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Jane Addams on Obamabots

By davidswanson - Posted on 01 January 2012

OK, she's talking about Wilson, but it's the same thing:

If, after the declaration of his foreign policy, it seemed to our group that desire and achievement were united in one  able protagonist, the philosopher become king, so to speak, this state of mind was destined to be short lived, for almost immediately the persistent tendency of the President to divorce his theory from the actual conduct of state affairs threw us into a state of absolute bewilderment. During a speaking tour in January, 1917, he called attention to the need of a greater army, and in St. Louis openly declared that the United States should have the biggest navy in the world.

We were in despair a few weeks later when in Washington the President himself led the Preparedness parade and thus publicly seized the leadership of the movement which had been started and pushed by his opponents. It was an
able political move if he believed that the United States should enter the European conflict through orthodox warfare, but he had given his friends every right to suppose that he meant to treat the situation through a much bolder and at the same time more subtle method. The question with us was not one of national isolation, although we were constantly told that this was the alternative to war, it was purely a question of the method the

United States should take to enter into a world situation. The crisis, it seemed to us, offered a test of the vigor and originality of a nation whose very foundations were laid upon a willingness to experiment.

It was at this time that another disconcerting factor in the situation made itself felt; a factor which was brilliantly analyzed in Randolph Bourne's article entitled "War and the Intellectuals." The article was a protest against the
"unanimity with which the American intellectuals had thrown their support to the use of war technique in the crisis in which America found herself," and against "the riveting of the war mind upon a hundred million more of the world's people." It seemed as if certain intellectuals, editors, professors, clergymen, were energetically pushing forward the war against the hesitation and dim perception of the mass of the people. They seemed actually to believe that " a war free from any taint of self-seeking could secure the triumph of democracy and internationalize the world."

They extolled the President as a great moral leader because he was irrevocably leading the country into war. The long established peace societies and their orthodox organs quickly fell into line expounding the doctrine that the world's greatest war was to make an end to all wars. It was hard for some of us to understand upon what experience this pathetic belief in the regenerative results of war could be founded; but the world had become filled with fine phrases and this one, which afforded comfort to many a young soldier, was taken up and endlessly repeated with an entire absence of the critical spirit.






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