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And on the DEMOCRACY which gives it EXISTENCE

August 31, 1924

Washington, D. C.

20c a Copy

By Lynn Haines

Volume X

Interrogation of Candidates on-

The President and Ruling Caste Power

The President and Publicity

The President and Executive Reform

The President and Congress

The President and Foreign Affairs

The President and Agriculture

The President and Labor Issues

The President and Public Utilities

The President and Natural Resources
Supreme Tests of the Presidency

Number 1


OR the most part this number is given to "A Hundred Questions 'for the Next President,'" addressed to all who are candidates. Such a questionnaire will, we hope, serve at least to present a picture of the scope and interrelation of vital issues which might otherwise escape critical consideration.

No other purpose than a desire to advance the general welfare has prompted this letter to those seeking the Presidency.

Whether or not all candidates meet us in that spirit, if it leads to constructive thinking on their part and that of the public, the effort will have been worth while.

Of course, we expect that replies will be made, and will give them the best publicity within our power.

Perhaps certain candidates may feel, and assert, that some of these questions are prejudiced. Frankly, that is true. The Searchlight is, and always intends to be, biased on the subject of spoils politics-until a thorough housecleaning has been accomplished.

We have no sympathy with, nor any intention to aid, any purely partisan endeavor, new or old.

In our view, government is public business. The general good, through the public service, is paramount to all other considerations, be they personal or political.

We believe in absolute openness with reference to everything that pertains to official life.

As to all such principles, we are prejudiced. There was no attempt to keep that kind of bias out of this questionnaire.

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A Hundred Questions for "The Next President"

Calvin Coolidge, the White House,
John W. Davis, New York, N. Y.,

Robert M. La Follette, Washington, D. C.,
Charles G. Dawes, Chicago, Ill.,
Charles W. Bryan, Lincoln, Nebr.,
Burton K. Wheeler, Washington, D. C.



The American people are most vitally interested in the personality and purposes of those seeking the presidency. They desire to know, rather than to guess, concerning the course to be followed by "the next President." After numerous discussions with thinking citizens, I here undertake to present some of the questions that are, and of right ought to be, outstanding in the public mind. Not being preadvised as to the identity of "the next President," and also because your answers should be carefully considered by every voter in advance of his or her decision, I am addressing them to all of you who are candidates. The nominees for Vice President are included, inasmuch as there is always a possibility, and at present a probability, that one of the latter may become head of the nation.

To be President of the United States today is to occupy the most powerful position now or ever in existence.

You, and all informed citizens, must agree with that conclusion, and also, I think, to these tremendous truths:

1. Government, throughout the world, is the allimportant influence in human life. It means more, not in sentiment, but in dollars and cents, to the average individual than do his or her private affairs, whether they be measured in millions or the comparatively puny pittance that comes to the laborer in field or factory. Laws, more than labor, favors, more than effort, now determine what each class shall possess and enjoy. Honesty and industry, as common characteristics of citizenship, can be almost completely set at naught by governmental blunders, depravities and privileges. In the hands of ruling caste power, peace and plenty may, in one brief regime, be supplanted by civilization-destroying conflict. If all other elements were placed together, and then multiplied by ten, the importance of government to humanity would far outweigh them all.

2. Politics, in this country, is the gateway to everything government has to offer or to withhold from the people. It is the only existing instrumentality through which the objects of government can be translated into human welfare. That is the only legitimate function politics has-to serve as the agency for the application of moral and economic principles to the life of the people. Politics should be only the means to that end; but modern political organization has become an end in itself. This

end is office, and the ever increasing spoils and perquisites and privileges of the office-holding class.

To sum it up, government is public business, stupendous and important beyond the power of words to portray: politics has now largely taken over this gigantic enterprise for its own aims and ends. Politics, the servant, the incidental thing, has grown so great as to overshadow and subordinate all else in government.

"The consent of the governed" is the underlying principle of our government, yet, with the presidency as its cornerstone, there has developed in recent decades such a perversion of that principle that politics has become the most menacing special privilege in America today.

That is so because politics is always a buffer between the people and any adequate solution of their social and economic problems. It stands in the way to protect spoils and patronage and privilege because such influences are conversely the chief supports of its own selfish system. Above all else, the public demands a thorough housecleaning politically, and then a reconstruction, a reconsecration, of these instrumentalities-in short, a demotion of politics from principal to agent in government.


The President and Ruling Caste Power

HE first ten questions, therefore, relate to this basic matter of end-in-itself politics. Number one, although perhaps somewhat embarrassing, is crucially important, and should be answered without the slightest evasion.

No President can be more, nor less, than the official group he has around him. That is the supreme test. In talking with many men and women of every kind and calling, I find universal understanding, and fear, of the vicious influence of "a spoils cabinet." Had it been known that Harding would surround himself with men of the type of Daugherty, Fall and Denby, undoubtedly he would not have been elected, regardless of other factors in his favor. That very fact, in all its various implications, proclaims the justice and fairness of an unequivocal answer to this question:

1. Are you willing to announce, at least a month before the election, the members of the Cabinet and the personal Secretary whom you will appoint, if elected? Will you do this?

If, for political or other reasons, you object to thus naming in advance the Cabinet you would form, please state why you object, and then, as a much less satisfactory substitute for this question, answer questions 2, 3 and 4:

2. What are the qualifications and environment of the person you would select for each Cabinet position? And those of your Secretary?

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