March 17, 1934 - Article - The Lesser Of Two Evils, by David Lawrence
No generation seems to take seriously the advice of its predecessor, let alone the spoken or written wisdom of a couple of generations back. And as for fifty or a hundred years or a thousand, why, somehow those people couldn't possibly have had brains - certainly not well-developed, quick-acting, twentieth-century brains! Their minds must have been as slow as their horse-drawn vehicles. God surely couldn't have been creating men a hundred or two hundred years ago who knew anything about government! As for the sagacity of the Greeks or the logic of the Roman orators, well, these things are legends or fables, aren't they? Thus, with a cynical skepticism, the generation of today dismisses in contempt anything old, especially forms of government.
If you talk to some of the college professors, for instance, who loom large in our procession of virtues these days, they speak with scorn of "nineteenth-century liberalism." They smile at the idea of a Constitution written 150 years ago. Why, it may be sort of a shrine worthy of a historical worship, but surely not sufficiently up to date to guide our destinies in an era of new deals. (pg. 23)
It is much more logical for us to lay the old system on the table and find out what was really wrong with it than to condemn the 150 years of American history as having yielded no happiness or prosperity to the American people. What single exposure by a congressional committee, what individual or corporate misbehavior can anybody point to in condemning the old deal which does not reveal as its central failing a lack of common honesty and moral fiber.? (pg. 88)
Comments: If the Constitution was outworn and needed to be replaced, then why didn't FDR and his professors call for a Constitutional Convention and form a new one? Answer: They didn't want to be restrained by any kind of fundamental law. They wanted unlimited power.