"The great need of America today," declared Mr. Eugene N. Foss, former governor of Massachusetts, to a CRIMSON reporter yesterday, "is to have college bred men with a true sense of public service actively interested in politics."
Mr. Foss, who, in addition to serving three terms as governor, was also for one term a member of Congress, and has devoted much of his life to public service, spoke particularly of the interest taken in national and world affairs by the undergraduates in English universities. The English people, he pointed out, are much better educated with respect to public service than we are. Here in America we often scorn the man who offers his services to the State through political office. The American system is wrong, because it provides no way to get a bad man out of office. In England an office-holder may be challenged and made to submit himself to a new election; in America the recall system is not at all general.
The ex-governor had high praise for William Jennings Bryan, whom he pointed out as a man who has given his life to preaching clean living, clean thinking, and clean politics. People laughed at him; some are still laughing at him. Yet most of the reforms he advocated 20 years ago have now been accomplished, and the country is better for them. Apropos of Mr. Bryan's career, Mr. Foss stated that it is not necessary for a man to hold office in order to serve the public. He can and ought to do it by keeping in touch with political issues, supporting men who are working for unselfish motives, and offering his own services as a candidate when they are needed.
Are We Money-Mad?
The United States is accused of being a nation of dollar-worshippers. Europeans say we are money-mad. We are accused of measuring success in terms of dollars and cents. "That," Mr. Foss emphatically declared, is poorest measure of success. Success is measured in Service--in what you do for the other fellow. That is the greatest thing possible. In old age it is a wonderful thing to be able to look back on a life of service." He spoke of Russell Sage, who spent all his life making money, and, when he became old and realized the end was near, was at a loss to know what disposition to make of his wealth. He was true to himself and left it all to his wife, Mrs. Sage, who, with a clearer vision and higher purpose, founded the famous Russell Sage Foundation, which has done, and is still doing, a great work.
"It is up to the college man," said Mr. Foss in conclusion, "to educate the people of America to the ideal of Service. This he can do only by faithfully devoting his own life to the service of his fellow men."