JAMES R. CARR
A speech on behalf of the Democratic Party
The following is the transcript of a hand-written speech prepared, and believed to have been delivered, by James R. Carr, of Harrisburg, Illinois, on November 8th, 1832. James would have only been 20 years old at that time.
|Ladies and Gentlemen
of this campaign meeting and also our vast radio audience.
It would be impossible for me to explain in mere words how grateful I am for the opportunity to speak before such a fine audience. All that I can possibly say is that I feel greatly honored to be asked to address such an audience and for such a cause.
However!! There is a sterner reason other than our personal feelings that prompt use all to do this. This my friend is the call of our country.
We have assembled here today for a very important purpose. That purpose is not to urge you to vote for the democratic party in itself. No!! Far from it. The purpose is far deeper than that. We are here today to advise you to vote for the good of the people and a nation as a whole and not for any honored few.
The United States today is facing a great crises. In fact the greatest in its history. Whether it will fall or whether it will stand will depend upon the material you send to Washington, D. C. today, November the 8th. (1932)
That material must be the firmest, the finest, and the most outstanding that we have available.
After giving all of our noble candidates just and due consideration, we have found that splendid material and it stands for that noble platform known as the "Democratic party" — This party has taken on its hands the trying task of building up again what another party has broken down.
Therefore I ask you if you have considered yourself of the other party to consider your country first and your personal party relations last.
To live another four years as we have lived the last may prove too great a strain upon the patience of our people and then disaster might follow. The conditions in the United State today may well be compared to France before the revolution. For these are the best of times and yet they are the worst of times.
13 million men are unemployed and are going hungry today in the wealthiest nation on earth with its modern machinery and vast tracts of fertile soil.
Why? The answer is simple. We have lacked the proper leadership in our government for the last four years. The United States has been bought and sold by high pressure salesmen.
Remember, my friends in 1928 all those flowery promises that mister Hoover made? Remember what he told you! How under his noble leadership poor houses and poverty would vanish from the land. Yes! and remember the G.O.P. promising you not only one, but two chickens in every pot, and two cars in every garage? But where are they? Where are they? That's what everybody has been trying to figure out. I wouldn't doubt, ladies and gentlemen, but that our president Mr. Hoover has 3 chickens on his table every day.
Mr. Hoover didn't tell you how under his noble leadership the stock market would suffer the greatest crash in history. He also forgot to mention how he would be forced to send his right hand man, Andrew Mellon to England as ambassador, to keep our noble candidate for vice president, John Nance Garner, from impeaching him.
Mr. Hoover spoke on this same platform yesterday morning. He came gallantly in, riding on his bobby horse, one of the Calvin Coolidge style, I think, and Mr. Hard Road Small came in on his kiddy car. It was a good representation of the Republican party, though, as it was all farce.
Herbert Hoover is still making his promises my friends but somehow we can't hear him. Mr. "Hard Road" Small talked of his hard roads that he used on his famous steamboat trip down the Mississippi. He didn't mention his famous Grant Park Bank or for some reason his special ability at handling the state's money. He assured all of us that he was just funning. We are in favor of giving Mr. Small a term, but not as governor of Illinois. The Grand Old Party is dead — so is Herbert Hoover and so is Len Small.
Through lack of time, my friends, I will not talk on my favorite subject of Prohibition. However I will say this. The Democratic party stands for one phase of unemployment. We are going to throw the gangster and all his helpers out of a job by a "repeal of the 18th amendment!!"
Little need be said about our noble candidate for president, Franklin D. Roosevelt, as he will speak for himself. But if you are still in doubt, look up his record and you will see that he has always been honest and has stood for the "common people."
For vice president we have Mr. John Nance Garner, of Texas. A man who has inherited that stern courage, frankness, and honesty from his pioneer ancestors. His opponents have criticized him by asking, "But is he properly educated and fit to hold such an important office as vice president?"
Ah! My friend. You must not forget. It was the pioneer that built this country in the first place and its the smooth tongued politician that is tearing it down every day.
In conclusion, I will say that after the election we are going to give Mr. Hoover, Mellon & Co. free tickets back to England where...(conclusion missing)
At a later, unspecified date approaching the elections of 1940, James penned the following in further support of the Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Democratic Party. Apparently it was intended as a speech, though it is unknown whether he delivered it in public, or submitted it for publication in a paper or news journal.
Now that the national election is just around the corner, we read, in subsidized articles appearing in subsidized newspapers, periodicals and even books, of the evils that have gown out of the Democratic administration. The real good coming under that administration is covered up, never mentioned, in favor of such hodgepodge as: third term, foreign relations, dictator rule and whatever else that is suspected of having power to undermine the minds of the uninformed and the feebleminded.
Aside from considering basic platforms to determine if we should be Republicans, as a simpler approach let us put forth the actual accomplishments of the Democrats. Opposition to these accomplishments, which are now a fact, should place us in the ranks of the Republicans.
Under the Democratic administration we have seen new schools, additions to schools, playgrounds and recreation centers built by the W. P. A. The W. P. A., a Democratic project, is composed of men who have been thrown out of private employment owing to the workings of a dilapidated social system. The N. Y. A., another Democratic idea, makes it possible for many who have been denied a higher education, due generally to economic reasons, to secure it. To oppose these operation is to be a good Republican.
Under the Democratic administration we have seen the social security bill passed, and the old age pension law enacted, designed to care for the aged after they have given their all to private industry. Republicans sneer at these ideas as "Utopian." Man, according to their view, may tamper with biology, physics and technology with good results, but never with economics. Supply and demand must be allowed to go its erratic way; human welfare is not half so important as profits.
We have seen new gravel roads penetrate formerly inaccessible regions, und the Democrats. Rural electrification, too, has spread its webs of wire all over the country. Farmers have been taught the value of reforestation, and soil conservation. Who can say that these are evil accomplishments? The Republicans do.
Bank deposits up to $5,000 are now protected by the government. People of average means will never have to suffer more from a bank failure. Is this a mean law? The Republicans abhor it.
Lastly, we have seen racketeering swept from the country. Under the leadership of the Democratic administration we have seen the G-men crush the Scarfaces, the Dillingers and the Pretty Boy Floyds as they were never crushed before.
Opposition to all of these accomplishments of the Democrats entitles one to life membership in that great fraternity of the G. O. P., the party of the true American aristocrat, the multi-millionaire, and his man Friday whose philosophy never goes much further than: "What's good enough fer pappy is good enough fer me."
Franklin D. Roosevelt got his third term — and a fourth! But part of his platform for that third term campaign was that no American boys would fight and die on foreign soil. When it became clear to James that Roosevelt was dealing from the bottom of the deck — and was determined to engage the United States in another World War, to end all wars and make the world safe for democracy — he became an outspoken critic of the administration and its war plans. James ceased being an active supporter of the Democratic Party. Though he remained a life-long Democrat, he lost his taste for political activism, and disapproved of every subsequent Democratic president. Each engaged the nation in what James considered nonsensical foreign wars and ill-advised foreign interventionism.
Return to James R. Carr Page