Address at Jackson Day Dinner
Now I want to say something very important to you about this issue of morality in government. I stand for honest government. I’ve worked for it. I’ve probably done more for it than any other President. (Applause)
I’ve done more than any other President to reorganize the government on an efficient basis and to extend the Civil Service merit system. I hate corruption not only because bad in itself, but also because it is the deadly enemy of all things the Democratic Party has been doing all these years. I hate corruption everywhere, but I hate it most of all in a Democratic office holder because that is a betrayal of all that the Democratic Party stands for. (Applause)
Here’s the reason: to me morality in government means more than a mere absence of wrong doing. It means a government that is fair to all. I think it is just as immoral for the Congress to enact special tax favors into law as it is for a tax official to connive on a crooked tax return. (Applause)
It is just as immoral to use the law making power of the government to enrich the few at the expense of the many as it is to steal money from the public treasury. That is stealing money from the public treasury. All of us know, of course, about the scandals and corruption of the Republican office holders in the 1920s, but to my mind the Veterans Administration scandals in those days and the Teapot Dome Steal than the Tax laws of Andrew Mellon or the attempt to sell Muscle Shoals to private owners. (Applause)
Legislation that favored the greed and monopoly and the treachery of Wall Street was a from of corruption that did the country four times as much harm as Teapot Dome ever did. Private, selfish interests are always trying to corrupt the government in this way. Powerful financial groups are always trying to get favors for themselves. Now the Democratic Administration has been fighting against these efforts to corrupt the powers of government. We haven’t always won, but we have never surrendered and we never will. (Applause)
For all these years we’ve been fighting to use our natural resources for the benefit of the public; to develop our forests and our public power reserves and our water power for the benefit of all; to raise the incomes of all our citizens; to protect the framer and the worker against the power of monopoly.
And where have the Republicans been in this fight for morality in government? Do they come out and vote with us to keep the special interests from robbing the public? Not at all! Most of them are on the other side.
The same thing when you come to question the conduct of government officials. The Republicans make a great whoop and holler about the honesty of Federal employees, but they are usually the first to show up in a government office asking for special favors for private interests and in raising cane if they don’t get them. (Applause)
These Republican gentlemen can’t have it both ways. They can’t be for morality on Tuesday and Thursday, and then be for special privileges for their clients on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
The press recently, for a wonder, has been giving some facts on the subjects that have been very hard to get at. I’m disgusted with their efforts to discredit and blacken the character and reputation of the whole federal Service. We have a higher percentage of Federal employees under the Civil Service than ever before and on the whole they are a freer, better type of men and women than we have ever had in the service before. (Applause)
It’s just as much our duty to protect the innocent as it is to punish the guilty. If a man is accused, he ought to have his day in court and I don’t mean a kangaroo court, either. (Applause)
I hate injustice just as much as I hate corruption. Of course, we must always work to keep our government clean. Our Democratic Senators and Congressmen have been working and I have been working to clean up bad conditions where they exist and to devise procedures and systems to prevent them in the future. And I would like to have the help in this fight from everybody, Democrats and Republicans alike!
I’ve just got one reorganization plan through Congress and I’m going to send up some more plans to the Congress soon to put more of our Federal officials under Civil Service and out of politics! I’d like to see how many of the Republicans vote for them.
Well, I don’t think the “Black is White” campaign of the Republican Party is going to succeed. I think that voters are going to see through the holier than thou disguise that our Republicans friends are putting on. All the tricks of Republican propaganda aren’t going to make the people forget that the Democratic Party has been working to their welfare. (Applause)
We are working for the welfare of the farmer. We hold to the ideal that goes back to Jefferson: that a farmer should have the opportunity to own his farm, to share in the benefits of scientific progress, and to secure a fair income for his efforts.
The Democratic Party is working for the success of our free enterprise system. We have worked to prevent monopoly, to give small business-the small businessman-a fair chance, and to develop our natural resources for all the people and not just for the favored few.
The Democratic Party is working for the welfare of labor. We have worked for good wages in our legislation, for unemployment compensation, arid for fair labor relations laws. The Democratic Party’s dedicated to fair opportunities, for decent living conditions, to a chance to educate their children, to have good medical services and reasonable provision for retirement.
That is why we have worked for good Social Security laws, for better education and health services, for good housing and for equal rights and opportunities for all our people regardless of color, religion, or national origin. (Applause)
Above all the Democratic Party is working for peace on earth and goodwill among men. We believe that was is not inevitable; that peace can be won; that free men of all lands can find a way to live together in the world as good neighbors. That is why we’ve been willing to sacrifice to stop aggression; willing to send our money and our goods to help men in other countries stand up against tyranny; willing to fight in Korea or WW III before it begins. For if the bloody harvest of a world was were to begin anew most of us would never see a peaceful world again.
This is the record of the Democratic Party. It is a proud record and an honorable record. It is record of progress, of actions that are right because they are solidly founded on American ideals. Whoever the Democratic nominates for president this year, he will have this record to run upon.
I shall not be a candidate for reelection. I have served my country long and I think efficiently and honestly. I shall not accept a renomination. I do not feel that it is my duty to spend another four years in the White House. (Sounds of Disapproval)
We must, we must always remember the things the Democratic Party has done and the high ideals that have made it great. We must be tree to its principles and keep it foremost in service of the people. If we do that, we can be sure there will be a Democratic President in the White House for the next four years.
betrayal n. 出卖，辜负，暴露
enact vt. 制定法律，颁布，扮演
connive vt. vi. 默许，纵容，暗中合作，密谋策划
Veterans Administration scandals 退伍军人协会丑闻
Tax laws of Andrew Mellon 安德鲁，麦伦税收法案
Muscle Shoals 田纳西河一段有名的险滩
raising cane 如芒在背
kangaroo court n. 私设之法庭，非法法庭
holier than thou: means much more better thon you.
regardless of adj. 不管，不顾