Calvin Coolidge Says, October 15, 1930

Date: October 15, 1930

Location: Worcester, MA

(Original document available here)

We have in this country a certain type of officeholder, fortunately not large, who are always out with square and compass seeking to find out what the political effect will be of every action they take. They do not need to make such elaborate investigations. Any one with a little experience can tell them in advance that the effect of action based on such motives will always be bad. All the predominant political opinion of the nation which is worth cultivating is never impressed, by decisions made for effect. Those who compose that body want responsible officeholders to try to find out what is best for the welfare of the people and do that. They are moved by sincerity and integrity of purpose. Pretense does not appeal to them.

That is the reason why those who seek popularity so seldom find it, while those who follow an informed conscience so often are astonished by a wide public approval. The people know a sham even when they seem to be trying to fool themselves and they cannot help having a wholesome respect for a reality. The best political effect usually comes to those who disregard it.

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 J Mitchell Rushing who prepared this document for digital publication.

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