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No. 128 "The New Deal vs. Democracy" Speech of Jouett Shouse, broadcast over the National Broadcasting Company network on June 20, 1936. American Liberty League. 400dpi TIFF G4 page images Digital Library Services, University of Kentucky Libraries Lexington, Kentucky Am_Lib_Leag_128 These pages may freely searched and displayed. Permission must be received for subsequent distribution in print or electronically. No. 128 "The New Deal vs. Democracy" Speech of Jouett Shouse, broadcast over the National Broadcasting Company network on June 20, 1936. American Liberty League. American Liberty League. Washington, D.C. 1936. This electronic text file was created by Optical Character Recognition (OCR). No corrections have been made to the OCR-ed text and no editing has been done to the content of the original document. Encoding has been done through an automated process using the recommendations for Level 1 of the TEI in Libraries Guidelines. Digital page images are linked to the text file. JOIN THE AMERICAN LIBERTY LEAGUE The American Liberty League is organized to defend and uphold the Constitution of the United States and to gather and disseminate information that (1) will teach the necessity of respect for the rights of persons and property as fundamental to every successful form of government and (2) will teach the duty of government to encourage and protect individual and group initiative and enterprise, to foster the right to work, earn, save, and acquire property, and to preserve the ownership and lawful use of property when acquired. The League believes in the doctrine expressed by George Washington in his Farewell Address that while the people may amend the Constitution to meet conditions arising in a changing world, there must "be no change by usurpation; for this * * * is the customary weapon by which free governments are destroyed." Since the League is wholly dependent npon the contributions of its members for financial support it hopes that you will become a contributing member. However, if you cannot contribute it will welcome your support as :t non-contributing member. Enrollment Blank American Liberty League National Press Building Washington, D. C. I desire to be enrolled as a member of the American Liberty League. Signature Name ................................. Street .................................. Town .................................. County .......................... State. Enclosed find my contribution of $........ to help support the activities of the League. The New Deal vs. Democracy â˜… â˜… â˜… Speech of JOUETT SHOUSE President of the American liberty League and Former Chairman of the Democratic National Executive Committee over the network of the National Broadcasting Company System June 20, 1936 AMERICAN LIBERTY LEAGUE National Headquarters NATIONAL PRESS BUILDING WASHINGTON, D. C. (128) Document No. 128 The New Deal vs. Democracy â˜… In THE ELECTION of 1928 the Democratic Party suffered its third successive disastrous defeat. As a result, members of the Party throughout the country were thoroughly disheartened. Newspapers and magazines published articles written by Democrats claiming that the Party was dead, that like the Whig Party it had served its purpose and should pass out of the picture. Even sitting and elected Democratic members of the two houses of Congress shared this pessimism, expressed utter discouragement and, in specific instances, offered the opinion that it was useless to carry on the fight. In THIS DARK HOUR, some of us set about the task of reviving and rehabilitating the Party. It was my privilege to serve as Chairman of the Executive Committee and, in that position, to attempt to arouse the voters of the country to a renewed interest in the principles of the Democratic Party. Believing so firmly that its basic tenets were those on which this country could go forward both economically and socially, our task assumed almost the fervor of a crusade. A competent staff was engaged to carry forward the work of organisation and publicity. Almost immediately the effort was crowned with success. In one after another of the bye-elections made necessary by the death of House members a real fight was made. In nearly every instance those fights were won. And then came the general Congressional election of 1930. By an almost unprecedented overturn, the Democratic Party reversed the Hoover landslide of 1928, won entire control of the House of Representatives and virtual control of the United States Senate. I say "virtual control" because while the Democrats lacked by one vote the machinery necessary to organise the Senate, they possessed the only cohesive group in that body. Our Republican friends numbered among their members some six or eight who had used the label of the Republican Party only as a convenient vehicle on which to ride into office and had then proceeded to form themselves into a bloc for personal publicity and personal advancement with no reference to Party obligation or Party responsibility. Although it has later ensued, up to that time, fortunately, there had been little of this character of political sabotage among the Democrats of the Senate. And so the Democratic Party, listed by many || as dead at the beginning of 1929, had in two short years come to life with a hang. FOR A FULL YEAR before the Democratic Convention was held at Chicago in 1932 it wa6 apparent to any judge of politics that the nominee of the Convention, no matter who he might be, would he overwhelmingly elected President. There wasn't any doubt about it. Conditions made it certain. It was just one of those things that in sporting circles would be known as a "natural." The Democratic Party happened to possess an unusual number of outstanding men but many of them were unwilhng to become candidates. As Chairman of the Party's Executive Committee, I did not favor any specific individual for the nomination. But I was definitely and outspokenly opposed to the nomination of Mr. Roosevelt. This was not because of any personal feeling. It was based solely on my knowledge of Mr. Roosevelt and of his record as Governor of New York. In the light of recent events, circumstances surrounding the Chicago Convention and its outcome are interesting. These past few months we have heard from Mr. Roosevelt's spokesmen, both in and out of Congress, bitter attacks upon William Randolph Hearst. Save for William Randolph Hearst, Mr. Roosevelt would never have been nominated at Chicago in '32. It was not until Mr. Hearst gave his orders to Mr. McAdoo to switch from Garner to Roosevelt that the deal was made which enabled Mr. Roosevelt's nomination and without which that nomination could not have been achieved. THE PLATFORM upon which Mr. Roosevelt ran was the best platform that has been put out by any political party in the history of American politics. It was clear, direct, definite. To it Mr. Roosevelt, in reiterated speeches, gave the most loyal support. As soon as he became President he started in to carry out the most important plank of that platform which was the promise to reduce expenditures of the Federal Government by 25%. During the early weeks of his administration I began to wonder whether I had not been mistaken in my judgment of the man. Apparently, he was measuring up splendidly to the duties and responsibilities of his office. Apparently, he regarded the platform of his Party as a solemn compact with the people and was prepared to carry it out. But, unfortunately, after so excellent a start there came a complete change. Into measures designed for recovery there were injected principles whoUy foreign to the Democratic platform and whoUy alien to the American concept of government. Regimentation of industry, regimentation of agriculture, regimentation of every business, no matter how small, regimentation of the people in their daily lives became the apparent objective behind much of the proposed legislation. The economy plank was summarily scrapped. Instead of attempting to reduce governmental expenses, instead of attempting to balance the budget and to do away with deficits subjects to which he had devoted so much attention in his campaign speeches Mr. Roosevelt started upon an orgy of spending which has no counterpart in all history and which continues without the slightest suggestion of cessation and without the slightest consideration of its effect upon the fiscal affairs of the government. I SHALL NOT here attempt to review in detail the New Deal Administration. These facts, however, are obvious. The New Deal has built up a huge bureaucracy which has shown no regard for the Constitutional rights and liberties of our citizens. The New Deal has converted the Federal Civil Service into a bare-faced spoils system. The New Deal has used the money of taxpayers of all political parties to build up a propaganda machine to aid its efforts to continue in power. The New Deal has prostituted the administration of the relief of the unfortunate to the ends of partisan politics. The New Deal has spent huge sums upon public works, despite grave doubts as to the desirability or usefulness of the projects. The New Deal has instituted a series of boondoggling enterprises which are as ridiculous as they are unwise. The New Deal has all but destroyed the export market for American agricultural products. The New Deal has opened American markets to import of foodstuffs which properly should be supplied by the American farmer. The New Deal has harassed American business and has entered into competition in almost every possible way with private industry. THE NEW DEAL has misused the Federal taxing power in an effort to promote visionary schemes for the redistribution of wealth. The New Deal has imposed taxes heavier than were ever before placed upon the nation in time of peace and by reckless borrowing has saddled huge obligations upon generations yet unborn. The New Deal has led the nation far along the road toward national bankruptcy and has increased the national debt to unprecedented size. The New Deal has manifested its contempt for constitutional government. The New Deal has sought to make the Legislative Branch of the government subservient to the will of the Executive. The New Deal, through its official spokesman, has criticized decisions of the Supreme Court because in the interpretation of the basic law of the land that tribunal held pet New Deal acts unconstitutional. The New Deal, in the words of Mr. Roosevelt himself, has set up "new instruments of public power," admittedly dangerous in the hands of men who might misuse that power. In a word, the New Deal has sought to destroy the American system of government composed of three coordinate branches and to upset the dual sovereignty as between state and nation which the Constitution provides. The New Deal represents the attempt in America to set up a totalitarian government, one which recognizes no sphere of individual or business life as immune from governmental authority and which submerges the welfare of the individual to that of the government. THE AMERICAN SYSTEM of representative Democracy was so devised as to assure a frequent expression of the will of the people, to prevent the Executive from assuming dictatorial powers and to allow full freedom to individual initiative. Under the New Deal the Executive has usurped responsibilities for which members of Congress supposedly should be held to account by their constituents. Executive domination of legislation has become notorious. The delegation of legislative authority has permitted the making of laws by executive order. An attitude of hostility to the Courts has emphasized the New Deal's apparent purpose to substitute executive authority for the system of three branches with coordinate power. Except for the intervention of the Supreme Court the New Deal would have destroyed the sovereignty of the states, an essential part of the system of checks and balances which has made our government safe and desirable. In its zeal to control the private and business lives of the people, the New Deal has encroached upon the liberties guaranteed under the Bill of Rights. Complete evidence of the purpose of the New Deal to change the American form of government in important particulars is furnished in the decisions of the Supreme Court. In eight cases, important outstanding New Deal laws have been held to be unconstitutional, while in two other cases the application of New Deal laws has been held unconstitutional. In two cases in which the constitutionality of laws was not involved the Executive branch of the government has been declared by the Court to have usurped authority not warranted by law. Other important New Deal laws have been the subject of adverse decision in the lower Courts and now await the verdict of the Supreme Court. On NEXT TUESDAY the New Deal will begin its political convention in the City of Philadelphia. Masking under the name of the Democratic Party, the machinery of which it has momentarily seized, the New Deal will write a platform of endorsement of the Roosevelt ad-6 ministration. In doing that it will not write a Democratic platform. To the contrary such endorsement can only mean a radical departure from the basic principles upon which the Democratic Party was founded and for which it has consistently stood. It is true that there will be Democrats at the convention, but it is equally true that they must subscribe to strange doctrines if they accept its pronouncements. And no Democrat who refuses can be accused of disloyalty to his Party. Those who have seized the party machinery have changed the whole picture of the party. They care as little for the philosophy of Thomas Jefferson as for the promises of the Democratic Platform of 1932. Sooner or later, the present madness will pass. Sooner or later, a political promise will again be regarded as a sacred obligation. Sooner or later, we shall once more recognize that two and two make four. And when that time comes the Democrats who are Democrats from conviction and not from mere expediency will regain control of the Democratic Party and will make it once more the Party of Jefferson and Jackson and Cleveland and Wilson. Meanwhile, there is a tremendous task of national rehabilitation to be accomplished. During the past three years those in control of our government have sown to the wind. We and our children and our children's children for generations to come must reap the whirlwind. The task of the next President of the United States is going to be as severe as any that could be imagined. A man of prudent caution, of hard-headed business sense, of inflexible will and determination is needed for the job. The processes of recovery have begun despite the tinkering of the New Deal but they must be carried forward with care, with courage, with perseverance. Democrats, therefore, who are left without a Party in present circumstances must decide the course they will pursue. They owe no duty of loyalty to the New Deal or to the Convention which it will hold in Philadelphia next week. 7