To the Editors of the Crimson:
I have carefully read your editorial of October 17, "Scylla and Charybdis." You state that the American Liberal should vote for a "mediocre Democrat rather than a mediocre Republican," because the Democratic Party for twelve years "carried the battle flag of liberalism" and has been "traditionally the champion of the 'little man.'"
Who is the "American Liberal"? A liberal has always been a man who desires freedom of action, thought, and expression. It is unnecessary to elaborate the point that never in the history of this country has the individual had less freedom. The C.P.A. tells him he cannot buy a vest with his suit; Wagner Act-sponsored labor agreements tell him he cannot work for the X, Y or Z company unless he joins a certain union local; he must often strike whether or not he wants to; the W.S.B. may tell him he can't have a wage increase although his employer has agreed to it. Liberalism possibly; freedom certainly not.
Who is "the little man"? No man is little. To be called such is an insult to his integrity as an individual as well as to his self-respect. Part of our national weakness today is a collective "little man" philosophy, a philosophy under which men have been taught that the government will care for them whether they work or not. Where the little man did not exist, the Democratic Administration created him for its political ends, and then championed him.
What was the "progressive movement"? Was it progressive to seek to shorten bread and soup lines by paying for the raising of less wheat, corn, sugar, and pigs? Was it progressive to array class against class in a theretofore classless nation? Was it progressive for the administration to make international commitments secretly? Was it progressive to place in the hands of a few men the power to halt production and paralyze transport? Is it progressive so to restrict industry through myriad conflicting controls that the machine which armed the anti-axis world cannot today supply the essential needs of our own people? I, for one, doubt it.
You state that "a G.O.P. majority in either house of the 80th Congress will mean two years of confusion and stalemate between the President and his legislature." You should remember that most of the executive branch has been appointed by one man with the advice of personally chosen advisors. The Congress, for better or worse, is chosen by thirty to forty-five million individuals. It represents, those people. Never forget that a dominated, controlled or purged legislative body has been the rubber stamp of personal or palace guard government in Germany, Italy, Japan, and Russia.
Only in a nation where the individual speaks for himself can there be freedom. Only in a nation where maximum production of goods and services for the best wages and profits, rather than maximum benefits for the least effort, is the goal can there be real strength. In the words of one great liberal, "only the free are strong; only the strong are free." Frederick Ayer, Jr. '37.