Date: January 22, 1931
Location: Northampton, MA
Summary: Calvin Coolidge argues that democratic self-government is the best system of government to ensure social peace among citizens.
Mostly because of development in some foreign countries we find considerable discussion of whether democracy is not proving a failure. Very great things have been expected of that form of government. The oratory that has been expended in its glorification has not all been found to be justified. No informed student of human affairs ever expected that democracy would be a sovereign remedy for all the ills with which morals are beset. But the principle of self-government, applied in so far as the development of a people will admit of its application, remains as the best solution of social relations.
In times of national peril, whether military or economic, it has been found necessary to modify the application of the principle in the interest of expedition and solidarity. That has been done in some European countries, but it is a temporary expedient. Self -government is the expression of one of the strongest and most logical aspirations of human nature. There is no other system that is consistent with freedom. In the end it will prevail because it is everlastingly right. The character of our people is the best guarantee of its success in the United States.
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 Fr. Stephen Lawson who prepared this document for digital publication.