Date: October 8, 1930
Location: Northampton, MA
(Original document available here)
If self-government is to continue to be a success the voters must take their duties seriously. As the relations of the government in both our political and economic life become increasingly intricate, the necessary qualifications for discharging the functions of high office must be correspondingly raised. Administration and legislation are becoming more and more an exact science. It is no longer possible to expect the best results from men and women without previous training in public activities.
For important political service the three qualifications necessary are character, ability and experience. Some of our voters are not giving sufficient consideration to these requirements. They are often supporting candidates whose greatest appeal is that they are good fellows. An agreeable personality is a fine quality, but it is not enough to administer a great office. It is vain to support office seekers who smile, if it results in electing officeholders who are not competent.
The government cannot be run successfully by substituting the power of entertainment for the power of accomplishment. The essential quality for the voters to require in their choice of candidates is capacity for public service.
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 Trish Anderson who prepared this document for digital publication.