Herbert Hoover photo

Letter to the Chairman of the Republican National Committee on the Role of the Republican Party.

February 27, 1933

My dear Mr. Chairman:

You have asked that I should address a few words upon questions of party organization to the Executive Committee which meets today. I first wish to take this opportunity to express my appreciation of the loyal and effective work of your Committee and the thousands of party workers.

This work of party organization is a public duty often thankless to a degree, yet in the highest sense a public service, for organized political parties have become an absolute necessity for the functioning of popular government in so large a population as ours. Only through such organization can the people express their will. The nation would be a bedlam of wholly discordant voices without such organization, without loyalty to it. Party organization must assure cohesion in public action and upon their pledges, their principles and their ideals. A party deserves to exist only as it embodies the thought and conviction of earnest men and women who have the welfare of the nation at heart. It must be a party of ideals since only exalted purpose can bring great numbers of people together in united action. But the consummation of ideals must be organized.

You have also asked for some word on the policies to be pursued by the party.

Political parties have great obligations of service whether the party be in power or not. In these times cooperation and not partisanship is the need of the country but it is no less an obligation of the party to subject all proposals to the scrutiny of constructive debate and to oppose those which will hurt the progress and the welfare of the country.

The proposals, the principles and the ideals of the party were set out in the last campaign. They require no repetition here. They will justify themselves. Rather than to review them even in the setting of present events, I prefer to say a word as to a platform upon which all Americans can stand without partisanship.

There are certain fundamentals and safeguards of our Government which are not the property of any political party. They are the common necessity to the entire people. They embrace rigid adherence to the Constitution; enforcement of the laws without respect to persons; assurance of the credit of the Government through restraint of spending and provision of adequate revenue; preservation of the honor, and integrity of the Government in respect to its obligations, its securities and its sound currency; insistence upon the responsibilities of local government; advancement of world peace; adequate preparedness for defense; the cure of abuses which have crept into our economic and political systems; development of security to homes and living; persistence in the initiative; equal opportunity and responsibilities of individuals and institutions; and finally every encouragement to the development of our intellectual, moral and spiritual life. In great emergencies humanity in government requires the utilization of the reserve strength of all branches of the government, whether local or national, to protect our institutions and our people from forces beyond their control. This must and can be accomplished without violation of these fundamentals and safeguards.

Upon these foundations lies the freedom, the welfare and the future of every citizen in the country. By them we will march forward. We do not claim them as the exclusive property of the Republican Party. They are the inheritance of all parties. This is a program which can command the respect and support of all who would maintain the United States in the high position amongst nations it now holds, and one from which we should not deviate in fidelity.

Yours faithfully,


[Hon. Everett Sanders, Chairman, Republican National Committee, Washington, D.C.]

Note: The letter was read to the executive body of the Republican National Committee, meeting in Washington, D.C.

Herbert Hoover, Letter to the Chairman of the Republican National Committee on the Role of the Republican Party. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/208156

Filed Under


Simple Search of Our Archives