Calvin Coolidge, the Man Who Is President

By William Allen White | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XXIII
WHAT IT ALL MEANS

The strongest currents of politics are in the undertow, submerged currents that scarcely reach our upper consciousness. America chose Coolidge and stood by him not for what he was on the surface but for what he was and what Americans were beneath the surface. They feared change. He was cautious. Deeply they distrusted adventure, and beneath partisanship and the clamor of the campaign of 1924 Americans believed in business as the savior of the times. They did not vote for Coolidge for what he had shown them in the White House. He proved himself an ineffectual leader. Congress defeated him time and again, defied him; more or less insulted him and he was powerless. But the voters returned the Congress which thwarted and humiliated the President and by comparably the same majority by which they returned the President. The struggle between Coolidge and his Congress was in the upper and visible spheres. In the undercurrents of life, in the submerged part of the great iceberg that is Coolidge, he was caught by the popular cur-

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