Calvin Coolidge Says, September 19, 1930

Date: September 19, 1930

Location: Northampton, MA

(Original document available here)

In the conduct of popular government, in the maintenance of liberty, in releasing the human mind from artificial restraints so that the people may be free to pursue the truth and follow the rule of conscience, a broad spirit of toleration is necessary. This is only another name for a becoming humility. None of us knows all there is to know. While our way may be best for us, some different way may be best for others.

In a world of limitations we cannot expect perfection. But we ought not to permit any confusion between toleration and complacency. We have certain legal and social standards that support all progress. They are not easy to maintain. Their value often does not appear to the young and the thoughtless. It may be thought we can have a little graft in government and business without much harm. But if an attitude of complacency is adopted toward such conduct it will be but a short time before the whole political and social fabric is corroded by corruption.

The present activity in several localities by both governmental and volunteer agencies in attempts to reform such abuses is a most wholesome spectacle of revolt against complacency.

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 Craig Eyermann who prepared this document for digital publication.

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