Date: October 25, 1930
Location: Northampton, MA
(Original document available here)
The law of action and reaction does not work anywhere more certainly than in our system of self-government. We get out of life exactly what we put into it. Surely the people can get out of their government only what they put into it. In a republic the people are sovereign. They can manifest their sovereignty from day to day through the avenue of public opinion. That will have some influence on their government.
But their greatest opportunity and their gravest responsibility are on election day. With a careless, indifferent, uninformed electorate a republic will deteriorate into a very bad form of government. It will fall into the hands of the incompetent and the vicious. Good government under our system depends on the ballot box.
A general election comes on November 4. All the voters should plan now to be at the polls. It is the highest patriotic duty. The great sacrifices made to establish self-government will have been in vain unless this responsibility is discharged. It is a time when the serious second thought of the people is needed. We cannot receive what we do not give. Put good government into the ballot box.
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 Greg Harkenrider who prepared this document for digital publication.