How Can You Help Men Who Won’t Help Themselves?


Writing of Senator Burton, in the Pittsburg Kansan, W. H. T. Wakefield says that for six years he officed next room to Burton and that the door between their offices was seldom closed, and that Burton spent much of his time at Wakefield’s editorial desk. He said that Burton came to Kansas as a democrat, but joined the republican party because it was the only way to get into politics; that he was a great student and understood economics well, being a great reader and investigator of radical books, and in private conversation expressed the most radical sentiments, saying that they were necessary parts of honest government and the people should have them enacted into law. Then he would fall into a meditative mood and say:

“But how in —- and —- nation are you going to give it to them? The gibbering idiots don’t know a thing on earth correctly, and forget it in a month if they do. To try to help the common people is to sign your political death warrant and I am not in the Jesus Christ business. When the people quit voting for their enemies and stop crucifying their saviors I will be with them to the bitter end, but how can you help men who won’t help themselves?” –Appeal to Reason

From the Tom Giessel Archives

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