“The people of this nation have been doing more hard thinking in the past year than ever before in our history,” declared a radio commentator in reviewing the high lights of 1940. Whether or not this sweeping assertion, which defies conclusive verification, is literally true, we may be proud and grateful that ours is one of the few countries—tragically few—in which the citizens may still think for themselves and freely express their thoughts. The evidence of that freedom is in sharp differences of public opinion and heated controversies. But with all the disagreement, there is one proposition upon which every one is agreed— the necessity for leaders to formulate our opinions into programs and to point the way to their realization. Democracy can function effectively only through organized effort, and organizations assuredly must have spokesmen. In times of so great an extension of governmental powers there is the obligation, in accord with the American way, that such exercise be not only socially effective but subject as well, at all points, to popular control. The democratic system is thus on trial as never before, and as never before there are demanded leaders of the group, of the region and of the nation as a whole.
Ross, E. D.
"The challenge to democracy VI. Toward a new rural statesmanship,"
Bulletin P: Vol. 1
, Article 1.
Available at: https://lib.dr.iastate.edu/bulletinp/vol1/iss26/1