There was a significant little squib in the newspapers about the time of the President's triumphant return to Washington. Amid the furor of congratulations it appeared about as important as the proverbial needle in a haystack. Let's look at it by itself. The representatives of organized labor demand a revision of the Social Securities Act. Do they object to being regimented? No. Do they gasp at the gigantic bureaucratic enlargement which requires the accurate filing of twenty-five million records of personal income in Washington? No. Do they consider the fact that many millions still choose to fight for their own personal security by sweating blood to keep their insurance going through a depression? No. Do they discriminate between those who need aid to accomplish security, and those who do not want interference in their personal affairs? No. Well, what do they want? They want all workers to enjoy the benefits of security, but they don't want to pay for it. Last week I hinted at this, and now we have the first direct evidence. Sooner or later we shall wake up to the fact that if we don't pay for a thing we will find in the end that we didn't get it.
The editor of the Press has been very decent about printing all of my stuff without exercising his blue pencil rights. Outside of a few inadvertent typographical errors the column has appeared just as I wrote it. Even the usual disclaimer of "opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the editor" was omitted. In return for this courtesy I wish to recommend the editorial columns of last week's Press as being the best summation of a well-balanced reaction to the election results which I have read anywhere. I take my hat off to the small-town paper.
So much for the bouquets. Let's get back to neutral interests. L. C. Douglas' books always leave me with a feeling that maybe this isn't such a bad old world after all. He paints good and bad very realistically, but he omits the sordid. His characters have human failings, but the nobility of all eventually comes to the surface. His heroes are really too much of a muchness, but this doesn't detract from the stimulation we all experience in admiring them. He has the ability of surrounding a sermon with a charming romantic air; so that we are fascinated by a serious thought. All of which might make you think I am a press agent for his publishers. Anyway, go to the library and get your name on the list for "The Green Light". We have been fed a lot of discouragement in recent years, and can very well stand a few doses of hopefulness.
We shall soon be caught in the whirl of the so-called Christmas season. Am I getting old and cantankerous, or why do I approach this happy season with a subconscious dread? Anyone with a family cannot fail to anticipate the delightful associations of a season when charitable impulses are at their height. But those impulses have been deluged with every form of commercialism, whose sole purpose is to exploit. There was a time when children and grown-ups worked for weeks with their own hands making gifts for loved ones. Now we can congratulate ourselves on a noble deed well done if we go to the phone and order a stock-phrase telegram sent to grandma. (Incidentally scaring her out of her wits.) Moreover, we all reach the day of observing the birth of our Lord completely frazzled out, and the kids are nervously and physically done for. Our modern habits are simply not natural and wholesome. The trend has been away from a family observance, where it belongs. If that is progress, I belong to the horse-and-buggy days.
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