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Professor Ralph Barton Perry Defends New Deal Measures As Base for His Decision to Vote for Roosevelt's Reelection

WHY I AM FOR ROOSEVELT By Ralph Barton Perry Edgar Pierce Professor of Philosophy


This is the first in a series of articles by members of the Faculty explaining their stand in the present political campaign.

The reasons which impel me to vote for President Roosevelt's reelection are three: the man himself, his record in office, and his general social and political philosophy. I shall here limit myself to the first two.

There is, I think, nothing of the demigod in Franklin D. Roosevelt. I have no sense of over-shadowing greatness. I do, however, believe that he has certain qualities which particularly fit him to be the chief executive in the government of the United States. He is, in the first place, a skillful politician. I do not mean merely that he is skilled in the art of political organization, but that he knows how to deal with the legislative branch of the government and at the same time secure the confidence of the general public. In a successful president both of these arts are essential. Of course if, by virtue of them, a president succeeds in having his measures passed by Congress, and in making an effective popular appeal, his detractors call him a dictator and a demagogue; but as a matter of fact he is simply a successful political executive and leader of the type which our system of party responsibility and democratic control requires.

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