one of those who believe that we have had such restrictions upon the prosperity of this country that we have not yet come into our own, and that by removing those restrictions we shall set free an energy which in our generation has not been known. It is for that reason that I feel free to criticise with the utmost frankness these restrictions, and the means by which they have been brought about. I do not criticise as one without hope; in describing conditions which so hamper, impede, and imprison, I am only describing conditions from which we are going to escape into a contrasting age. I believe that this is a time when there should be unqualified frankness. One of the distressing circumstances of our day is this: I cannot tell you how many men of business, how many important men of business, have communicated their real opinions about the situation in the United States to me privately and confidentially. They are afraid of somebody. They are afraid to make their real opinions known publicly; they tell them to me behind their hand. That is very distressing. That means that we are not masters of our own opinions, except when we vote, and even then we are careful to vote very privately indeed.
It is alarming that this should be the case. Why should any man in free America be afraid of any other man? Or why should any man fear competition,—competition either with his fellow-countrymen or with anybody else on earth?