Herbert Hoover photo

Radio Address to the Nation From Elko, Nevada.

November 07, 1932

My fellow citizens:

We have been through an arduous campaign. It has been almost unique as a campaign of education in the great domestic and international problems which have arisen out of events of the last 15 years.

I have endeavored to place these problems before the people as I see them from the facts and experience that have come to me in these past years. I wished the people to realize more intimately the difficulties with which their Government has been confronted, the disasters which have been averted, and the forces which have been mobilized for their support and their protection.

I hope from these discussions that the people will realize the great crisis that we have successfully passed and the unprecedented measures taken which have been designed solely that we might protect and restore the system of life and of government endeared to us over 150 years--a government that has given to us protection from distress and allayed the forces which would otherwise have wrecked our homes and our firesides. But more than that, I hope I have given an understanding of these measures that have been designed for counterattack upon this crisis. These measures are now demonstrating their strength and effectiveness not only at home but abroad, evidences of which are multiplying throughout the country in the return of more than half a million men to work monthly, and that we have again resumed the road toward prosperity.

I might add that the figure which I have given during the last few days of the return of 1 million men to work since the adjournment of the Congress have been added to during the day today by the estimates of the American Federation of Labor which increased the estimates, which I have given to you, by nearly 300,000 men.

I wish to emphasize the greatest function of the American citizen, the one which each of us should perform tomorrow. The ballot is that most sacred individual act which preserves the great system of self-government which we have inherited and which should carry forward at any cost. It is a direct opportunity for every man and woman to express their views in terms of equality with every other citizen as to the policies and kind of a government that they wish carried out in the next 4 years. And I have a deep feeling that the choice that you make now is more than the choice for another 4 years. There is great divergence in the philosophy of government between the parties which may affect events over a generation; a mistaken choice may hazard the welfare of our children and our children's children. I have been fighting that the wrong course may not be adopted, not by appeal to destructive emotion, but by truth and logic. I have tried to dissolve the mirage of promises by the reality of facts.

I am a believer in party government. It is only through party organization that our people can give coherent expression to their views upon public issues. There is no other way except by revolution, but we in America have ordained that the ballot shall be used for peaceful determination and not violence.

We are a nation of progressives. We wish to see our Nation march forward. We differ strongly as to the method to progress. I differ widely with the principles and views advocated by our opponents, but it is not my purpose to review them at this moment. I feel deeply that the Republican Party has been the party of progress in our history from the days of Abraham Lincoln. It has built the progress of the Nation upon the foundations of national principles and national ideals.

We are a nation of homes from which the accomplishment of individuals is nurtured by the maximum freedom in an ordered liberty. The ultimate goal of our progress is to build for security and happiness in these homes where the inspiration of our religious faiths will implant in our children those principles of social order and idealism, and where our Government will contribute in safeguarding their future opportunity for them.

The action of our Nation has been modified and benefited by the enfranchisement of women. They equally with the men bear the shocks from economic disaster. With them lies largely the guardianship of the fundamental ideals, because concentrated in their lives and their responsibilities is a solicitude for the preservation of the home and the inspiration for the future. And in these labors our Government can contribute to strengthen their accomplishment and their influence.

Our women give with lavish hands, not only to childhood, but, as well, to the creation of those conserving customs upon which are builded all the blessings of our ordered Government. They thus give to government a large measure of the true strength of its foundations. It is but just that they receive back, in return, all that the Government can give them to assure them of security and the enlargement of the equal opportunity to their children and to themselves, to widen the field for the use of their own powers of mind and spirit.

It is they who are mobilizing new public regard to our obligations to home and children of the future; it is they who are mobilizing the public opinion on the maintenance of peace in the world.

The men of our country carry the frontline of battle through their initiative, their enterprise, their hopes, their courage.

The immediate question before our country is in whose direction shall be the measures by which we shall emerge from our present difficulties. In the longer view our problems are the questions that the world should have peace; that the prosperity of the Nation shall be diffused to all, and that we shall build more strongly the ideal of equal opportunity amongst all our people; that we shall secure that obedience to law which is essential to assurance of life in our institutions; that honesty and righteousness in business shall confirm the confidence of our people in our institutions and laws; that our Government shall contribute to leadership in these matters.

It is my deep conviction that for the welfare of the United States the Republican Party should continue to administer the Government. Those men and women who have supported the party over these many years should not be led astray by false gods arrayed in the rainbow colors of promises. They have but to review the performance and the sense of responsibility, the constructive action, the maintenance of national ideals by the Republican Party, in every national crisis including the present, always in opposition to the destructive forces of sectional and group action of our opponents.

Election Day is more than a day set aside for casting of our several ballots. There is a solemnity in the feeling of that day, the sense of being in the presence of a great invisible power when the united people of a great nation give their final judgment on great issues. We cannot feel that any human power alone can give us such emotions; rather we must trust that we are sensing the movements of that Ruler of the universe in whose beneficence and in whose favor we have been blessed throughout our history.

As a final word, I wish to convey my deep gratitude to the many hundreds of thousands of people who have come to stations and to meetings to welcome and encourage me during this past month and to the many millions more who have responded to me over the radio. I wish to express my gratitude to the young men and the young women who have organized their special movement to my support, for in them lies a special energy and idealism which drives and inspires the country; to the veterans' service leagues whose tested patriotism has supported me in this campaign; to the devoted women who, realizing the results at stake, have worked untiringly for the return of this administration; and to the organizations of men throughout the country who have been unceasing through this campaign in their presentation to the American people of the principles and ideals for which I have stood.

Four years ago I stated that I conceived the Presidency as more than an administrative office: it is a power for leadership bringing coordination of the forces of business and cultural life in every city, town, and countryside. The Presidency is more than executive responsibility. It is the symbol of America's high purpose. The President must represent the Nation's ideals, and he must also represent them to the nations of the world. After 4 years of experience I still regard this as a supreme obligation.

Note: The President spoke at 7:40 p.m. from the lounge car of his train while stopped at Elko, Nev. The National Broadcasting Company and the Columbia Broadcasting System radio networks carried the address. The above text is a transcript taken from a sound recording of the address.

Herbert Hoover, Radio Address to the Nation From Elko, Nevada. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/207527

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