Date: August 15, 1930
Location: Northampton, MA
(Original document available here)
The right to vote is the very essence to self-government. It is a privilege we are too prone to assume is self-existent, and therefore unimportant. It is the foundation of our liberties. If this source be defiled, the whole body politic becomes contaminated.
At this season we are engaged in selecting candidates. Many of them are chosen by direct vote of the people. Those now nominated will dominate the government in a few months. They will then have charge of our destiny. If we wish to be in the hands of competent and worthy office holders we must act now. Election day may be too late. The beginning of good government is in good nominations. It Is time we gave serious and consciontious attention to our right to vote by nominating the best qualified candidates.
The people may not always understand complicated questions, but they do know men. They can judge of character, ability and experience. Our government never needed good public officers more than now. The people can have them if they will take them. Unless we make our nominations on merit, public questions will not be decided on merit.
Citation: Calvin Coolidge Says: Dispatches Written by Former-President Coolidge and Syndicated to Newspapers in 1930-1931 (Calvin Coolidge Memorial Foundation)
The Coolidge Foundation gratefully acknowledges the volunteer efforts of David McCann who prepared this document for digital publication.