Excerpts from talk by Brooks Hays at Democratic State Convention, Sept.17 1942 [handwritten] It is the responsibility of the Democratic party to lead this Nation for the second time in a great world conflict. The burdens that leadership imposes and obligations it involves must be cheerfully accepted. The virtues of party loyalty and party service are resources for the Nation's use. We must discharge the duties of leadership in such a way as to achieve unity - not division. Under our two-party system, the minority party renders an important service, even in wartimes, and its rights must be respected and preserved. That is a guarantee of the Constitution of the United States - a guarantee without which the Democratic party might not have survived the War Between the States. We can disagree with the Republicans - we can even enjoy exposing their fallacies, without wishing to destroy them, or hating and maligning them. The British phrase, "His Majesty's Loyal Opposition," might well have some counterpart in the glossary of American political terms.
Like those who have preceded me on this program, I want to place emphasis upon our part in the business of carrying on the Nation's war program. History is repeating itself. Most of us have known only two Democratic administrations - those of Woodrow Wilson and Franklin Roosevelt. Scarcely had Wilson's first term expired when he was called upon to lead the country into war. It meant the suspension of a domestic program that was full of bright possibilities, in the leadership of which Wilson was marshaling virtually all progressive elements.