Hearst: Lord of San Simeon

By Oliver Carlson; Ernest Sutherland Bates | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XII
Pacifist Patriot

IN THE presidential campaign of 1912 the logic of Hearst's political philosophy should clearly have made him a supporter of Theodore Roosevelt rather than of Woodrow Wilson. In the leading article of the November 1911 issue of the World Today a paper (later to be called Hearst's International) purchased by him in that year, he reiterated his position on the trust problem with that clarity of expression which was always his in those rare moments when he was not under the immediate sway of personal ambition. The article was entitled "Combination a Phase of Progress: its Evils must be Eliminated; its Advantages must be Retained." Hearst's argument was summed up in the following words:

The trust is a labor-saving device that can lower the cost of production. The trust is also a great power which can raise the price of its commodities, rob its weaker rivals, corrupt legislatures and oppress the public. These evil deeds of the trusts should be made criminal and adequately punished. The trusts should be regulated and restricted, but they should not be destroyed and, what is more, they cannot be.

Elsewhere in the article he wrote: "Mr. Taft may call this state socialism or whatever he pleases, but calling a thing a name does not discredit it if the thing itself is right and furnishes a solution and the only solution to an acute problem."

All this was essentially identical with the program of the Progressive Party and was essentially opposed to Woodrow Wilson's endeavor to revive free competition. Furthermore, Wilson's

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