Democracy Vindicated (Vol. 2, Issue 4)
The overwhelming majority with which President Roosevelt was returned to office may well be regarded as a vindication of progressive democracy in its hour of crisis. The voters of America demonstrated that at a critical time, intelligence and the spirit of liberalism can overwhelm force, intimidation, and the power of wealth.
Seldom in the history of national elections has a president been opposed by so strong a combination of the forces of concentrated wealth. Never before were the masters of industrial and financial capital.so unanimous in their antipathy towards a candidate.
Whatever resources the economic lords of the country could command were engaged in the attempt to defeat the Roosevelt administration. Every pressure which could be brought to bear upon the voters of the nation that they might repudiate the New Deal, was used.
Enormous campaign contributions were expended. Employees were intimidated. Legislative acts were viciously misrepresented. The aid and the formidable influence of eighty-five percent of the country’s press were secured. A campaign was waged in which the demagogic arguments which were so successful in deceiving the people of European states were employed.
If, in spite of this powerful opposition, the people of the United States endorsed Roosevelt with a vote greater than what even the most optimistic expected, we cannot help but feel that democracy is still a vital factor, that liberty and the good life are still regarded as the purpose of political action, and that organized intelligence, is still a guide to social progress.
We are, to an extent, justified in renewing our faith that, if all who desire progress and fear reaction, can unite and consolidate their activities, industrial and social democracy can be attained through the medium of a democratic government.