Personality in Politics: Reformers, Bosses

Personality in Politics: Reformers, Bosses

Personality in Politics: Reformers, Bosses

Personality in Politics: Reformers, Bosses

Excerpt

ROSCOE CONKLING once remarked that when Dr. Johnson spoke of "patriotism" as the last refuge of the scoundrel he overlooked the vast possibilities that are latent in the word "reform." Conkling was not alone in his abhorrence of this word. It has become obnoxious by reason of its use in many futile campaigns. Nowadays it carries so sinister an implication that men and women who desire changes in the existing order prefer to call themselves "progressives" or "liberals" rather than reformers, and to designate the goal of their efforts as "reconstruction," not reform. This is because the public imagination has come to look upon the reformer as an empirical individual, who periodically shifts his interest from one visionary scheme to another, who promises much and achieves little, and whose ways are the ways of a busybody. There is no small modicum of truth in Brand Whitlock's . . .

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