Thursday, September 01, 2016

Today -100: September 1, 1916: All the evils of feeble peace combined with all the evils of feeble war

Lima, Ohio’s county prosecutor asks the governor for troops to head off a race riot after yesterday’s attempted lynching and the torture of the sheriff. All negroes are warned to stay off the streets, although oddly it wasn’t the negroes who were in that lynch mob. The sheriff’s daughter, traumatized when the mob broke into their home, dies of “shock.”

In a speech in Lewiston, Maine, in support of Charles Evans Hughes, Theodore Roosevelt says some less-than-flattering things about Woodrow Wilson, who, re Carranza and Mexico, “did not merely kiss the hand that slapped him in the face, he kissed that hand when it was red with the blood of American men, women, and children”; “This Administration has displayed no more feeling of responsibility for the American women who have been raped, and for the American men, women, and children who have been killed in Mexico, than a farmer shows for the rats killed by his dogs when the hay is taken from a barn.” He denies the claim of Wilson supporters that Wilson “has kept us out of war,” since the capture of Vera Cruz and the Pershing Expedition “were wars, and nothing else; ignoble, pointless, unsuccessful little wars; but wars... his policy in Mexico has combined all the evils of feeble peace with all the evils of feeble war.”

As usual, the Colonel attacks hyphenates, although I think it’s new that he now blames them, somehow, on Wilson: “During the last two years we have seen an evil revival in this country of non-American and anti-American division along politico-racial lines, and we owe this primarily to the fact that President Wilson has lacked the courage and the vision to lead this nation in the path of high duty, and by this lack of affirmative leadership has loosened the moral fibre of our people, has weakened our national spirit”.

Moving on to the European War, he seems to think that if Wilson had been firmer, and lead the neutral nations in demanding the war be fought along civilized lines, Germany would not have invaded Belgium, bombarded churches, sunk ships, executed Nurse Edith Cavell etc, and the Turks wouldn’t be massacring Armenians. Wow.

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