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speaking from my own experience not only, but from the experience of others, when I say that you are reasonable in a larger number of cases than the capitalists. I am not saying these things to them personally yet, because I have not had a chance; but they have to be said, not in any spirit of criticism, but in order to clear the atmosphere and come down to business. Everybody on both sides has now got to transact business, and a settlement is never impossible when both sides want to do the square and right thing.
Moreover a settlement is hard to avoid when the parties can be brought face to face. I can differ from a man much more radically when he is not in the room than I can when he is in the room, because then the awkward thing is, he can come back at me and answer what I say. It is always dangerous for a man to have the floor entirely to himself. Therefore we must insist in every instance that the parties come into each other's presence and there discuss the issues between them and not separately in places which have no communication with each other. I always like to remind myself of a delightful saying of an Englishman of the past generation, Charles Lamb.10 He stuttered a bit, and once when he was with a group of friends he spoke very harshly of some man who was not present. One of the friends said, “Why, Charles, I didn't know that you knew So-andso." "O-o-oh," he said, “I-I d-d-don't; I-I can't h-h-hate a m-m-man I-I know.” There is a great deal of human nature, of very pleasing human nature, in the saying. It is hard to hate a man you know. I may admit, parenthetically, that there are some
politicians whose methods I do not at all believe in, but they are jolly good fellows, and if they only would not talk the wrong kind of politics with me, I should love to be with them.
So it is all along the line, in serious matters and things less serious. We are all of the same clay and spirit and we can get together if we desire to get together. Therefore, my counsel to you is this: Let us show ourselves Americans by showing that we do not want to go off in separate camps or groups by ourselves, but that we want to coöperate with all other classes and all other groups in the common enterprise which is to release the spirits of the world from bondage. I would be willing to set that up as the final test of an American. That is the meaning of democracy. I have been very much distressed, my fellow citizens, by some of the things that have happened recently. The mob spirit is displaying itself here and there in this country. I have no sympathy with what some men are saying, but I have no sympathy with the men who take their punishment into their own hands; and I want to say to every man who does join such a mob that I do not recognize him as worthy of the free institutions of the United States. There are some organizations in this country whose object is anarchy and the destruction of law, but I would not meet their efforts by making myself a partner in destroying the law. I despise and hate their purposes as much as any man, but I would respect the ancient processes of justice; and I would be too proud not to see them done justice, however wrong they are.
So I want to utter my earnest protest against any manifestation of the spirit of lawlessness anywhere or in any cause. Why, gentlemen, look what it means. We claim to be the greatest democratic people in the world, and democracy means first of all that we can govern ourselves. If our men have not self-control, then they are not capable of that great thing which we call democratic government. A man who takes the law into his own hands is not the right man to coöperate in any formation or development of law and institutions. And some of the processes by which the struggle between capital and labor is carried on are processes that come very near to taking the law into your own hands. I do not mean for a moment to compare them with what I have just been speaking of, but I want you to see that they are mere gradations in the manifestation of the unwillingness to coöperate. The fundamental lesson of the whole situation is that we must not only take common counsel, but also yield to and obey common counsel. Not all of the instrumentalities for this are at hand. I am hopeful that in the very near future new instrumentalities may be organized by which we can see to it that various things which are now going on shall not go on.
There are various processes of the dilution of labor and the unnecessary substitution of labor and the bidding in distant markets and unfairly upsetting the whole competition of labor which ought not to go on-I mean now on the part of employers - and we must interject into this some instrumentality of coöperation by which the fair thing will be done all around.
I am hopeful that some such instrumentalities may be devised, but whether they are or not, we must use those that we have, and upon every occasion where it is necessary, have such an instrumentality originated upon that occasion.
. So, my fellow citizens, the reason I came away from Washington is that I sometimes get lonely down there.11 There are so many people in Washington who know things that are not so, and there are so few people who know anything about what the people of the United States are thinking about. I have to come away and get reminded of the rest of the country. I have to come away and talk to men who are up against the real thing and say to them, “I am with you if you are with me.” And the only test of being with me is not to think about me personally at all, but merely to think of me as the expression for - the time being of the power and dignity and hope of the United States.
NO PEACE WITH AUTOCRACY
MESSAGE TO CONGRESS DECEMBER 4, 1917
GENTLEMEN OF THE CONGRESS :
Eight months have elapsed since I last had the honor of addressing you. They have been months crowded with events of immense and grave significance
I shall not undertake to detail or even to summarize these events. The practical particulars of the part we have played in them will be laid before you in the reports of the executive departments. I shall discuss only our present outlook upon these vast affairs, our present duties, and the immediate means of accomplishing the objects we shall hold always in view.
I shall not go back to debate the causes of the war. The intolerable wrongs done and planned against us by the sinister masters of Germany have long since become too grossly obvious and odious to every true American to need to be rehearsed. But I shall ask you to consider again and with very grave scrutiny our objectives and the measures by which we mean to attain them; for the purpose of discussion here in this place is action and our action must move straight toward definite ends. Our object is, of course, to win