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cies which must appeal to the American people and which were necessary to the happiness and prosperity of the country; that in making the request the authors of the letter were not considering his personal interests, but the interests of the people as a whole, and that if he were to decline he would show himself unresponsive to a plain public duty.

Two days after the date of this letter, February 12, 1912, President Taft made a speech before the Republican Club in New York City in which he said:

There are those who look upon the present situation as one full of evil and corruption and as a tyranny of concentrated wealth, and who in apparent despair at any ordinary remedy are seeking to pull down those things which have been regarded as the pillars of the temple of freedom and representative government and to reconstruct our whole society on some new principle, not definitely formulated and with no intelligent or intelligible forecast of the exact constitutional and statutory results to be obtained. Such extremists would hurry us into a condition which would find no parallel except in the French Revolution or in that babbling anarchy that once characterized the South American Republics. Such extremists are not progressives; they are political emotionalists or neurotics.''

This was nothing less than a direct assault upon Roosevelt for his utterances in his Colorado and Ossawatomie speeches. Coming as it did at the critical moment when Roosevelt was considering the question of consenting to be a candidate, its effect was decisive. It removed from his mind the last lingering doubt as to the irreconcilable difference on matters of principle which existed between himself and Mr. Taft, and as to his duty to become a candidate against him. To his mind, Mr. Taft's words were not only an assault but a challenge, for never before in his career and never afterwards were more offensive epithets than "political emotionalist” and “neurotic" applied to him. If Mr. Taft had designed to goad him into acceptance of

the proposal of the governors, he could scarcely have hit upon surer means. He fairly compelled Roosevelt to take one of two courses-either defend his principles or abandon them, and no one could have known better than Mr. Taft must have known what Roosevelt's choice would be. That he decided at once to be a candidate, and that personal considerations had nothing whatever to do with his decision, is too clear to dispute. Neither his past nor present personal relations with Mr. Taft entered into the matter at all. It was purely a question of principles and Mr. Taft's own utterances showed how hopeless agreement on them had become.

Before answering the letter of the governors, Roosevelt went to Columbus, Ohio, and on February 21 delivered an address before the Ohio Constitutional Convention, on "A Charter of Democracy,” which by its radical utterances made it virtually impossible for the Republican National Convention to nominate him. While passing through Cleveland on his way to Columbus on February 21, he was asked if he was to be a candidate and in replying he used a phrase which became famous: “My hat is in the ring. You will have my answer on Monday." In this speech at Columbus he declared himself in favor of the initiative and referendum proposals and of the recall of judicial decisions, while at the same time reiterating and reaffirming his views in regard to corporations and trusts and other subjects. He had, as I have noted in a previous chapter, favored the recall of judicial decisions in his speeches in the West in 1911, but in his Columbus address he stated his views on the question with far greater emphasis. The address fairly startled the conservative sentiment of the country, and alienated hundreds of thousands of Republican voters. If he had studied to make his own nomination by the Republican Convention impossible he could not have hit upon a surer course. It was a plain defiance to the leaders of the party and a notification that they could hope for no compromise of principles from him; that he valued loyalty to those principles above any support that they were able to

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give. That he was perfectly aware of this effect of his utterances, is not to be questioned. He had thought the matter out most earnestly, as the letters that I have quoted show, and he had reached the conclusion that he must make the fight for the principles dearest to his heart, or leave them to be abandoned without a struggle. That there was no possibility of his own election, or of political advantage of any kind for himself, he was too shrewd a man not to perceive. Had he been seeking such advantage he would have refrained from saying what was not at all needed to bind his radical followers more closely to him, and what was certain to drive away thousands who would have remained with him had he kept silent. His answer to the seven governors, on February 24, 1912, was as follows:

"I deeply appreciate your letter, and I realize to the full the heavy responsibility it puts upon me, expressing as it does the carefully considered convictions of the men elected by popular vote to stand as the heads of government in their several States.

"I absolutely agree with you that this matter is not one to be decided with any reference to the personal preferences or interests of any man, but purely from the standpoint of the interests of the people as a whole. I will accept the nomination for President if it is tendered to me, and I will adhere to this decision until the convention has expressed its preference. One of the chief principles for which I have stood and for which I now stand, and which I have always endeavored and always shall endeavor to reduce to action, is the genuine rule of the people; and therefore I hope that so far as possible the people may be given the chance, through direct primaries, to express their preference as to who shall be the nominee of the Republican Presidential Convention.'

Writing to me at Panama on March 18, 1912, he said: Do not get the idea into your head that I am going to win in this fight. It was a fight that had to be made and there was no alternative to my making it."

CHAPTER XXII

THE “STEAM ROLLER” CONVENTION OF 1912

The contests in the primaries for the election of delegates to the National Republican Convention became extremely animated after Roosevelt’s consent to be a candidate was made known. With characteristic frankness and courage he stood by his principles without flinching. On March 20, 1912, he made a speech in Carnegie Hall, New York, when he declared "I stand by my Columbus speech,'' and reiterated the views he had expressed in it, taking occasion to reply at some length to the criticisms which President Taft had made of his remarks on the question of the recall of judicial decisions. In this speech he quoted an approval of his recall plan which had been given by William Draper Lewis, Dean of the Law School of the University of Pennsylvania, and in which the Dean had said:

"I don't mind saying, however, that I think it unfortunate that it should have been proposed by Colonel Roosevelt. He is a man of such marked characteristics, and his place in the political world is such that he arouses intense enthusiasm on the one hand, and intense animosity on the other. Because of this, the great idea which he has propounded is bound to be beclouded, and its adoption to be delayed. It is a pity that anything so important should be confounded with any man's personality.”'

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Commenting upon this, Roosevelt said:

“As regards the Dean's last paragraph, I can only say that I wish somebody else whose suggestions would arouse less antagonism had proposed it; but nobody else did propose it, and so I had to. I am not leading this fight as a matter of æsthetic pleasure. I am leading because somebody must lead, or else the fight would not be made at all."

In closing his speech he said:

“Friends, our task as Americans is to strive for social and industrial justice, achieved through the genuine rule of the people. This is our end, our purpose. The methods for achieving the end are merely expedients, to be finally accepted or rejected, according as actual experience shows that they work well or ill. But in our hearts we must have this lofty purpose, and we must strive for it in all earnestness and sincerity, or our work will come to nothing. In order to succeed we need leaders of inspired idealism, leaders to whom are granted great visions, who dream greatly and strive to make their dreams come true; who can kindle the people with the fire from their own burning souls. The leader for the time being, whoever he may be, is but an instrument, to be used until broken and then to be cast aside; and if he is worth his salt, he will care no more when he is broken than a soldier cares when he is sent where his life is forfeit in order that the victory may be won. In the long fight for righteousness the watchword for all of us is, Spend and be spent. It is of little matter whether any one man fails or succeeds; but the cause shall not fail, for it is the cause of mankind. We, here in America, hold in our hands the hope of the world, the fate of the coming years; and shame and disgrace will be ours if in our eyes the light of high resolve is dimmed, if we trail in the dust the golden hopes of men. If on this new continent we merely build another country of great but unjustly divided material prosperity, we shall have done nothing; and we shall do as little if we merely set the greed of envy against the greed of arrogance, and thereby destroy the material well-being of all of us.'

In the election of delegates to the Republican National Convention of 1912 a new element entered. In thirteen States,-California, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Massa

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