“I Will Make the Corporations Come to Time!”

Cartoon by Robert Minor in St. Louis Post-Dispatch (1911). Karl Marx surrounded by an appreciative audience of Wall Street financiers: John D. Rockefeller, J. P. (Pontifex Maximus) Morgan, (Pontifex Maximus), John D. Ryan of National City Bank, and Morgan partner George W. Perkins. Immediately behind Karl Marx is Teddy Roosevelt, leader of the Progressive Party.

Image and caption from Reformation Online

In the New York Evening Post of Friday, August 26, there appeared in an editorial article the following statements:

“I will make the corporations come to time!” shouted Roosevelt to the mob. But did he not really mean that he would make them come down with the cash to elect him, as he did before? For a man with Mr. Roosevelt’s proved record it is simply disgusting humbug for him to rant about the corporations upon whose treasurers he fawned when he was President and wanted their money for his campaign. Does he think that nobody has a memory which goes back to the life insurance investigations, and that everybody has forgotten the $50,000 taken from widows and orphans and added to Theodore Roosevelt’s political corruption fund? Did he not take a big check from the beef trust, and glad to get it? And now he is going to make the corporations come to time! One can have respect for a sincere radical, for an honest fanatic, for an agitator, or leveler, who believes that he is doing God’s will, but it is hard to be patient with a man who talks big but acts mean, whose eye is always to the main chance politically, and who lets no friendship, no generosity, no principle, no moral scruple stand for a moment between himself and the goal upon which he has set his overmastering ambitions. *  *  *

This champion of purity, this roarer for political virtue, is the man who was for years, when in public life, hand in glove with the worst political corruptionists of his day; who toadied to Platt, who praised Quay, who paid court to Hanna; under him as President, Aldrich rose to the height of his power, always on good terms with Roosevelt, it was Roosevelt who, in 1906, wrote an open letter urging the re-election of Speaker Cannon, against whom mutterings had then begun to rise; it was Roosevelt who asked Harriman to come to the White House secretly, who took his money to buy votes in New York, and who afterward wrote to “My Dear Sherman” — yes the same Sherman — reviling the capitalist, to whom he had previously written, saying, “You and I are practical men.”

The Washington Post (Washington, D.C.) Sep 1, 1910

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