LECTURE ON POLITICS
Mr. Churchill Speaks on Political Reform and Duties of Citizen.
Mr. Winston Churchill delivered a very instructive and comprehensive lecture last night on politics, illustrating his points by many humorous stories drawn from his own experiences in New Hampshire, when he was the gubernatorial candidate of the Lincoln Republican Club on a reform platform.
In opening, Mr., Churchill emphasized the great political responsibility which rests on every young man. By an illustration from one of Daniel Webster's speeches, he showed that the personality and magnetic power of a men, and not fine oratory, are what count in politics.
Starting with the great reform wave, which swept over New England in 1832, Mr. Churchill traced the gradual political reform. The sentiment began here and there, and, after many failures, swept from state to state, until now it now it has become national. This reformation is due to the new type of men who have entered politics. In former days it was a bore to go to a political meeting where nobody was listened to or respected, but now the young man has stepped in and changed matters.
The cardinal fault of American citizens is their lack of willingness to undertake political responsibility. In England we have a certain class who make it their business to be responsible. There is no class similar to this in America, and it is rightly so, for it is not too much to ask ordinary citizens to receive this responsibility and to take a vital interest in the welfare of the community. If a man cannot take active interest, it is his duty to see that good men go to the legislature and that the best type of man leads the politics of the community. If this force is trained to work in the right direction, material prosperity will result, but if it goes wrong, it is a leech upon the business element. The tremendous tide of public opinion, which is always prevalent, must be controlled and sent in safe and conservative channels. As material and moral welfare go hand in hand, no selfish plan is desirable, for on the welfare of the individual depends the welfare of all.
This reform plan must have the great element of permanency; for personal following is of no use unless it is permanent and organized. This organization has been held together thus far by patronage and feat; but now new cement must be found by making business men understand that the material prosperity of the country will go with good politics.
Mr. Churchill closed by speaking of his personal experiences in the politics of New Hampshire, a state ruled by a large corporation. The bosses of New Hampshire were the division superintendents of the Boston and Maine Railroad, who all flocked to Concord at election time. This feudal system grew, with the result that the corporation sent Senators and Representatives to Congress, who in return, appointed their office-holders in such a way that every section had a feudal chief. When a question arose, passes and tickets were sent to these chiefs, who came to Concord to smother the straightforward, true politician.