Appendix J. Speeches For Study And Practise
Alton B. Parker. The Call To Democrats
From a speech opening the National Democratic Convention at Baltimore, Md., June, 1912.
It is not the wild and cruel methods of revolution and violence that are needed to correct the abuses incident to our Government as to all things human. Neither material nor moral progress lies that way. We have made our Government and our complicated institutions by appeals to reason, seeking to educate all our people that, day after day, year after year, century after century, they may see more clearly, act more justly, become more and more attached to the fundamental ideas that underlie our society. If we are to preserve undiminished the heritage bequeathed us, and add to it those accretions without which society would perish, we shall need all the powers that the school, the church, the court, the deliberative assembly, and the quiet thought of our people can bring to bear.
We are called upon to do battle against the unfaithful guardians of our Constitution and liberties and the hordes of ignorance which are pushing forward only to the ruin of our social and governmental fabric.
Too long has the country endured the offenses of the leaders of a party which once knew greatness. Too long have we been blind to the bacchanal of corruption. Too long have we listlessly watched the assembling of the forces that threaten our country and our firesides.
The time has come when the salvation of the country demands the restoration to place and power of men of high ideals who will wage unceasing war against corruption in politics, who will enforce the law against both rich and poor, and who will treat guilt as personal and punish it accordingly.
What is our duty? To think alike as to men and measures? Impossible! Even for our great party! There is not a reactionary among us. All Democrats are Progressives. But it is inevitably human that we shall not all agree that in a single highway is found the only road to progress, or each make the same man of all our worthy candidates his first choice.
It is impossible, however, and it is our duty to put aside all selfishness, to consent cheerfully that the majority shall speak for each of us, and to march out of this convention shoulder to shoulder, intoning the praises of our chosen leader - and that will be his due, whichever of the honorable and able men now claiming our attention shall be chosen.