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THE WASHINGTON TIMES MONDAY, OCTOBER U, 1012.
The Responsibility Rests With You, Mr. Business Man
A STRAIGHT TALK BY FRANK A. MUNSEY
THE campaign is reaching the end. The is
sues are clearly and sharply drawn. You,
i Mr Business Man, must line up either for
good business or against it: There is no middle
poursot You cannot go on any longer balancing
pne problem against the other, or balancing preju
jdloes against duty, and you have a very distinct
(duty to perform in this election;
For the most part, you of the business world
aw for Taft and tho Republican party: For the
most part, you of tho business world are against
(Wson and tho Democratic party. You are for
fTaft and tho Republican party because of your
conviction that tho Republican party stands for
(better business, safer business, and greater busi
ness confidence than tho Democratic party. This
is no new idea, no mere fancy with you. It has
History to back it up, experience to bnck it up,' and
bo you arc justified in your attitude in this re
spect. You want to see tho Republican economic
policies triumph in this election, and you'want to
see the Republican party triumph in this election.
But you cannot have both. You can have the tri
umph of Republican policies, but you cannot havo
tho triumph of tho Republican party. It isn't
possible this year. Tho question for you to de
cide is this:
Shall these policies be maintained through
Roosevelt, or shall the election go to Wilson, with
the destruction of these policies T
Your decision does not concern only you and
your immediate interests. It concerns tho inter
ests and welfare and happiness of a hundred
million human souls. It is a serious problem,
which you cannot treat lightly if your citizenship
means anything to you. I wish I could impress
you with the measure of its seriousness.
The continuance in force of tho economic
policies of the Republican party, under which wo
have grown to be a great nation, means too much
to be balanced against your likes or dislikes for
any particular cnndidatc means too much, far
and away too much, to justify you, Mr. Business
Man, in contemplating their destruction that you
may have your own way in this election, that you
may vote for the man and for the party that suit
your own particular preference, without regard
to the effect on the country and tho effect on all
You must not forget that this is a bread-and-butter
issue with the men less favorably situated
in life than you are. You must not fool yourself
into the belief, or let any one else fool you into
the belief, that Taft can be elected. His election
is out of the question.
If Mr. Taft had the great substratum of pop
ular following that Mr. Roosevelt has, you could
elect him. There can be no doubt of this. But
he hasn't it. He has a top-heavy following, a
business and professional men's following. Tho
foundation of the party has slid out from under it.
It stands today on stilts.
If "Mr. Taft had had this popular following,
there never would have been a contesting candi
date in the field for the Republican nomination.
It is because he did not have it, and because with
out it it was clear that he could not bo elected,
that some of us who wanted to see the economic
policies of the Republican party maintained
sought to put in nomination a man who could bo
This is the plain, straight fact about Mr.
Roosevelt's coming out as a candidate. Any other
version of tho matter is without substance or
foundation. Make no mistake about this.
Mr. Roosevelt has this foundational following
in a greater measure than any other man in this
country has it or has ever hud it. Whether his
following this year, independent of you of tho
business world, those of you who are opposed to
him, is sufficient to elect him, is not yet certain.
This vote cannot so easily bo measured as tho vote
of tho business world. But the popular sentiment
for him, and indeed the intense belief in him and
enthusiasm for him, are so great that it may bo
that in spito of all opposition they will sweep him
into power. With your votes lined up for him, his
election would be a certainty; without your votes
it is not a certainty.
I want to emphasize the fact to my friends o
tho newspapers that I am not saying Mr. Roose
velt will not be elected. I don't know, and no
body does know at this time. My guess is, how
ever, thai, he will be elected.
Mr. Roosevelt '8 election would mean tho con
tinuance in force of tho best policies of the Re
publican party, would mean tho establishment of
a right tariff that will protect American indus'
tries, that will protect the American wage, and
that will protect tho American markets aerainst
i invasion from abroad.
Of course I know you want this protection, of
course I know you want good business and abun
dant prosperity, and of course I know you would
like to seo this country move forward in govern
mental efficiency rather than go backwardj But
the question is this:
Do you want theso more than you want your
With some of you business men with whom T
havo talked, and with whoso views I am familiar,
protection to our American industries and intelli
gent political progress mean little, in your present
frame of mind, as compared with going through
to the end on tho Taft trail. Is this the best ex
ample of citizenship, Mr. Business Man!
1 can understand how disturbing it is for a man
to vote against his partyi But in this independ
ence of action lies progress. There can bo no po
litical progress without it. Isn't the wise and pa
triotic thing in this case to make sure of prosper
ity, though' the victory como through Roosevelt
instead of Taftt
If thiB victory could come through Taft. you
would not be in the political dilemma you an in
today Inasmuch as it cannot como through Tnft,
and inasmuch as tho only way it can como is
through Roosevelt, you have no optiou in the mat
ter. It is either Roosevelt with good business and
governmental progress, or Wilson with bad bust
ness and governmental shilly-shallying.
Every day I hear business men talking as thoy
talked nine months ago, with seemingly little op
preciation of what has happened in nine months
in this national political contest.
It was all right nine months ago to discuss,
with regard to their nomination, tho merits of in
dividual candidates and our preferences for or
prejudices against them. It was all right then to
urge that Mr. Roosevelt was dangerous to busi
ness interests; that ho was ambitious; that he was
without sufficient regard for conventionality in
government, and for our Constitution in particu
lar, or that in becoming a candidate he was unfair
to Mr. Taft.
It was all right then to urge that Mr. Taft was
entitled to a second term; that he had given a good
administration; that he had shown a full and bo
coming gratitude to the man who made him Presi
dent of tho United States. It was all right, I say,
to insist on these views nine months ago, if you
honestly believed them, but they are not the issue
of today. To hark back to them now and hang
the decision of your vote on them doesn't show
clear or sincere reasoning. It shows either illog
ical thinking or a purposo to deceivo yourself, if
not to deceivo others.
In these nine mouths we havo lived half a cen
tury, politically considered. Then there were two
big political parties in the field; today there are
three. Then tho fight in tho Republican party
was between two members of that party, Mr. Taft
and Mr. Roosevelt.
That fight is now a dead issue. It is history.
It has no more to do with the real fight of tho
present campaign than if it had como off a quar
ter of a century ago. The fight now, for you who
believe in Republican economic policies, is against
Wilson and tho Democratic party. The fight now
is for good business and for policies that will
mean good business. The fight now is against the
destruction of these policies.
The great, stubborn fact that you must reckon
with is that Taft cannot, under any circumstances,
bo elected. There isn't, an intelligent man any
where who doesn't realize that this is so. Every
man who can seo straight and hear straight, every
man who isn't befogged in prejudice, knows that
it is so.
Notwithstanding this fact, the Republican
campaign managers, in their public utterances,
are brazenly giving the lio to their own convic
tions in their claims, now frantically spread broad
cast, that Taft can and will bo elected.
If it were a matter of running for tho presi
dency of a social club, or some other place of no
consequence to the hundred millions of our peo
ple, something of no consequence to the business
interests of tho country, it would bo one thing,
but when false statements liko these aro put out
to deceivo voters, merely that the Republican
organization may be kept intact, it is criminally
Your concern, Mr. Business Man, has to do
mainl;- with good business and general prosperity.
To sacrifice these to a projudico for a beaten lead
er and a broken party is to prostitute the respon
sibility of citizenship and disregard tho interests
of your follow men.
Tho Democratic party opposes a tariff as a
protective measure opposes a tariff that protects
our industries, opposes a tariff thut protects tho
American wage, and asserts, as it has always
assorted, that if we aro to havo a tariff it should
bo as a revenue-raising scheme rather than as a
means of protection.
Moreover, not only is it opposed to a worth
while tariff, and to the economic policies under
which wo have recorded such marvelous prosper
ity, but it iB archaic to a degree. It doesn't fit
tho period. It holds sacredly to tho antiquated
States' rights ideas, and opposes whatever looks
to national bigness and national powon
It is charged by Mr. Roosevelt's enemies that
ho did nothing, when ho was President, to remodel
tho tariff and eliminate its abuses. This is true,
and tho reason for it ib that Mr. Roosevelt was
doing bigger things at that time.
We wore in a period of great national pros
perity under tho tariff as it then existcdi K Mr.
Roosevelt had found tho country in tho soup-houso
condition in which McKinloy found it on taking
over tho reins of government after four years of
Democratic rule, ho would havo jumped in on tariff
legislation, and there would havo been something
doing. But since this was not tho urgent call of
the hour, he grappled the things that were crying
to heaven for reform. He awakened the nation to
a sense ofcivic righteousness, and forced through
an unwilling Congress reforms of the most im
portant and most far-reaching character.
HERE IS THE EVIDENCE WHICH
SHOWS WHY ROOSEVELT HADN'T THE
TIME FOR REFORMING THE TARIFF:
1. Dolliver-Hepburn Railroad Act, enabling the In
terstate Commerce Commission to control rail
2. Extension of Forest Reserve.
3. National Irrigation Act
4. Improvement of waterways and reservation of
5. Employers' Liability Act.
6. Safety Appliance Act.
7. Regulation of railroad employes' hours of labor
8. Establishment of Department of Commerce and
9. Pure Food and Drugs Act.
10. Federal meat inspection.
11. Navy doubled in tonnage and greatly increased in
12. Battleship fleet sent around the world.
13. State militia brought into co-ordination with army.
14. Canal Zone acquired and actual work of construct
ing Panama Canal begun.
15. Development of civil self-government in insular
16. Second intervention in Cuba; Cuba restored to the
17. Finances of Santo Domingo straightened out
18. Alaska boundary dispute settled.
19. Reorganization of the consular service.
20. Settlement of the coal strike of 1902.
21. The Government upheld in Northern Securities de
22. Conviction of post office grafters and public land
23. Directed investigation of the Sugar trust customs
frauds and the resultant prosecutions.
24. Suits begun against the Standard Oil and Tobacco
companies and other corporations for violation
of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act
25. Corporations forbidden to contribute to political
26. Keeping the door of China open to American com
27. Bringing about the settlement of the Russo-Japan
ese war by the Treaty of Portsmouth.
28. Avoiding the threatened hostility created by Pacific
coast prejudice against Japanese immigration.
29. Negotiating twenty-four treaties of general arbi
30. Reduction of the interest-bearing debt by more
31. Inauguration of movement for conservation of nat
32. Inauguration of the annual conference of Govern
ors of States.
33. Inauguration of movement for improvement of
conditions of country life.
Policies Urged by Roosevelt
1. Reform of the banking and currency system.
2. Inheritance tax.
3. Income tax.
4. Passage of a new employers' liability act.
5. Postal savings banks.
6. Parcels post.
7. Revision of the Sherman anti-trust act
8. Legislation to prevent overcapitalization, stock-wa
9. Legislation compelling incorporation under Federal
This is a matchless exhibit. Apart from war
measures "and activities, no President since tho
formation of our Government has a record of
achievements one-quarter as big as this. It is
not only a long list of achievements, but thoy are
great, human achievements of the most far-reaching
character, achievements of masterly states
manship. They mark an advancement of half a
century over the individualism in high places and
capitalistic powers that controlled the nation be
fore his Presidency.
This great work that he did is an accom
plished fact. It will not huye to bo done over. If
elected again, Mr. Roosevelt will find much to do
in tho way of reform and in advanced legislation,
but not so much that ho cannot givo his time and
energy to the outworking of a just and right tariff.
It is interesting to look back over tho last
nine months and note the changes of viewpoint
that havo como about with some of you business
men. Nine months ago you were mildly opposed
to Mr. Roosevelt and mildly for Mr. Taft. You
have in the meanwhilo worked up an amazing
case in favor of tlo latter and an amazing case
against tho former.
The caso for Taft isn't worth discussing, be
cause Taft no longer counts in thjs election. The
caso against Roosevelt is worth discussing, be
cause it isn't an honest case. It takes no note of
tlvsj merits of Mr. Roosevelt, but condemns him on
quibbles and potty nothings petty nothings as
compared with his great qualities and his great
record of achievements.
Of course, Mr. Roosevelt has faults, of course
ho makea mistakes, but the honest seeker after
accurate measurements does not condomn a man
on his faults and his mistakes alone. He con
demns him only when theso faults and mistakes
are greater than his virtues and his merits. If tho
latter are conspicuously greater than tho former,
tho margin of difference in his favor must be taken
as tho value of the man.
I submit to you if this is not the fair way to
measure a man; I submit to you if this is not the
way you would like to be measured yourself; I ask
you what kind of showing you would make if
measured by any other method, if measured alone
by your faults, your mistakes, your shortcomings,
and you have them, Mr. Business Man, as -toll as
Mr. Roosevelt and tho rest of us.
When the policies of a nation are involved in
your attitude, policies that mean so much to a
hundred million human souls, you cannot afford,
as a good citizen, to curse a man out and condemn
him and the organization back of him on quibbles
and petty nothings. You have got to be fair with
him, or you are not fair with yourself, and you
aro not fair with the people of the nation.
Above and beyond everything else, above and
beyond every other consideration, some of you are
out to smite Roosevelt, no matter what the conse
quences. But ifj in smiting Roosevelt, you smasK
your own face, is it worthy of you, Mr. Business
Man? Would you respect or compliment a man
who did this sort of thing, if it didn't happen to
be the very sort of thing you were doing yourself?
Tho problems before us are big in their out
reaching, so big that you cannot afford to let your
prejudices stand in the way of doing in this elec
tion what will mean the greatest good to the
greatest number, and the greatest good to the
greatest number, as a matter of fact, means the
greatest good to you, Mr. Business Man, and to
you, Mr. Professional Man. You can have no per
manent and worth-while prosperity except the
people as a whole are prosperous and content.
I havo said you are chiefly concerned with
what meant good business and general prosperity.
But what makes for good business is so broad a
question that it cannot be determined from any
one angle. That sound economic policies ate vi
tally important, it is certain, but it is equally cer
tain that other factors at this present juncture
enter very largely into the problem such factors
as industrial evolution, social justice, and wise
laws that are in step with the progress of the age,
that are in step with the best constructive govern
mentaHheories of any nation in the world.
With your mind bent on business, with your
oraving for good business, many of you look for it
only along the direct route. But it comes as well
in other ways, comes from these other contrib
utory causes. To forget theso causes, to be in
different to them, is to be asleep at the switch at
this particular time of social unrest.
Never before in the history of this country,
never before in the history of the world, has this
unrest manifested itself in anything like the
measure in which it is manifesting itself today.
It is more than unrest; it is evolution bordering
on revolution, and in very great measure is abso
In some of tho test ballots wo havo had thus
far in this campaign, the vote for Debs, the Social
ist candidate, is well in excess of the vote for Mr.
Taft, and this vote will bo so recorded at the polls
in November. The growth of the Socialist vote
will make you sit up and think, Mr. Business Man,
but your think will come too late. You will have
put yourself on record, and tho record cannot bo
changed, neither can tho party you have put in
power bo changed.
Tho best friend you havo in this situation,
Mr. Business Man, is Theodore Roosevelt. He
more than any other man, stands between you and
socialism. Roosevelt stands between you and
socialism through tho Progressive party, which
recognizes the necessity of social reforms, recog
nizes tho necessity of industrial evolution, recog
nizes tho cry of tho masses for tho square deal,
and ho stands between you and socialism with a
moral and mental courage that marks him a giant.
A weak man, or a man dead to the temper of
the people, or a man standing unyieldingly on
antiquated policies, prating about the Constitu
tion and all that, cannot cope with the situation
that confronts us today.
The iron hand is powerless against an awak
ened and insistent nation; the great, strong, hu
man hand alono can control and bring order out
of disorder, bring harmony and good feeling out of
bitterness and danger.
To think of good business without thinking
of theso contributory causes to good business ou'
the ono hand, theso dangers to good business on
the other hand to think of good business without
thinking of social justice, industrial evolution, and
the measure of socialism that is gripping our
country today, is to view tho situation with tho
complacency with which the monarchy and aris
tocracy of Franco viewed tho situation before tho
outbreak of tho French revolution.