I have thought much of the farm. It will be so far away and so impracticable of use! But such an anchor to windward, for two most hand-to-mouth spendthrifts! ...
TO THEODORE ROOSEVELT
Washington, April 29, 1910
My dear Mr. Roosevelt,—Mr. Kellogg tells me that he expects to see you in Europe, and I avail myself of his offer to carry a word of welcome to you, inasmuch as I must leave for Europe the day after your arrival in New York, the President having appointed me as a delegate to the International Railway Congress at Berne.
The country is awaiting you anxiously—not out of mere curiosity to know what your attitude will be, but to lead it, to give it direction. The public opinion which you developed in favor of the “square deal” is stronger to-day than when you left, and your personal following is larger to-day than it ever has been. There is no feeling (or if there is any it is negligible) that the President [Taft] has been consciously disloyal to the policies which you inaugurated or to his public promises. He is patriotic, conscientious, and lovable. This was your own view as expressed to me, and this view has been confirmed by my personal experience with him. It is also, I believe, the judgment of the country at large. But the people do not feel that they control the government or that their interests will be safeguarded by a relationship that is purely diplomatic between the White House and Congress. In short we have a new consciousness of Democracy, largely resulting from your administration, and it is such that the character of government which satisfied the people of twenty years ago is found lacking to-day. Practically all the criticism to which this administration has been subjected arises out of the feeling of the people that their opinions and desires are not sufficiently consulted, and they are suspicious of everything and everybody that is not open and frank with them.
Outside of a few of the larger states the entire country is insurgent, and insurgency means revolt against taking orders. The prospect is that the next House will be Democratic, but the Democrats apparently lack a realization of the many new problems upon which the country is divided. Their success would not indicate the acceptance of any positive program of legislation; it would be a vote of lack of confidence in the Republican party because it has allowed apparent party interest to rise superior to public good. The prospect is that every measure which Congress will pass at this session will be wise and in line with your policies, but the people do not feel that they are passing the bills.
I have presumed to say this much, thinking that perhaps you would regard my opinion as entirely unbiased, and in the hope that I might throw some light upon what I regard as the fundamental trouble which has to be dealt with. Whether you choose to re-enter political life or not, men of all parties desire your leadership and will accept your advice as they will that of none other.