Posts Tagged ‘Radicalism’

A More Radical Roosevelt

December 6, 2011


In referring to the recent speech of former President Roosevelt at the old home of John Brown in Osawatomie, Kas., the Cleveland Leader says that the trend of Mr. Roosevelt’s thought and feeling is in the direction of more radicalism and that he certainly is not changing in the direction of conservatism.

The Leader further says:

The main difference is in Mr. Roosevelt’s clearer recognition of the fact that such regulation of the amassing and use of wealth as he advocates would necessarily carry government interference with private and corporate property farther than it has yet gone, in America. He perceives this plainly and accepts it as a natural and unavoidable consequence of the changes which he would bring about.

It is not new to advocate a graduated income tax, or an inheritance tax of like nature. The country has long understood that Roosevelt favors both. The point which stands out in the Osawatomie speech is the explicit declaration for a “policy of a far more active governmental interference with social and economic conditions in this country than we have yet had.” Theodore Roosevelt does not talk like that for nothing. He does not say such things without due consideration, especially in a set speech, prepared in advance.

Clearly there is a drift toward radicalism the extent and ultimate consequences of which cannot be foreseen. That it will have a potent effect upon the political history of the next few years cannot be doubted by anyone accustomed to observing and measuring the influences at work in the United States, politically and socially, and in the great field of industry and commerce.

It may well give us pause. What the outcome of this extreme radicalism will be none may know. We do not lack for the spirit of unrest now. In fact it is too generally prevalent. There is always a large portion of mankind that is dissatisfied. Some men are never contented to see others more prosperous than themselves and are disposed to argue that the energy, industry, thrift, study, incessant work and development of other men to not count, but that success is a matter of “luck,” or of somebody’s injustice to his fellows.

And this element of our population is one that needs no encouragement, but rather curbing. It is this same element that hails with delight indiscriminate criticism of the courts, and is particularly pleased if a noted citizen may even go so far as to attack the supreme court, which is the very guardian of the Constitution which is absolutely the law of the people.

We may well make haste slowly in the matter of radicalism.

Mansfield News (Mansfield, Ohio) Sep 2, 1910