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After an interesting two weeks experiment during which the merits of the opposing Presidential candidates were weighted side by side, the Crimson feels that the balance is decidedly against Franklin D. Roosevelt. It advocates the election of Governor Landon and a shifting of the Government into a course more suited to the ideals and economic needs of the American people.
Critics of a Democratic bias have done their utmost to paint the Republican candidate as the apostle of black reaction, the man who will turn the government over to a group of self-seeking and irresponsible "royalists". Any examination of Governor Landon's past record and his views as expressed in the present campaign, as well as a knowledge of the Republican platform adopted at Cleveland, shows this to be a canard of the type so often encountered in American politics.
The trend of progressivism, far from being an invention of the New Deal, was merely brought further by Roosevelt after a start under the Hoover administration. The latter was handicapped by a hostile Congress and public, but the Reconstruction Finance Corporation, and the older Federal Farm Board were the seeds from which many of the more worthy New Deal measures sprouted. Governor Landon has given no indication that he desires to abandon the re-constructive measures of Roosevelt. His views on social security, farm aid, conservation of resources, and relief, all bear the stamp of a man devoted to the needs of the people. His lieutenants are singularly suited to carry forth a progressive program; they would well merit the name "brain trust", were that name not in such ill repute. And who would not prefer William Allen White and Charles Taft to Tugwell?
The issue is not one of reaction against revolution. Landon is as little Bourbon as Roosevelt is Marxist. The choice is rather between an orderly correction of current abuses in the capitalist system, carried out after mature study and in line with constitutional procedure, and a hit-and-run revision of all existing institutions, carried out by the impulses of one man coupled with the endless grasping of pressure groups of every kind.
Governor Landon has made it clear that changes must be made by a free Congress after a process of deliberation, in line with the best traditions of American democracy. President Roosevelt has proven by his words and actions that he believes the function of law-making should reside in the executive, without the interference of Congress or the Supreme Court. It is childish to hope, in the manner of the New York Times, that the President has had his fling, and will don robes of respectable conservatism if reelected. In the past he has changed his method of attack many times, but never his philosophy of government.
Reform in the United States had been long overdue in the postwar years, and no responsible politician would try to set the clock back. It is equally dangerous and foolhardy to attack the agencies of the republic because they have been so long misused. Governor Landon shares a will to reform with a respect for orderly and constitutional government. After the events of the past four years the American electorate should welcome such a combination.
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