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Herbert Hoover Speeches: October 24, 1940

The New Deal 


Herbert Hoover


I do not suggest that Mr. Roosevelt aspires to be a dictator.  It is however understatement to say that he builded personal power to a dangerous point in the Republic.  Moreover, there are forces and men around him who are implacably pushing further and further in that direction.  The exact reason that this tradition has been a living force over all these years is to meet just such a situation as this.  The reasons why that rampart of freedom should be maintained are far higher than partisanship.  They reach to the foundations of free men and women.

It is not only a tradition against a third term about which we are concerned.  We are concerned with a vital check upon the rise of personal power in the Republic.  There has been a gigantic and insidious building up of personal power of the President during these two terms.  The President himself admits these powers provide shackles upon liberty which may be dangerous.  Many of these extraordinary powers have been obtained under claims of emergencies which proved not to exist or to have expired.  Despite many promises, there has been no return of these dangerous powers or the unused powers, or those which proved futile or for which emergencies have passed.

Under assumptions of personal power we are steadily drifting toward war.  And one result of the use of these powers has been to stifle the restoration of productive employment, and a prosperous agriculture, and to involve the peace of the American people.