Date: March 13, 1931
Location: Northampton, MA
Summary: Coolidge writes that progressives should learn how to cooperate with Congress and to put their ideas into specific policy proposals.
There is no need for hasty judgment on the progressive’s conference held in Washington. Many sincere people attended it. Their assumption that they are better than any of the political parties will do no harm. Apparently they have an ambitious program. They seek to guide all other public officers. Their official members have not always shown great capacity for co-operation. If they now learn to co-operate with each other they later may be able better to co-operate with other members of the Congress.
The conference has accomplished little by naked criticism. Every one knows that the government is not perfect. Almost every one suspects that it will not be made perfect for some time. Yet we all want to see it improved. We all desire progress, prosperity and an even better distribution of the rewards of industry, although in these we now surpass the world. Very few now believe that these things can be secured by more extravagance, more loafing, more politics, or more government.
The discussion may prove helpful. A reduction of vague ideas to specific proposals usually shows whether they are sound. The formation of a constructive common-sense program for perfecting the country will not be found easy.
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.