Public Papers and Letters of Oliver Max Gardner: Governor of North Carolina, 1929-1933

By Edwin Gill; David Leroy Corbitt | Go to book overview

tion. They have inspired the Democratic party with a new militancy of purpose, and the unselfish and highly intelligent manner in which they have gone about this work has challenged the respect and admiration of the people of North Carolina.

This occasion serves to remind us, old and young, that the Democratic party is not simply a political expression. It is not a mere collection of men and women who are themselves ambitious for political power and political preferment. It is not a dead or dying institution founded upon principles which have since lost in vitality or public concern. It is an organization of living, breathing human beings who find in its purposes and policies the best possible promises, through honesty and efficiency in government, for their own economic, civil, and social betterment. Those purposes and policies--those principles--are as vital to the happiness and well-being of the American people now as they were when first given immortal expression by Jefferson and Jackson and incarnated by Woodrow Wilson as he exalted a Nation and electrified a world in his noble efforts to shield the weak and repress the strong, as he prompted new dreams of freedom and prayers for liberty throughout the darkest epoch of the race. And mark you, Mr. Chairman, the stone once rejected will yet become the head of the corner.

From the day I began my services as state organizer of young people's clubs until this hour the conviction has grown with me that it is not enough for the Democratic party merely to refer to these great first principles. It must do this and do it emphatically. We must constantly remember the supreme ideals of democracy as enunciated and defined by Jefferson and Jackson, and they must forever remain as a lamp by which our feet are guided.

But it is not enough for any political party or organization to rest its case for the future solely upon its

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