Democratic Achievement

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Democratic Achievement  (1920) 
by Champ Clark
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In the impending campaign, we stand proudly on our splendid and unimpeachable record in peace and in war. Anybody, save a starch idiot, can successfully uphold the record from alpha to omega. It is wise, progressive, and patriotic. It has raised our country to an exceeding height of glory abroad, and an unprecedented prosperity at home. We confidently offer that record to the American people as an ernest of what we will do if continued in power.

Nineteen hundred years ago, by the highest authority a rule was prescribed for measuring men and things: judge a tree by its fruit. A good rule, a fair rule. We are willing to be measured by that standard. No brave man, no courageous party, will shrink from such a test. We cheerfully and serenely invite it. In his spectacular oration nominating General Grant in Chicago in 1880, Roscoe Conklin said: "General Grant's fame rests not alone on things written and things said, but also upon the arduous greatness of things done." That sentence fits the Democrats like a glove.

While in seven years since we came into possession of the executive and legislative branches of the government, Democrats have said and written many fine things. Our chief claims of the gratitude of our countrymen rests upon the arduous greatness of things done both at home and abroad. For years and years our Republican friends asserted that we did not have the capacity for constructive legislation. They admitted that in the days of Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson we did some notable things, but that we had lost the power of initiative, and even if entrusted with power, we could accomplish nothing. Unfortunately, for a long time the people believed this malicious gibberish.

But in 1912 the American people gave the Democrats another opportunity, and under the leadership of Woodrow Wilson we swept the country from sea to sea. At the end of that historic contest we had the Presidency, the Senate by a working majority, and the House by an overwhelming majority. It is only sober truth to say that during the six years in which we controlled both the executive and legislative branches, that we put more constructive legislation on the statute books than was put upon the statute books in twentyfour years of Republican control.

A Democratic administration participated gloriously in the most colossal war of all time, and our brave soldiers, acting under direction of a Democratic administration, brought the war to a successful and glorious conclusion. Surely the things which we accomplished entitled the Democrats to a long lease of power. The outstanding teacher of our six years work is that we accomplished so much in so short a time. We did it by good team work. The Democratic Congress did its duty, the great Democratic President, Woodrow Wilson, did his duty, and on the glorious record thus made, we confidently appeal to the voters of the land.


This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1923.

The author died in 1921, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 80 years or less. This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.