The Week [excerpt]
The outline of the President’s policy
telegraphed from Buffalo is as encouraging for what it omits as
for what it contains. There is not a line in it which “breathes
short-winded accents of new broils.” On the contrary, it contains
the promise to “use all conciliatory methods of arbitration in all
disputes with foreign nations, so as to avoid armed strife.” The
spirit of Jingoism is not only wanting from it, but is expressly
cast out. This is the most admirable feature of the communication.
Next to this assurance of peace (for it is certain that no nation
is going to seek a quarrel with us) is the declaration of the trade
policy which the new Administration will favor, namely, “a more
liberal and extensive reciprocity in the purchase and sale of commodities,”
and the “abolition entirely of commercial war with other countries,
and the adoption of reciprocity treaties.” This is identical with
the policy already adopted by President McKinley and advocated by
him in his last public speech, as well as in many previous ones.
Mr. Roosevelt has been a consistent Republican through all his political
career, and has perhaps felt constrained at times to accept a protective
policy more extreme than he would have liked. He has never been
reckoned, however, as a high-tariff man. His language, on the other
hand, respecting the merchant marine will perhaps be interpreted
as favoring the Hanna-Payne ship-subsidy scheme. Yet it does not
really commit him to any particular method of “encouraging” the
merchant-marine. Neither the Republican platform of 1900 nor that
of 1896 commits the party to any particular method of doing so.
Most gratifying is the closing paragraph in the Buffalo declaration
which promises “the placing in positions of trust men of only the
highest integrity.” This, we will not doubt, is the firm and honest
purpose of the new President.