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to give them his official assent. By the time it fell to his successor to put his name to the Bills Dr. Woodrow Wilson was in residence at the White House as President of the United States. His record as Governor tells its own story. For comment it is sufficient to quote three brief but characteristic verdicts, published during his term of office, the first from a Canadian newspaper, the second from an American, the third from a British.
!“ Dr. Wilson's five months' record” (written in 1911) “as Governor of New Jersey have shown that he is an idealist who can down the politicians and get results."
“He is a giant, who will go far in American politics."
“To read Mr. Wilson's speeches, to study his acts, to talk with the man himself, is to be filled with a new hope for American politics. ... There was [in his campaign speeches] none of the usual party claptrap and vituperation, no effort to keep alive meaningless party lines or traditions, no dealing in sonorous generalities. From first to last Mr. Wilson appealed to reason and to conscience."
More weighty and authoritative judgments on the Governor of New Jersey could be quoted, but
It is worth while appending here an extract of some length from a speech of Mr. Wilson's, delivered during the Presidential campaign of 1912, while he was still Governor of New Jersey :
“Let me tell the story of the emancipation of one State-New Jersey. It has surprised the people of the United States to find New Jersey at the front in enterprises of reform. I, who have lived in New Jersey the greater part of my mature life, know that there is
these will suffice. And out of the Governor the President was born.
no State in the Union which, so far as the hearts and intelligence of its people are concerned, has more earnestly desired reform than has New Jersey. There are men who have been prominent in the affairs of the State who again and again advocated, with all the earnestness that was in them, the things that we have at last been able to do. There are men in New Jersey who have spent some of the best energies of their lives in trying to win elections in order to get the support of the citizens of New Tersey for programmes of reform.
“ The people had voted or such things very often before the autumn of 1910, but the interesting thing is that nothing happened. They were demanding the benefit of remedial measures such as had been passed in every progressive State of the Union, measures which had proved not only that they did not upset the life of the communities to which they were applied, but that they quickened every force and bettered every condition in those communities. But the people of New Jersey could not get them, and there had come upon them a certain pessimistic despair. I used to meet men who shrugged their shoulders and said : What difference does it make how we vote ? Nothing ever results from our votes.' The force that is behind the new party that has recently been formed, the so-called 'Progressive Party,' is a force of discontent with the old parties of the United States. It is the feeling that men have gone into blind alleys often enough, and that somehow there must be found an open road through which men may pass to some purpose.
“In the year 1910 there came a day when the people of New Jersey took heart to believe that something could be accomplished. I had no merit as a candidate for Governor, except that I said what I really thought, and the compliment that the people paid me was in believing that I meant what I said. Unless they had believed in the Governor whom they then elected, unless they had trusted him deeply and altogether, he could have done absolutely nothing. The force of the public men of a nation lies in the faith and the backing of the people of the country, rather than in any gifts of their own, In proportion as you trust them, in proportion as you back them up, in proportion as you lend them your strength, are they strong. The things that have happened in New Jersey since 1910 have happened because the seed was planted in this fine fertile soil of confidence, of trust, of renewed hope.
“ The moment the forces in New Jersey that had resisted reform realized that the people were backing new men who meant what they had said, they realized that they dare not resist them. It was not the personal force of the new officials; it was the moral strength of their backing that accomplished the extraordinary result.
“And what was accomplished ? Mere justice to classes that had not been treated justly before. Every schoolboy in the State of New Jersey, if he cared to look into the matter, could comprehend the fact that the laws applying to labouring-men with respect of compensation when they were hurt in their various employments had originated at a time when society was organized very differently from the way in which it is organized now, and that because the law had not been changed, the courts were obliged to go blindly on administer. ng laws which were cruelly unsuitable to existing conditions, so that it was practically impossible for the working-men of New Jersey to get justice from the courts ; the legislature of the commonwealth had not come to their assistance with the necessary legislation. Nobody seriously debated the circumstances; everybody knew that the law was antiquated and impossible; everybody knew that justice waited to be done. Very well, then, why wasn't it done?
" "There was another thing that we wanted to do : We wanted to regulate our public service corporations so that we could get the proper service for them, and on reasonable terms. That had been done elsewhere, and where it had been done it had proved just as much for the benefit of the corporations themselves as for the benefit of the people. Of course it was somewhat difficult to convince the corporations. It happened that one of the men who knew the least about the subject was the president of the Public Service Corporation of New Jersey. I have heard speeches from that gentleman that exhibited a total lack of acquaintance with the circumstances of our times. I have never known ignorance so complete in its detail ; and, being a man of force and ignorance, he naturally set all his energy to resist the things that he did not comprehend.
“I am not interested in questioning the motives of men in such positions. I am only sorry that they don't know more.
If they would only join the procession they would find themselves benefited by the healthful exercise, which, for one thing, would renew within them the capacity to learn which I hope they possessed when they were younger. We were not trying to do anything novel in New Jersey in regulating the Public Service Corporation ; we were simply trying to adopt there a tested measure of public justice. We adopted it. Has anybody gone bankrupt since? Does anybody now doubt that it was just as much for the benefit of the Public Service Corporation as for the people of the State ?
“ Then there was another thing that we modestly desired: We wanted fair elections; we did not want candidates to buy themselves
into office. That seemed reasonable. So we adopted a law, unique in one particular, namely: that if you bought an office, you didn't get it. I admit that that is contrary to all commercial principles, but I think it is pretty good political doctrine. It is all very well to put a man in jail for buying an office, but it is very much better, besides putting him in jail, to show him that if he has paid out a single dollar for that office, he does not get it, though a huge majority voted for him. We reversed the laws of trade; when you buy something in politics in New Jersey, you do not get it. It seemed to us that that was the best way of discouraging improper political argument. If your money does not produce the goods, then you are not tempted to spend your money.
"We adopted a Corrupt Practices Act, the reasonable foundation of which no man could question, and an Election Act, which every man predicted was not going to work, but which did work-to the emancipation of the voters of New Jersey.
"All these things are now commonplaces with us. We like the laws that we have passed, and no man ventures to suggest any material change in them. Why didn't we get them long ago? What hindered us? Why, we had a closed Government; not an open Government. It did not belong to us. It was managed by little groups of men whose names we know, but whom somehow we didn't seem able to dislodge. When we elected men pledged to dislodge them, they only went into partnership with them. When the people had taken over control of the Government, a curious change was wrought in the souls of a great many men ; a sudden moral awakening took place, and we simply could not find culprits against whom to bring indictments : it was like a Sunday School the way they obeyed the laws" (The New Freedom, chap. x).
THE 1912 ELECTION
What the country will demand of the candidate will be, not that he be an astute politician, skilled and practised in affairs, but that he be a man such as it can trust, in character, in intention, in knowledge of its needs, in perception of the best means by which those needs can be met, in capacity to prevail by reason of his own weight and integrity.—Constitutional Government in U.S.A. (1908).
DR. WOODROW WILSON was not the obvious Democratic candidate in 1912. That title could more properly be claimed by Mr. W. J. Bryan, who had three times carried the party standard to defeat, in 1896, 1900, and 1908; or by Mr. Champ Clark, Speaker of the House of Representatives. But neither was Dr. Wilson an eleventh-hour choice. Even before his election as Governor of New Jersey discerning politicians had written him down as a future candidate for the highest office in the Union. Some of them had given open expression to their predictions. As far back as 1906, when Mr. Wilson was hardly half way through his eight years' Presidency at Princeton, Colonel George Harvey, editor then of Harper's Weekly and now of the North American Review, had associated his name with the Presidency of the United States, referring to him as “a man combining the activities of the