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No. 88 "Americanism At the Crossroads" Speech of Raoul E. Desvernine, Chairman, National Lawyers Committee of the American Liberty League before the Republican Round Table Luncheon at the Hamilton Republican Club, Chicago, Illinois, January 15, 1936.
No. 88 "Americanism At the Crossroads" Speech of Raoul E. Desvernine, Chairman, National Lawyers Committee of the American Liberty League before the Republican Round Table Luncheon at the Hamilton Republican Club, Chicago, Illinois, January 15, 1936. American Liberty League. 400dpi TIFF G4 page images Digital Library Services, University of Kentucky Libraries Lexington, Kentucky Am_Lib_Leag_88 These pages may freely searched and displayed. Permission must be received for subsequent distribution in print or electronically. No. 88 "Americanism At the Crossroads" Speech of Raoul E. Desvernine, Chairman, National Lawyers Committee of the American Liberty League before the Republican Round Table Luncheon at the Hamilton Republican Club, Chicago, Illinois, January 15, 1936. American Liberty League. American Liberty League. Washington, D.C. 1936. This electronic text file was created by Optical Character Recognition (OCR). 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Pamphlets Available â˜… Copies of the following pamphlets and other League literature may be obtained upon application to the League's national headquarters: Statement of Principles and Purposes American Liberty League Its Platform The Bonus Inflation The Thirty Hour Week Bill The Holding Company Bill Price Control The Labor Relations Bill The Farmers' Home Bill The TVA Amendments The Supreme Court and the New Deal The Revised AAA Amendments The President's Tax Program Expanding Bureaucracy Lawmaking by Executive Order New Deal Laws in Federal Courts Consumers and the AAA Dangerous Experimentation Economic Planning Mistaken But Not New Work Relief The AAA and Our Form of Government Alternatives to the American Form of Government A Program for Congress The 1937 Budget The National Labor Relations Act Summary of Conclusions from report of the National Lawyers Committee Straws Which Tell How to Meet the Issue Speech by W. E. Borah The American Bar The Trustee of American Institutions Speech by Albert C. Ritchie The Test of Citizenship Speech by Dean Carl W. Ackerman "Breathing Spells" Speech by Jouett Shouse The Duty of the Lawyer in the Present Crisis Speech by James M. Beck The Constitution and the Supreme Court Speech by Borden Burr The Economic Necessity in the Southern States for a Return to the Constitution Speech by Forney Johnston The National Lawyers Committee of the American Liberty League Speech by Ethan A. II. Shepley Our Growing National Debt and Inflation Speech by Dr. E. W. Kemmerer Inflation is Bad Business Speech by Dr. Neil Carothers The Real Significance of the Constitutional Issue Speech by R. E. Desvernine Arousing Class Prejudices Speech by Jouett Shouse The Fallacies and Dangers of the Townsend Plan Speech by Dr. W. E. Spahr What of 1936? Speech by James P. Warburg â˜… AMERICAN LIBERTY LEAGUE NATIONAL PRESS BUILDING WASHINGTON, D. C. Americanism At the Crossroads * â˜… â˜… Speech of RAOUL E. DESVERNINE Chairman, National Lawyers Committee of the American Liberty League before the Republican Round Table Luncheon at the Hamilton Republican Club Chicago, Illinois January 15, 1936 AMERICAN LIBERTY LEAGUE National Headquarters NATIONAL PRESS BUILDING WASHINGTON, D. C. Document No. Americanism at the Crossroads â˜… LeT me emulate a recent illustrious example in reverse action by taking this political occasion to give you "information of the State of the Union." The present "State of the Union" can be aptly summarized by the chosen title of this address, "Americanism at the Crossroads." This topic was suggested to me by the President's recent statement that "within democratic nations the chief concern of the people is to prevent the continuance or the rise of autocratic institutions." Many have undoubtedly addressed you more competently on many specific problems and therefore to discuss any particular subject, or, any particular piece of legislation, would be only cumulative. We are too prone to confine ourselves to specific problems which are at a given moment giving us special concern and thereby we are diverted from the more important question of considering the cumulative effects of all current political activities and legislative enactments taken collectively. TOO many assume that the New Deal is a haphazard attempt to provide specific remedies for each situation as it arises and that each of these remedies are independent of and not related to each other; that they are dictated solely by expediency, not principle; and therefore are not parts of a coordinated plan. I originally shared this view but as time went on and as I examined one after another of the New Deal proposals, I soon discovered that they all fit together perfectly and collectively expressed a definite and more or less unified plan or philosophy of government. As the President so correctly observes: "Now, after thirty-four months of work, we contemplate a fairly rounded whole." Unless we clearly realize this, we are missing the real significance of the issue before 3 HEN you have finished with this pamphlet please pass it on to some friend or acquaintance who might be interested, calling his attention to the membership blank on page 23. the country today. We are fiddling while Rome burns. I firmly believe, and am hopeful that I can demonstrate, that you are today confronted with a choice between two incompatible theories of government. If we were only trying to solve emergency economic and social conditions, if we were only engaged in a crusade to abolish abuses and perfect ideals, our task would be comparatively easy and beyond reproach. I shall not express any opinion as to the economic or social soundness or desirability of any of the proposals but only point out their political implications and significance. I will try to get at the political principle at the root of our problem and to present it as clearly as I can without indulging in economic or social theorizing, or partisan platitudes and animosities, of which there is already too much. I will then attempt to take stock of the work of the last thirty-four months and compare it with our political tradition and leave it to you to decide if Americanism is at the crossroads. The first step is to define the struggle to understand the issue not go on an orgy of mere phrase-making. ^^HAT is this thing called "Americanism"? Is it just a national adaptation of foreign political ideals or is it a distinct and totally different political philosophy and theory of government? Is it just a revised copy of some parent-civilization or a newly conceived and characteristically distinctive political concept? A few historical references will easily and completely answer these questions. Two basic institutions were praised by almost every leader of the Revolutionary period: (a) individual liberty achieved through the enjoyment, free from governmental oppression, of certain personal human rights and of private property; and (b) self-government. These basic institutions were proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence, which was not only an indict-4 ment against specific acts of tyrannical oppression, but a proclamation of the minimum rights of man in a free self-governing state. The importance of the Declaration of Independence to one trying to understand the fundamentals of our political tradition cannot be over-estimated. It has been truly characterized as "the thought and the spirit" of our Constitution. Therefore, let us consider a moment its essential doctrine. It enunciates the doctrine that governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed. This is the institution of self-government. This doctrine implies two principles: First, that the people are the ultimate repository and source of sovereign power; and second, that, therefore, government derives its powers from the people, and, consequently, can have only such power as is expressly granted. Hence, the State is the creature of man, not man the creature of the State; and the State cannot exceed its granted powers without thereby committing an act of tyranny, for tyranny is only usurping powers against the consent of the governed. the Declaration of Independence also states that man is endowed by his Creator with certain inalienable rights. That is to say man by his very nature has certain inherent natural rights. These are his birthright by divine endowment. Therefore, man is not possessed of these rights by grant, franchise or license from the State and such rights are free from and beyond interference by the State. Now, these rights are not metaphysical concepts but real, tangible things, expressly enumerated in the Constitution, particularly in the first Ten Amendments, and no matter how antisocial it may seem in this generation, the right to private property is included amongst the recital of these human rights. As a matter of fact, property is one of the realities of freedom. Their selection for specific enumeration was made because bitter experience had taught that these rights were essential to individual free-5 dom and were those which tyrannical governments customarily denied. Now, these basic institutions of self-government and individual liberty, as proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence, were incorporated in our Constitution. The Constitution is a solemn compact between the people and the government, guaranteeing these rights to the citizen and setting up a machinery for self-government. The Constitution, therefore, is the means through which the sovereign people constituted and defined the government to which they consented. It is the supreme expression of the sovereign will. It is because of its supremacy that our government has been so correctly characterized as a government of laws, not of men. This principle is the corner-stone of our entire political philosophy. But our Founding Fathers were not satisfied with even this contractual guarantee of these two basic institutions. They fully realized that without a plan of government to preserve and protect these institutions, their mere pronouncement would be futile. Therefore, they set about to devise a form of government, a constitutional machinery, which would protect individual freedom from governmental oppression. This, they skillfully worked out by avoiding the deposit of unlimited sovereign power in any one political unit. They first distributed sovereign prerogatives between the Federal government and the several States. Then, they limited the powers of the Federal government to those expressly conferred and those necessary and proper to carry these express powers into effect. The State governments could, in addition, more readily consult local interest and interests peculiar to different localities must be considered if freedom is to prevail. Even the limited powers reposed in the Federal government were further broken down and distributed between different political divisions 6 the executive, the legislative, and the judicial to each of which were assigned separate and independent powers; each a check upon the other. All of this scattering of government functions with these counter-balances and checks can have but one purpose the prevention of concentrated power in any one political unit. That is Americansim, or I know not what it is and I challenge anyone to define it differently. Considered from this point of view, the structure of our government takes on a vital and fundamental meaning. I wonder if those who so flippantly advocate reforming our Constitution or those who are trying to mould it to fit their designs under the pretext of modernizing it, of making it adequate to meet present conditions, really understand these basic institutions on which our Constitution was erected. Certainly, a government, so conceived and devised, cannot be autocratic. These institutions were established for the benefit of the people of the United States, not exclusively for the partisans of certain groups. That means all the people, regardless of race, color, or creed; irrespective of social class, financial means, or propertied interests the factory worker, the farmer, the industrialist, the financier all who are part and parcel of the social, economic and political unity of the nation. All have equality of right under the Constitution and before the law. Even the criminal is entitled to his day in court and to due process of law. This sacred principle of democratic government is denied by anyone who uses the power of his office to stir up class conflict, to oppose class against class, to make it appear that the economic or social interests of one group are opposed to others, and that all cannot live and work together toward a common national destiny. To thus stir up domestic internal strife is no less vicious than to rattle the saber in international relations. 1 LiET us briefly look at the underlying philosophy of those forms of government which do not accept these basic institutions. Nazism, Fascism, Communism and the totalitarian State in all its modern adaptations are the denial of these principles. They assert the contrary doctrine. Under them, the State is Omnipotent and Supreme. Man is the creature of the State. The State is the source of all human rights and the dictator of all human activities. Consequently, man's rights are mere franchises or grants from the State to be enjoyed only during the pleasure of the State. The individual has no guarantee of the right to life, liberty and property. In fact, he has not even the right to the right. He has no contract guaranteeing him any rights whatsoever. This is government by the arbitrary will of men, not a government of laws. FREEDOM does not mean the mere possession of some abstract political rights. It literally means independence. Americanism, as I have tried to define it, is, therefore, absolutely incompatible with these theories of government. I apologize for taking your time with a recapitulation of these self-evident truths, but to clearly define the issue we must have these underlying principles in mind so as to test the New Deal by them. We can best understand the new chapters in our political history by reading them in the light of the old chapters. We are at the crossroads in the journey towards our national destiny: one road is the old American "horse and buggy" road of democracy with the Constitution as its foundation; the other the foreign slave trail of arbitrary government built upon the will of man. Which of these two roads we should take depends entirely upon where we want to go. Let's stop, look and listen! You probably think this all just theorizing! If so, in your haste to get anywhere, you have passed the sign-posts on the road you have recently traveled. NOW, for the sign-posts follow them with me with the compass of our institutions and perhaps we will see the direction we have been headed in. The President says, "You, the members of the legislative branch, and I, the Executive, contended for and established a new relationship between government and people." I am afraid that this is only too true. The National Industrial Recovery Act was condemned by the Supreme Court in the Schechter and Panama Refining Company cases, because that Act asserted a jurisdiction and attempted to set up a form of control over all industry which was beyond the power of the Federal Government. The Supreme Court emphatically said that that Act violated both the principle of dual sovereignty and the principle of separation of powers within the Federal Government. It not only attempted an unconstitutional concentration of power in the Federal Government but it also attempted to lodge that concentrated power in the Executive. The Supreme Court specifically condemned this attempt by Congress to delegate its law-making functions to the President and said that, "The question is not of the intrinsic importance of the particular statute before us, but of the constitutional processes of legislation which are an essential part of our system of government!" The N.R.A., as so much of recent legislation, is justified on the ground that it is for the public good and necessary to meet national emergencies, but the Supreme Court met this argument with the statement that, "It is not the province of the Court to consider the economic advantages or disadvantages of such a centralized system. It is sufficient to say that the Federal Constitution does not provide for it." In other words, times and conditions may have changed, but we still have the Constitution. To GIVE the Executive a free hand in the exercise of such concentrated power, the President asserted, but the Supreme Court emphatically repudiated, in the Humphrey case, the claim that Federal officials could be ousted because their views were not sympathetic to the President. Consider the implications of this claim. Does this not savor of autocracy in the common meaning of that word? In the Gold Clause case the Supreme Court, although recognizing that the Government had complete jurisdiction over the monetary system and could, therefore render ineffective private v contracts calling for payment in a type of currency which the Government could order withdrawn from circulation, nevertheless held that the Government could not arbitrarily repudiate its own obligations. Even in the exercise of constitutional powers, a democratic government must be held to common standards of decency and not be permitted to repudiate its own obligations. The abuse of granted powers can be just as destructive of individual rights as the usurpation of powers. The a.a.a . now of sacred memory was, in its essential features, a complete counterpart of the N.R.A. These two Acts were complementary expressions of the same theory of the nature, scope and function of the Federal Government. Both together were not merely forms of industrial and farm relief, but actually the charter and mechanism of a wholly new conception of our economy. And let us not forget that although the A.A.A. was initially proposed as temporary emergency relief, the President later proclaimed it as a permanent policy. Could a more sweeping denunciation of the pretensions of these Acts be made than the following words of the Supreme Court: "Until recently no suggestion of the existence of any such power in the Federal Government has been advanced. The expressions of the framers of the Constitution, the decisions of this court in-10 terpreting that instrument, and the writings of great commentators will be searched in vain for any suggestion that there exists in the clause under discussion (the taxation clause), or elsewhere in the Constitution, the authority whereby every provision and every fair implication from that instrument may be subverted, the independence of the individual States obliterated, and the United States converted into a central government exercising uncontrolled police power in every State of the Union, superseding all local control or regulation of the affairs or concerns of the States." The Cotton Control Act, the Tobacco Control Act, and the Potato Control Act assert the same principles of economic control by the same constitutional pretexts. They are all the logical consequence of the A.A.A. because once you apply the principles of a managed economy in one field, you must, of necessity, expand it into all fields as all economic activities are integrated, interdependent and related. We will soon receive final word if these laws fit into the frame-work of our constitutional principles. Other instances of similar laws condemned by the Supreme Court for the same reasons could be cited if time permitted. During the last thirty-four months, nine Federal laws signed by President Roosevelt have been declared invalid. This rate of mortality is without parallel in our history. During the first seventy-five years but two national laws were held unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, and, up until the Roosevelt Administration the number did not exceed sixty. Certainly the country was undergoing many fundamental changes in its economic and social development during the period of our country's greatest expansion. Certainly the country experienced political crises during that period. The Constitution was, nevertheless, found to be adequate even in civil and foreign wars. President Roosevelt, in less than three years, has had more of the laws he signed declared unconstitutional than did Messrs. Harding, Coolidge and 11 Hoover in all the twelve years they were in office. And the record is still incomplete. President Roosevelt will easily attain the record of being the President of the United States who violated the Constitution more times in a single term of office than any other President in the entire history of the United States. But, up to thirty-four months ago, we were not "writing a new chapter in the history of popular government," we were not building up "new instruments of public power" "on a broad base," we were then content with the constitutional instruments of public power on the fundamental base of our Constitution. The Guffey Act attempts to reassert the same control over one industry as was condemned in respect of all industry. The Public Utility Holding Company Act reaches into another field and elaborates control into a death sentence. The Banking Act, the Securities Act and the Securities Exchange Act, politically control banking, credit and borrowing. In SHORT, manufacture, mining, production, finance, distribution, and transportation every known economic activity is regimented. Accounting methods and all corporate and private business practices are prescribed. Even the personal relations between employer and employees have not been forgotten. The employee is denied his right to freedom of contract. The means and method of his bargaining for his wages, hours, and conditions of employment are dictated by a governmental agency. Personal privacy is violated. Trade secrets are published. We are being absorbed by the State. Our individuality, our independence is being merged into and subordinated to a superstate. To secure "voluntary" submission to their desires, they have invented and attempted to apply the novel doctrine of coercive penalties. It is certainly using the taxing power as an instrument of oppression to impose penalties on those 12 refusing to submit to their views and to reward those who submit by rebates. This is certainly a "fairly rounded whole." The administrators of this New Order become true to type and grow intolerant of all criticism. To question their infallibility is heresy. Even the right and sworn duty of lawyers to support, maintain and defend the Constitution through their constitutional right of free speech has been challenged. They have even had their professional integrity assailed because they have dared to express an opinion on constitutional issues. If YOU want a detailed definition of "economic autocracy" just look at that record! Hoe your own row! Why, you have not the right to hoe any row without the permission of some governmental agency! And then only on terms and conditions arbitrarily prescribed from which you have no appeal. No one disputes the need of the reform of abuses and the wisdom of imposing some restraints on the exercise of individual rights in the general welfare, but these abuses must and can be corrected, and, these restraints imposed, by means within and prescribed by the Constitution. "By their fruits ye shall know them." This is an apt quotation. All these legislative acts illustrate a consistent purpose to destroy the essential features of our government, such as the separation of powers among the legislative, executive and judicial branches, and the dual sovereignty of the Federal Government and the States. This effort to change the organic structure of the Constitution, under the pretext of adaptation and reformation, if successful, would result in breaking down the protection it affords to the vital principle individual freedom inalienable rights self-government. It is an attempt to substitute Americanism with Totalitarianism Constitutional Democracy with Autocracy. These laws certainly create a "new relationship between government and people" as we understood that relationship in old America. 13 This is a bold charge but the Supreme Court seems to sustain it in its recent decisions in no uncertain language. Does it not strike you as significant that all these Acts are predicated on common theories, pursue the same methods? Do they not reveal a consistent attitude toward our Constitution? Other methods, within the Constitution, might have been chosen, if their sole concern was to meet economic and social conditions, not to establish new governmental theories. But this does not exhaust the new chapter in our political history. ]MlJCH emphasis is placed upon the power of concentrated wealth as an implement destructive of popular government and individual freedom. Whether or not such a concentration of wealth has these effects depends upon who has this implement of power in his hands and whether or not he can use that implement free from all restraint. Is not popular government and individual freedom just as much endangered by such a concentration of money in the hands of an unaccountable sovereign as in the hands of any individual? That question is conclusively answered by the history of all governments. "He who holds the purse-strings rules the realm." No single sovereign unit in the United States has, therefore, the power to levy taxes and appropriate public funds. These acts require the coordinate actions of both houses of Congress and the Executive each supposedly acting independently of and as a check on the other. How can a government, so fearful of concentrated wealth, justify its Executive spending $4,880,000,000 in his absolute discretion, to only mention one small item? What assurance have we got that this money will not be spent for political purposes? I understand that it is the principle which they challenge. Therefore, they must except themselves from the operation of their own principle. Does history prove that only private individuals and never sovereigns have abused 14 the power of money? They can only claim immunity from their principle on the theory that no one is to be trusted but themselves. ALL of this economic control is concentrated in the Executive. Of necessity, he can only perform these multitudinous duties, through appointed commissions, boards, councils, departments and individuals, most of which he appoints without the advice and consent of the Senate and free from the restrictions of the civil service laws. He is obliged to delegate to them the administrative discretion which the laws vest in him. This administrative discretion is so comprehensive as to include for all practical purposes the power of interpreting and construing the laws, the right of quasi-legislation by decrees, orders, rules and regulations, and the power to punish by fines and imprisonments all infractions of the law, and of their own self-declared orders, rules and regulations. These decrees, orders, rules and regulations flow from these bodies in such quantity that it is impossible for a citizen to keep up with the laws which he is expected to obey, if he is sufficiently fortunate to be able to even locate them. "But in the hands of political puppets of an economic autocracy such power would provide shackles for the liberties of the people." Let us analyze this a bit! I believe even the summary of the record, which I have given, conclusively demonstrates that the sum total of New Deal activities draws a perfect picture of economic autocracy. Certainly no greater power could be concentrated in the hands of the Executive and his political appointees. Are we to draw the inference, therefore, that economic autocracy in the hands of political "puppets" is only to be condemned when the same is in hands other than those of the present incumbents? It would seem that it matters not in whose hands such power resides, as any such 15 concentration of power in any political unit provides "shackles for the liberties of the people." It is the principle of such concentration of power that our Constitution condemns and was set up to prevent. The Supreme Court once said, "The theory of our governments, State and national, is opposed to the deposit of unlimited power anywhere." there is no distinction between economic and political autocracy in their effects upon individual liberties. An economic autocracy is always subject to what has been so picturesquely described as the law of the "tooth and the claw," so that economic autocracy can never become absolute and complete because of the competitive and different interests of those having any substantial economic interest. Under political control the restraining influence of competition between different interests is removed and all are regimented under a single political control, and you have absolute economic and political autocracy. The government already has adequate powers under the anti-monopoly laws to combat all efforts toward unified economic control and the failure of the government to exercise these powers is no reason why they should ask for greater power; but there is no protection against the concentration of power in a political autocracy except the Constitution. The apostles of the economic greed are not preaching the repeal of the anti-monopoly laws, but the authors of the "new chapter in political history" are challenging the Constitution. Now, those possessed of this power seek to make themselves unaccountable for even its unconstitutional and illegal exercise or abuse! They have already passed a law depriving a holder of government obligations from suing to recover any damage resulting from their own repudiation of their contract. They have 16 amended the A.A.A. making it, as a practical matter, impossible to recover processing taxes, even if unconstitutionally levied and collected and have attempted to take away the right of injunction. And now, the President boldly states "The carrying out of the laws of the land as enacted by Congress requires protection until final adjudication by the highest tribunal of the land. The Congress has the right and can find the means to protect its own prerogatives." In a word, having given me this absolute power, render me immune from accountability and deprive the citizen of his means of protecting himself against the irreparable consequences of unconstitutional laws as long as you can. If that is not an enunciation of the principle of a government of men, not laws, it certainly has the same effect upon the rights of individuals in many situations. To leave him his right, but deny him an adequate remedy is a sinecure. If YOU begin to tinker with our judicial processes, you will remove the last guarantee of our liberties. Unless the courts have the right to declare legislative and executive acts unconstitutional, the Constitution, instead of being a solemn compact between the people and Government, becomes a mere "scrap of paper." Unless the citizen has recourse to the courts for the protection of his rights and unless the courts have plenary power to grant him adequate relief, the mere possession of his rights is a sham. No one who respects the Constitution and wants to live under it would have any reason to be disrespectful of it and therefore would have no reason for not welcoming determination by the courts of all controversies arising out of it. Incidentally, Justice Stone, in his dissenting opinion in the A.A.A. case, urged caution and self-restraint upon judges, and warned them not to be hasty in setting aside acts of Congress. He said that the courts must not consider them-17 selves superior to other branches of the Government in the "capacity to govern." Very true, but they might rightly consider themselves superior in the capacity to decide whether disputed laws exceed the constitutional power of Congress. This is very important in view of the number of laws recently enacted by Congress in excess of its constitutional power and the Executive's urging the passing of laws of doubtful constitutionality. Why assume that the State governments have no utility and competence to meet any situation? Why seek to absolutely destroy the sovereignty of the States? All the President's questions proceed on the theory that the Federal government alone is possessed of sovereign powers and that anything which the Federal government cannot do, goes undone. That certainly is not the belief on which our system was established and up till now carried on. Obviously, things cannot always be done in the way the President would like them, but is that the only way? TrlE entire philosophy of the "new chapter" in our political history is put into a most descriptive sentence. "We have returned the control of the Federal Government to the City of Washington." Heretofore, the control of the Federal Government resided in the forty-eight sovereign States and the people. Part of the machinery and some of its operations have always been conveniently located in Washington. The chosen representatives and some of the appointed agents of the Federal Government also carry on their assigned functions there. But control is a different thing. I have tried to make it clear that one of the fundamental concepts of our constitutional philosophy is to prohibit the concentration of power the deposit of control in any one political unit, as President Washington said in his Farewell Address, "by dividing and distributing it into different depositories," and the Supreme Court has rightfully said that the deposit of 18 control in any political unit, no matter how democratic, is despotism. Apparently President Roosevelt does not accept this fundamental concept of our constitutional system. L ET me here interpolate a sentence into this written record of the past thirty-four months: "Give them their way and they will take the course of every autocracy of the past power for themselves, enslavement for the public." That is exactly the point I am trying to make but much more eloquently expressed. How can you reconcile this "new chapter in the history of popular government" with the chapters written by the Founding Fathers in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution? It seems to me, when I compare their doctrine with the previous chapters, that they have not written a new chapter, but an entirely new and different book. Where do you find respect for the sacred rights of man which are man's by divine endowment beyond interference by the State? Where do you find respect for the distribution of power into different and independent political units? Where do you find respect for local self-government in the States? What has become of the organic structure of your constitutional machinery which was set up to forbid concentrated power? Where do you find respect for the principle that the Constitution is a solemn compact between the people and the Government, which the Government must respect if the people's "consent" is to be respected? Where are the basic institutions upon which our government and tradition have been erected? The Supreme Court has thus far sought in vain for them. The argument that you must "junk" all your constitutional liberties and processes in a crisis to feed the hungry and care for the distressed is so absurd that it justifies the equally facetious retort. You can't eat the Constitution, but you also cannot eat the Bible or your wife and children; but that does not mean to say 19 that in a crisis you should burn the Bible and sell your wife and children. Now, i do not want to be misunderstood as maintaining that the Constitution is an "untouchable" sacred document. I do emphatically maintain, however, that in addition to prescribing a popular and efficient mechanical system of government, it also formalizes a distinct political philosophy Americanism and that the right of the people to determine the form and character of their government is a sacred "untouchable" right. Make the Constitution more perfect in changed conditions to fulfill that philosophy, if need be, but do so in conformity with the prescribed constitutional process of amendment. Do not scrap democracy by denying the people their right to consent to the form of the government that shall govern them by indirect means under the alluring pretext of "adaptation." yes, the challenge will be met, is being met. But why limit us to a Congress which has long since surrendered its sovereign prerogatives to the Executive will? Are you not quite certain what that impartial body, as presently constituted, would decide? Why not join issue in the courts? Why not go to the people? Are the people not the ultimate sovereigns? Why not define the issue? State the text of your proposed amendment! The courts have already and will further tell you that the fundamental objectives you seek cannot be accomplished except by an amendment to the Constitution. Forget autocratic pretenses and proceed in accord with democratic processes! We will proudly wear "the livery of great national constitutional ideals." We still believe it is just as wholesome, becoming and fine as the day it was tailored by our Founding Fathers and we much prefer it to the foreign and alien uniforms which the New Order have on display. 20 Yes, uniforms. A regimented State, as any regiment, must wear uniforms of the sovereign's design. Yes, our livery was designed to serve "special interests" the special interests of our individual freedom in a constitutional democracy. If those "special interests" have been discredited, it can only be by those who are intolerantly impatient with any interests which interfere with the consummating of "a new relationship between government and people." Americanism, as I understand it, is certainly at the crossroads. Whither goest thou? I 21 AN INVITATION TO JOIN THE AMERICAN LIBERTY LEAGUE We extend to every American citizen who believes in the fundamental principles which gave birth to the Constitution of the United States an invitation to become a member of the American Liberty League. You may indicate your acceptance of this invitation by filling in the necessary information as to your name and address on the enrollment blank below and mailing it to American Liberty League, National Press Building, Washington, D. C. There are no fees or dues. If you are willing and able to give monetary help for the League's support your contribution will be appreciated, as our activities are supported entirely by the voluntary gifts of our members. ENROLLMENT BLANK Date_ I favor the principles and purposes of the American Liberty League and request that I be enrolled as a ( regular 1* contributing Signature_ Name (Mr. Mrs. Miss) Street Town County State *As a contributing member I desire to give $__ to help support the activities of the League: Cash herewith_Installments as follows:_ I member.