The people failed to scrutinize before, but now that they are aroused and have taken matters in their own hands, they have brought about reform. The fact that he is supported by bosses is now generally enough to defeat a man, and the charge that he has a machine with him is enough to interfere with his electoral success. Organization is necessary for political success; even reformers find that out after they get into politics, but today there is an unreasonable prejudice against it. The great and good effect of the reform, however, is that corporations are no longer in politics. Of course corruption is not all gone, but it is largely stayed, and there is no longer any chance that corporations can control as they did.
But the leviathan of the people cannot be aroused in this way and his movement stopped at the median line. We must expect unwise excess. Sincere reformers have reasoned that because we had the representative form of government during this corrupt period, it is the representative form of government which is responsible. Because we had courts during the corrupt period, the courts are responsible for the corruption. Therefore we must change the representative system by injecting more democracy into it and we must change the courts by injecting more democracy into them and require the people at an election to decide cases instead of judges on the Bench. These are the excesses to which we trend.
We are a pretty great people. We admit it. We have great confidence in what we can do, and when we are set, neither an economic law drawn from political science nor experience seems a very formidable objection. We are a successful people in machinery, and so we take our analogy for political reforms from machinery. We found that by uniting various mechanical elements we could make machines which would do as much as one hundred or one thousand men in the same time. So we think that if we are only acute enough to devise a governmental machine which will work without effort on the part of the people, we can sit at home while elections run themselves so well that only what the good people desire in political action will necessarily result. We want the equivalent of what, in the slang of practical mechanics, we call a fool-proof machine, because anybody can run it and no fool can interfere with its normal operation. So these political reformers are hunting a corrupt-politician-proof machine for government. It does not and cannot exist. No government can exist which does not depend upon the activity, the honesty and the intelligence of those who form it. The initiative, the referendum and the recall have been urged and in many states adopted, as a machine which no boss or corrupt politician can prevent from producing honest, effective political results. They are expected to reform everything and those who doubt their wisdom are, for the time being, in the minds of many enthusiasts, public enemies.
The representative system, on the contrary, recognizes that government, in the actual execution of governmental measures, and in the actual detailed preparation of governmental measures, is an expert matter. To attempt to devise and adopt detailed legislative measures to accomplish the general purpose of the people through a mass vote at a popular election is just as absurd as it would be for all those present at a town meeting to say, "We will all of us now go out and build a bridge, or we will use a theodolite." Thus to say that by injecting more democracy you can cure the defects of our present democracy is to express one of those epigrams that, like many of its kind, is either not true at all or is only partly true and is even more deceptive than if it were wholly untrue.
Take the power of appointment in executive work. You elect officers, choosing men of character, intelligence, and experience for a few great offices, and then what do you do under the Federal Constitution? You turn over to the President the appointment of great officers because he needs intelligence, knowledge and skill to make their selections.
Consider the system of general direct primaries in the selection of judges. There is a ticket at the primaries on which something like twenty or thirty lawyers run for the Supreme Bench. Some of them go around and tell the electors how they will decide on questions after they get in. The qualifications of most of them as lawyers and as men are not known to the people. Some of them are prominent because they have been in the headlines of newspapers as figuring in sensational cases. Others have political prominence but no public experience to test their judicial capacity. Do you think this method of selection by the people would lead to the choice of a learned, skilled lawyer with that experience, courage and fine judicial quality that are to make him a great judge? Of course it would not. It has been my duty to select more judges in a term of four years than any other President, and I have had to look into and compare the results of selection of judicial candidates by popular general primary and by convention, so that I know what I am talking about when I say that the primary system has greatly injured the average capacity of our elective judiciary.
Why should we not use common sense in matters of government just as we use common sense in our own business? Why should we be afraid to tell the people that they are not fitted to select high judicial officers? They are not. You know you are not. You could not tell me who would be good judges for Connecticut, or for any state in the Union where you happen to live unless you went about and investigated the matter. If you are put in a position of responsibility, you have sense enough to know where to find out the facts and then to make the selection, but the people lack that opportunity. So how is the question to be solved? By electing a Chief Executive and charging him with the responsibility of selecting competent men to act as judges. That is what is meant by the short ballot.
Reformers-for-politics-only include as many vote-getting planks in a platform as they can get in it without regard to their consistency or inconsistency. They sometimes combine the short ballot with the initiative, referendum and recall though they are utterly at variance. The referendum is the submission of every issue to the people.
The short ballot, on the contrary, means putting up one or two men whose names shall not encumber the ballot. Have you ever seen these ballots? They are a yard long and a yard wide. They have a hundred and twenty names on them and the people are expected to make a selection. They are to make a selection of ten out of fifty or one hundred names. Why, it would seem to be mathematically demonstrable that that is absurd. But when some men get into politics and talk about the people, it seems as if they had to abandon ordinary logic. I am just as much in favor of popular government as anybody, but I am in favor of popular government as a means to attain good government, not in order to go upon the stump and say, "Vote for me because I am in favor of the people. The people are all wise and never make a mistake."
Now what is the initiative? In practice, it means that if 5 per cent of the electorate can get together and agree on a measure, they shall compel all the rest of the electorate to vote as to whether it shall become law or not. There is no opportunity for amendment, or for discussion. The whole legislative program is put into one act to be voted on by the people. Speakers will get up and claim that the millennium will be brought about by some measure that they advocate. Suppose it is voted in? It never has had the test of discussion and amendment that every law ought to have. I am not complaining of the movement that brings about this initiative and referendum, for that is prompted by a desire to clinch the movement against corruption, on the theory that you cannot corrupt the whole people and that the initiative and referendum mean detailed and direct government by the whole people. But the theory is erroneous. The whole people will not vote at an election, much less at a primary. When the people are thus represented at the polls by a small minority there is nothing that the politicians will not be able to do with that minority when they get their hands in.
This is still a new movement, for which we have little precedent to guide us, but we have seen politicians fit their methods to any form of government. Their chance is always through the neglect to vote on the part of the majority of the electorate and this new system calls out fewer votes than ever.
Now what is the referendum? It is a reference of the thing proposed by the initiative to the people who are to vote on it. These reformers-for-politics-only are never content to acquire a majority of the electorate vote for the adoption of the measure referred. They seem to love the promotion of the power of the minority.
What answer do the people themselves give with reference to the wisdom of the referendum? At many elections candidates run at the same time that questions are referred to the people, and what is the usual result of the vote? In Oregon, where they have tried it most, and where the people are best trained, they do sometimes get as much as 70 per cent of those who vote on candidates to vote on the referendum; but generally, as in Colorado, the vote at the same election upon the referendum measures is not more than 50 per cent—sometimes as low as 25 or 20 per cent—of those who vote for candidates. Why, in New York they were voting as to whether they should have a constitutional convention, and how did the total referendum vote compare with the total electorate? It was just one-sixth of that total.
They have tried it in Switzerland. We get a good many of these new nostrums from that country. They said in Switzerland, "These men vote for candidates, they shall vote on referendums." What was the result? The electors went up to the polls and solemnly put in tickets. When they opened the ballots, they were blanks. What does that mean? It means that the people themselves believe that they do not know how to vote on those issues, and that such issues ought to be left to the agents whom they select as competent persons to discuss and pass upon them in accordance with the general principles that they have laid down in party platforms. In Oregon, at the last Presidential election, the people were invited to vote on thirty-one statutes, long, complicated statutes, and in order to inform them, a book of two hundred and fifty closely printed pages was published to tell them what the statutes meant.
I ask you, my friends, you who are studious, you who are earnest men who would like to be a part of the people in determining what their policy should be, I ask you to search yourselves and confess whether you would have the patience to go through that book of two hundred and fifty closely printed pages to find out what those acts meant? You would be in active business, you would go down to the polls and say, "What is up today?" You would be told: "Here are thirty-one statutes. Here are two hundred and fifty pages that we would like to have you read in order that you may determine how you are to vote on them." You would not do it.
There was once a Senator from Oregon named Jonathan Bourne, who advocated all this system of more democracy. He served one term in the Senate and then sent word back to his constituents that he was not coming home at the time of the primary. He said that he was not on trial, for a man who had worked as hard as he had for the people could not be on trial. Instead, he said, it was the people of Oregon who were on trial, to say whether they appreciated a service like his. They did not stand the test, and he was defeated at the primary. Then he concluded that after all he would have to forgive them and take pity on their blindness. So he went out to Oregon and ran on another ticket to give them the benefit of his service. But still they resisted the acid test. He himself went to the polls to vote at this election where there were thirty-one statutes to be approved or rejected. How many of the thirty-one submitted to him do you suppose he voted for? The newspapers reported him as admitting that he voted on just three, and the other twenty-eight he left to fate. Now, gentlemen, is not that a demonstration? Is not that a reductio ad absurdum for this system of pure and direct democracy?
MORE SIGNS OF THE TIMES
The present movement for a purer and more direct democracy—the initiative, referendum and recall—is clearly an ineffective method of securing wise legislation, good official agents, or even a real expression of the people's will. The representative system is the most valuable system that has thus far been invented to make popular government possible and the introduction of more democracy, so-called, is a retrograde step. It is going back to the machinery of the New England town meeting and of the Republics of Greece and Rome, which we have given up because conditions have so changed as to make it impracticable and ineffective.
In the small number of people who constituted the town meeting in New England, or in a Greek city, it was possible to discharge the comparatively simple functions fulfilled by government because of the high average intelligence of the freemen who took part. But even the Greeks ran into difficulties, and if you will read Lord Acton, possibly the greatest historical authority on the subject, you will find that pure democracy, as it is called, resulted in disaster. We now have a much more complicated government and more democracy will not supply its needs.
The representative system, much abused as it is, is the system that has rescued us from plutocracy. Its laws are the laws that have done the work. Congress has adopted laws that have taken hold of the corporations, and Congress is the most perfect model of representative government. Why did Congress act? Because the people were aroused. You must have the people aroused in order to make any system effective, and when this is the case under the representative system, there is no difficulty about its working.
The general primary is, of course, a good thing for certain leading offices, but if you resort to it for selecting judges or subordinate officials whose qualifications the public cannot be supposed to know, the result will be anything but good. Men will be put into office by some fortuitous circumstance, such as a particular advertisement in the newspapers. Thus your Senator, and your governor, might well be elected by the general primary as the result of party selection, but if the people selected judges and subordinate officers they would have to take men without regard to their qualifications. The short ballot means, as I said, that the people should select leading officers who should in turn select the subordinate officers and appoint the judges.
To the objection that voters will not vote on referendums, it is urged that they ought to be compelled to do so. This is a futile remedy. Burke said you cannot bring an indictment against the people, and it is equally true that you cannot indict a great majority of the electorate for not complying with their electoral duties. Suppose you attempt to forfeit their right to vote, you may injure them, but you injure the whole people a great deal more. The 80 per cent of the population whose welfare is directly affected by the action of the electorate, but who are not by law permitted to vote, are entitled to have the more intelligent voters retained in the electorate. For, I am sorry to say, it is generally among the intelligent part of the community that we find neglect of electoral duties. The wisest course, therefore, is to give to the people as much electoral duty as they are ordinarily able and willing to perform, and no more. The fundamental fallacies in the initiative, referendum and recall are, first, that they impose on the voters three times the electoral work they had to do under the representative system, and second, that the additional work involved is of a kind that could be done much better through agents than by the people directly. As to the recall of officers, I have only to say that if you elect a man for three years to try to help your city, or state, you must not make him subject to recall at any moment by those candidates or people whom he has had to disappoint in order to do his work effectively. Under the system of recall you are not going to secure the men who will work well by looking ahead to preserve the real public interest, but men who are trimmers, devoting their time to politics and doing as little as possible to avoid criticism. Your executive officers should be men of independence, courage and ability, who are interested in the public and willing to encounter criticism for the time being in order that they may carry out those policies that are going to inure to public benefit in the end. By making them subject to recall, you eliminate all independence and courage in your officers.
Another sign of recent times which will repay consideration has been aptly termed "muck-raking." Mr. Roosevelt took the word from Bunyan's "Pilgrim's Progress" to describe the irresponsible and slanderous attacks upon public officials, which were made merely for the purpose of selling the wares of penny-a-liners. To eliminate corporations from politics and to bring them under government control, as I have described, it was doubtless necessary to formulate charges against individuals and political leaders and it was not to be expected that misstatements would not creep into such personal attacks. While many people were doubtless injured unjustly, it was essential that general corrupt conditions should be revealed to the public. But there were a great many who were induced to go into outrageous muck-raking solely for profit, and magazines filled with such stuff and spreading real poison among the people were sent in the mails at a much less rate than it cost the government to carry them. I am glad to say muck-raking is not so profitable now and it has been greatly reduced in volume.
But the opportunity for attacking prominent and powerful men in this way has served to create a condition that we still suffer from. It has brought about a feeling that nobody is to be trusted, and it has spread too far the idea that all men are corrupt. In fact, it has led to the feeling that everybody is on the same level in matters of character, learning, skill and effectiveness of labor, and, in short, that every man is as good as everybody else in everything. The idea is that men are on a dead level. There is no room for leadership in such a view. Inequality is essential to progress. If you make a dead level there will be no interest in life or motive for effort, and you will destroy the very spring of progress and the fountain of Christian civilization.
We now have political parties that are made by vertical divisions among the voters. In each party we have the intelligent and the fortunate, with those who are not so intelligent nor so experienced nor so well circumstanced. What will be the tendency of this refusal to recognize intelligence and high character in those who deserve it? It will make the parties horizontal layers in the body politic. It will unite in one party those who are ignorant and unfortunate, and array them against the intelligent and those who have the ability for leadership. When that comes about, the Republic will be in danger, because the permanence and usefulness of the Republic rests upon the controlling influence of men of intelligence, experience, patriotism and character. This array of a proletariat against intelligent and successful leadership produces factionalism in society. Factionalism is a class spirit which will sacrifice the interest of the whole to the interest of the class. It sometimes permeates a majority, but more frequently a minority. It is illustrated for us by the militancy of English women suffragists, who will sacrifice property, art and even life, in order to convince the majority that unless they receive the vote they will destroy all society.
We cannot, of course, yield to such a force. Nor can we yield to trades-unionism when it seeks to promote so-called labor interests by lawless violence and dynamite. The bonds of society will be loosed if we do. I would not for a moment be thought to say that those who are in favor of more democracy, through the initiative and referendum, are factionalists, and insincere in their view that that system will work a good result in the fight against corruption in politics. I only think that they are idealists in this matter, and don't fully understand the practical operation of the system which they recommend.
In this movement against corruption in politics and corporate control, it was necessary that corporate control should be attacked. The muck-raking added to it aroused a spirit against all success in business, whether the methods pursued were honest or not. The result has been a hysteria that prompts hostility to capital even when it is working in honest lines and earning an honest profit. In many states it has led to excessive restrictive legislation and has terrorized capital; it has shrunk investments and frightened those who have money until today there is lots of money in the banks everywhere but it can't be borrowed for any length of time because nobody will put it into permanent or active investment.
This state of affairs is likely to continue for some years. I am not complaining about it because it is part of what we had to pay for the great reform that was accomplished. After a while confidence will be restored, and we shall come to our senses, just as they did in Kansas in the Populist days. The Kansas farmers concluded that all their unhappiness, and they suffered real stress, was due to the wicked mortgagees who had lent them money on mortgage security and who insisted on the payment of interest and even the principal when it was due. So they elected a Populist legislature and passed a law providing that a mortgagee could not foreclose his mortgage under two years. They did this by stay laws and by requiring an obstructive procedure in collection of debts. As a result, capital fled the state as men would flee yellow fever. When there was no money at all left in the state and they found that they couldn't get any, they began to recognize the benefit in money loaned on mortgages. Their next legislature repealed all these laws and devoted its attention to advertising their change of attitude in Eastern markets where money could be had and mortgages could be floated, promising to be good thereafter, and in general welcoming the capitalists who would advance money on farms.
The next sign of the times is pleasanter to dwell upon, that is, the spread of the fraternal spirit that has grown out of this great material development. Material development in this country had grown into corruption, undue luxury and waste at the hands of men who did not realize the responsibility of having been fortunate in accumulating money, and this absorption in the chase for the dollar began to pall on the people. They tired of statistics of the growth of business, and began to look about for some justification for our activities. The change has brought a greater popular interest in the less fortunate who have fallen behind in the race.
This feeling has much weakened the influence of the laissez faire school of political and economic thought which was largely in control when I was in college. Professor Sumner was a strong member of this school. He was sure of his opinions and taught them. But we have now drifted away from some of his moorings, and today a good many professors are giving way to their imagination in suggesting remedies that have not stood the test of experience. Yet it is generally conceded that the government can do a lot to help the people that individual enterprise cannot do. We have also gone far in the matter of regulation, though there again we are likely to go to excesses.
It is quite probable that we shall find out by hard knocks that the government cannot perform everything now expected of it. Nevertheless, under the influence of a greater fraternal spirit, we have done a great deal. The housing statutes, the safety appliances both for passengers and employees, the restrictions on the hours of labor, the rules against child labor, the pure food law, the white slave law, the thorough health regulations, the control of public utilities, the growth in the public charitable institutions of the state, the parcels post and the rural delivery, all are instances of what the government has done to help the individual by applying the results of public taxation and restrictive laws. Moreover, we find among rich men a greater feeling of responsibility for their fortunes, which is proven by their large donations. Among those less wealthy we find an activity in philanthropic organizations and in work of a charitable character that has vastly increased during the last decade. In education, too, we have widened out, especially in vocational study, by preparing the pupils directly for wage earning by skilled labor.
Unfortunately, however, many good people in social settlements and in philanthropic work devote their attention so exclusively to the sore and rotten spots of society that they lose their sense of proportion, and bring hysteria even into this movement. Persons so affected come to think that if suffering, wickedness or squalor is permitted to exist anywhere, society must all be bad. There must always be sin, and there must always be neglect and waste until we get to the millennium, which is not yet so near that we can see and feel it. In making our estimate of human progress, we must size up the whole situation and take the average condition. Similarly in attempting to remedy a local or special evil, we must avoid the injustice of unduly sacrificing the general welfare. By extreme measures planned to accomplish what may be good in the abstract but is still not practical, we can make the cause ridiculous.
Eugenic reformers, for instance, plan to rush right into regulation of human society and arrange marriages just as horses are bred at a stock farm. It has made some progress in Wisconsin, where they have required examination of those about to marry and certificates of health before issuing the marriage license. But I don't think the American people are quite ready to submit to that kind of regulation. If it could be enforced, it might be a good thing for the race, but a strong sentiment on the other side makes it impractical. In Wisconsin the law is being ignored and in foreign countries where restrictions upon marriages are rigorously enforced, marriage is dispensed with and concubinage results.
There is another feature of this present hysterical condition that, I hope, is going to disappear. But we might as well recognize it. That is this wish to exculpate the sins of those who are unfortunate by putting the blame on society at large. The desire seems to be, if possible, to make scapegoats of those who are fortunate. It is this sentiment that has given rise to investigations into the cooperative stores in order to charge their managers with responsibility for the prostitution of some of their employees because of the wages they pay. As the investigation shows, there never was a more unfounded charge, but the very fact that it was used is an indication of what I mean. It manifests itself in the movement to dispense with all reticence and amplify in every way sex education on the theory that society is to blame because it is not telling young people of the danger of sin. You do not have to stand over a sewer and breathe in the bad smell in order to recognize that it has a bad smell when you meet it again.
I am strongly in favor of having young men and young women know certain things about sex matters, the young men through lectures in school or college, and the young women through instruction by women who can tell them in a short time all they need to know; but this idea of emphasizing and expanding the subject and of cultivating a free interchange of thoughts between the sexes is most dangerous. For one hundred years these subjects have been suppressed in America to the great benefit of society and it is well that they should remain so. So-called reforms in this direction are made the excuse for pruriency in drama, in novels, in moving pictures and in other ways that are distinctly vicious in their effect. They promote lubricity and although such literature and exhibitions may have the support of good people who think they are advocating great principles, they should be condemned.
Take another instance. Of course we all wish penitentiaries to be free from disease, and we are interested in prison reform to the extent of making them as healthful as possible for the prisoners. But this idea of making society a scapegoat and ridding everybody from responsibility for his sins, on the theory that his grandfather or grandmother was wicked and he is only doing it because of his heredity, makes the preservation of law and order impossible, and destroys the peace and comfort of those who are law-abiding. The penitentiary is a place for punishment and reformation. It is not a rest cure or a summer hotel. I have no doubt that prison discipline can be improved; but changes based on the theory that convicted criminals are disguised heroes who only need an appeal to their honor and freedom from restraint to make them good citizens will have humiliating but perhaps instructive results.
But these extravagances should not blind us to the real benefit of this growing sense of brotherhood among men. It is shown not only by the fact that it is preached in the pulpits and emphasized in the press and in magazines, but, still more, by the fact that it has been taken up by politicians. When they get hold of a subject and believe it needs elaboration, you may know that it has a lodgment with the people. Nor can we ignore the fact that this feeling has been increased by indignation at the political and social corruption incident to our enormous material development. The people have become ashamed of it in a sense.
With many, this growing sense of brotherhood stimulates the movement toward state socialism. Our excessive paternalism leads on to this. The view that the government can do anything, remedy every evil, level every inequality and make everybody happy, would have a most disastrous effect on production and individual effort and enterprise. The next step will be to curtail the right of property. It is difficult to define Socialism as a practical plan of government. The plan as set forth in a little book published in Austria called "The Quintessence of Socialism" is as definite as any that I know. It involves such governmental restriction of individual freedom of action and such real tyranny that the American people could not stand it. In fact, the regulation of the details of life by a system of awards for particular work, made by committees instead of by the operation of the law of supply and demand, would bring about a condition that would burst itself in a very little time. As "Billy" Sumner used to say, "If you have that kind of a system, I choose to be on the committee."
Another sign of the times is trades-unionism. Trades-unionism is essential in the cause of labor. One man as a laborer is in a position where it is utterly impossible for him to deal on an equality with his employer. The employer has capital and can get along without his services, but he cannot get along without the wages which the employer pays him. Therefore, laborers unite and contribute to a fund which enables them to withdraw together and say to the employer: "Here, we propose to deal with you on a level. We have great force. We have a fund which will enable us to live while out of work and we are going to embarrass you as far as possible by withdrawing from your employ unless you do justice to us in the matter of terms of service." That power of union cultivated in organized labor has done a great deal to raise wages and bring about equitable terms of service.
Organized labor is only a small part of labor generally; but organized labor exercises great influence in legislatures. It is thought to hold the balance of power at the polls and has undoubtedly exercised beneficent influence in securing laws to control healthy conditions for work, safety appliances on railroads, limitation upon the hours of labor and a number of other laws that would not have been passed if organized labor had not brought political influence to bear upon members of the legislature.
On the other hand, a sense of their power has sometimes given leaders of labor unions a lack of discretion, a truculence and an unreasonable and unjust attitude. Like the employers, they have been dependent upon public opinion and after a time public opinion has controlled them. Probably the greatest evil that stands out from all the good work unions have done, is the dead level to which they seek to bring the wages of skilled manual labor. Organized labor insists on making a class and then having that class receive the same wages, and it does nothing to encourage individual effort by consenting to the payment of higher wages to the man of experience, industry and skill than to the mediocre and lazy. It will in some way have to obviate that difficulty which works against the cause of labor and the interest of society. Moreover, its leaders do not discourage, as they should, lawlessness as a means of achieving their industrial ends. The history of the dynamiters in California and of the civil war in Colorado shows this.
On the other hand, we find many in the ranks of labor offering the most effective opposition to the increase in socialism. The leaders of trades-unionism have no sympathy with the I. W. W. The I. W. W., however, led by Haywood and others, serve a useful purpose by furnishing an awful example for the average workingman. When they go around with the signs, "No God, No Country, No Law," creating disgust and conservatism in the ranks of organized labor, they do not know what a good thing they are doing. They act blindly, but they are offering a sample of what may be expected if organized labor is tempted to excesses. We are going to have organized labor for all time, and we ought to have it. While I would go to the fullest extent with courts and even with the army to protect a non-union man in freedom of labor, if I were a workingman myself I would join a labor union because I believe that if such unions can be properly conducted, they are useful to promote the best interests of labor and of society. What trades-unionism needs is leaders to teach its members common sense.
The truth is, the longer you live, the more you will find that nothing is perfect, and everything has a side that can be criticised. What you have to do is to sum up the whole, take the average benefit which comes from it, and attempt to increase that average. Now I am an optimist. People say the initiative and the referendum, against which I have talked, are like a ratchet wheel. If you extend power to the people and the voters, you will never get it back again. I agree that is a rule that generally works, but with respect to the initiative and the referendum there is an element that may cause an exception to the rule. The initiative will throw a heavy burden on the electorate. Cranks and their followers will constantly be compelling voters to act upon wild proposals. As the popular disgust grows, the requirements in respect to the number of signers will be made so heavy that a successful petition can rarely be secured. The referendum will then be limited to such matters as the legislature chooses to refer and will then cease to be a practical burden.
We must pray that the injurious excesses which I have been describing as the cost we have to pay for a great reform, may not unsettle the foundation of our government and destroy the self-imposed restraint arranged in the Constitution to make that government just to the individual, to the minority and to those who do not vote. If we do not disturb those foundations, we can count on the common sense of the American people to bring them back to sane views, and we can rejoice and continue to rejoice in the preservation of a popular government that for one hundred and twenty-five years has vindicated its conservatism and justice before the world and will continue to do so forever.
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