August 4, 1934 - Editorial - The Right to Criticize, by George Lorimer

It needs to be said in very plain language that American citizens are neither selfish nor unpatriotic because they criticize policies of the New Deal. Under the Constitution they are guaranteed freedom of speech and of the press. If criticism ceases, then we will have gone back to the days of the divine right of kings, when the monarch could do no wrong, even though the empty form of the Constitution still remains on the books.

Members of the Administration have gone out of their way to condemn and flay critics of those in control of the government. President Roosevelt himself, in a recent speech, after summing up the accomplishments of his administration thus far, said that the overwhelming majority of farmers, workers and manufacturers do not deny these gains. Rather, he added, the doubting Thomases are of two groups - those who seek special political privilege and those who seek special financial privileges. A selfish minority, he went on to say, will always combine to think of themselves first and their fellow beings second.

But since when has it become selfish to express one's opinion concerning the wisdom of controversial economic issues? Critics may be, and many of them are, primarily concerned with the future of their country and the welfare of their fellow men. Practically all the measures of the New Deal are along economic lines the merits of which are patently matters of judgement and not of patriotism.

Never was there a more sustained effort by a minority party to criticize than that which the Democrats conducted in the four years 1928-1932. Indeed, it was so generally recognized as being effective, by friend and foe alike, that it came to be known as the "smear Hoover" campaign. (pg. 22)

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