He praises Congressman Charles A. Lindbergh, father of the renowned aviator, for supporting a program of “concrete measures for the advancement of social and industrial justice".
Charles A. Lindbergh, Sr. was a 4-time Republican congressman from Minnesota who soon after taking office in 1909 became one of the leaders of the progressive Republicans in Congress. His activities as a member of this group included the attempt to unseat Joseph Cannon as Speaker of the House, the investigation of...
Charles A. Lindbergh, Sr. was a 4-time Republican congressman from Minnesota who soon after taking office in 1909 became one of the leaders of the progressive Republicans in Congress. His activities as a member of this group included the attempt to unseat Joseph Cannon as Speaker of the House, the investigation of the trusts, opposition to the big banks and formation of the Federal Reserve Bank (which he felt benefited only them). In 1912 he supported Theodore Roosevelt and the Progressive Party and helped TR carry the state.
The Square Deal was Theodore Roosevelt's name for his domestic program as president. Its main idea was reducing inequality, and it was formed upon three basic ideas: conservation of natural resources, control of corporations, and consumer protection. Thus, it aimed at helping middle class citizens and involved his attacking “the representatives of predatory wealth” as guilty of “all forms of iniquity from the oppression of wage workers to defrauding the public.” Although he kept the concept of the Square Deal during his 1912 Progressive Party presidential campaign, he adopted the phrase New Nationalism to describe his program.
Typed Letter Signed, New York, September 1, 1914, to Representative Lindbergh, father of the famous aviator of the same name, endorsing him for reelection and praising him for his courageous, progressive stands. In it, TR explicitly reverts to his former phraseology, linking his current Progressive program to the Square Deal. “Permit me personally to congratulate you upon your activities in the 63rd Congress. I have more particularly in mind the comprehensive grasp of currency needs you displayed and your efforts to obtain effectual banking and currency legislation. Your whole course has merited the support of all good citizens in your district, regardless of party. You have been aggressively and effectively part of that group of citizens in your district, regardless of party. You have been aggressively and effectively part of that group of representatives who have proved to be the only sanely constructive force at the Capital. You have stood against the secret closed caucus, for open committee meetings and against gag rules. You voted for the Progressive Tariff Commission, for real currency legislation, and the genuinely effective measures dealing with the Trust Problem. All of these and others were offered in fulfillment of the covenants with the people embodied in the Progressive platform in 1912. You and those associated with you proposed a program of concrete measures for the advancement of social and industrial justice. You are deserving of no less credit because these measures were rejected. It is my earnest desire and my hope and belief that a service of the character, vision and courage you have given, will meet with the hearty popular endorsement at the polls, which it so richly deserves. Trusting that you will be returned to continue your efforts for the common good in the 64th Congress and that this fight for a square deal, so well begun, shall suffer no interruption for the lack of men of your caliber and courage.” This is a very uncommon instance of TR using his Square Deal battle cry in correspondence.
Lindbergh was indeed reelected, continuing his progressive voice in Congress for one last term. However, as the years went by Lindbergh became a radical, opposing U.S. involvement in World War I and being the moving force behind formation of the Minnesota Farmer-Labor Party. He also wrote three books: “Banking and Currency and the Money Trust”, “Why Is Your Country At War?”, and “The Economic Pinch.”
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