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No politician can afford to tell the truth. So criticism of the President's interview may possibly miss the point, which lies not in the meaning, but in the effect, of words. While sometimes a man may arise out of the muck of politics, and pervert dirty incentives and dirty objectives and dirty lies to good ends, in this case, even the effect demands Life Buoy.
There are too many farmers in this country. Half their number could produce plenty of food and drink for the whole country, foreign trade not included. The solution in the past to this situation, which has existed everywhere ever since the Industrial Revolution, is that farmers have gradually shifted as a class into the big cities where growing, new industries absorbed them.
No politician can tell farmers this truth and remain a politician. But a great man can encourage and make easier and quicker the essential shift of farmers, or farmers' sons and daughters, into industry. No-one who has not mixed up his ideals with his ambitions, hypnotized himself into believing the best thing for the country coincides with the best thing for personal, political success, could advocate as a permanent policy the subsidy of farmers to induce them not to produce what the country needs.
But where does Mr. Roosevelt get this "permanent" stuff? Spokesmen for Naziism claim their regime will last 10,000 years, but in this country, we understand, there is an election once in every one twenty-five hundredth of that time.
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