Econ 1: First Very Rough Draft of Problem Set 5
Blue Texan on the Republican Base

Liveblogging World War II: October 17, 1940

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Wendell Willkie:

: I AM delighted to be here in St. Louis. I have a very pleasant recollection of my visit here prior to the Republican National Convention. Tonight I want to talk to you upon a subject about which my convictions are very deep and very strong. It is of course true that the people who live on the sea coasts of these United States, on the Atlantic and the Pacific, are closer to the problem of foreign affairs than are the people who live in the interior. But I am sure the people who live on the sea coasts will agree that a policy for the United States cannot be a true policy, it cannot be a realistic policy, unless it gives full expression to the ideals and the hopes of this great American interior....

[T]onight I want to confine my discussion to the last four or five years. In those four or five years the Administration in Washington has been very active in foreign affairs. It has been active, so it tells us, in promoting the cause of peace. And it has tried to persuade the American people of the wisdom of its foreign policy. There are some people in America today who admit frankly that this Administration has failed in its most elementary duties at home. They admit frankly that the New Deal has demoralized American industry, created widespread unemployment and brought America to the verge of bankruptcy. And yet these same persons tell us that this Administration has been so wise and so effective in its foreign policy that it ought to be re-elected for a third term....

I do not think the New Deal has been either wise or effective in foreign affairs. I do not think it has contributed to peace. As a matter of fact, I believe it has contributed to war. And I believe so because of a fundamental misunderstanding, a fundamental failure to understand, the role that America must play among the nations of the earth.... Winston Churchill in 1937... said that if the Washington Administration had permitted economic recovery in the United States Hitler would have been checked. But what did the Washington Administration do? Now please don't take it in the language of Wendell Willkie,take it in the language of Winston Churchill, one year later,namely, in 1938, and again I quote him. "Economic and financial disorder in the United States,"said Mr. Churchill in 1938, "not only depresses all sister countries, but weakens them in those very forces which either mitigate the hatreds of race or provide the means to resist tyranny. The first service which the United States canrender the world cause is to become prosperous and also to become well armed."...

Those oceans are indeed broad. We can say with the utmost confidence, standing here in the center of America: We do not want to send our boys over there again. And we do not intend to send them over there again. And if you elect me President we won't. But by the same token I believe if you re-elect the third-term candidate they will be sent. We cannot and we must not undertake to maintain by arms the peace of Europe....

The role of the United States among the nations is not the settlement of boundary disputes or of racial disputes. It is not the maintenance of a balance of power in Europe. The role of the United States... is to create purchasing power and to raise the standard of living, first for ourselves, and as a result of raising it for ourselves, thereby raising the standard of living for others. That is the aim. When we fail in that aim we weaken the democratic world....

What do we find standing between our free institutions which we cherish and the barbaric philosophy of slavery to the State? We find, we find Great Britain. We find the heroic British people standing... Canada.... Australia and in Asia. As we stand here looking out to the east and to the west we find the British people living on the very rim of our freedom. So I ask again: What is the role under these circumstances that the United States should play in this war-torn world? What is this role to which the New Deal says it is so indispensable?

Is it that we should send an expeditionary force over there? Is it that we should join again in a foreign war? Is that the role to which the New Deal thinks itself indispensable? Is that the reason for the provocative statements, the gratuitous insults, the whispers, the rumors that keep coming out of Washington? I ask the question frankly. I ask it in deadly earnest. Because you and I know that that is not our role. We cannot send an expeditionary force out to that rim. We have no such force. And even if we had that force it would do no good. It isn't what those people need. It isn't even what they've asked us for.

The reinforcement of that rim of freedom can be accomplished in one way. And only in one way. It can be accomplished only by a thing that the New Deal does not understand, namely, production. We must produce more, and more, and more. We must produce airplanes. We must produce hundreds of other things. That is our role. That is the role that we must employ to reinforce that rim of freedom.... We are not even making those things in any substantial quantity.... And why is this?... It is because for the past five years this Administration which knew, which could not help from knowing what was happening in the world, failed utterly and failed completely to grasp the real function of America in a war-torn world. This Administration failed to see—failed most tragically to see—that the key to war, as well as the key to peace, is America, American production, production....

[E]verything we send to Britain is a sacrifice to our own defense. We must make the awful choice as to whether to supply Britain or ourselves first. We cannot supply either one adequately, much less both. I have said before that I am in favor of aiding Britain at some sacrifice to our own defense program. But I want to point out here, that it is a sacrifice, and that sacrifice is entirely due to the New Deal's fault....

America has contributed to make this crisis in the world today. And the men responsible for that fact are the men of the third-term party, who are seeking re-election, strange as it may seem, on the international issue.... Our role, therefore, in peacetime is to produce, to raise the purchasing power, to lift the standard of living, not alone of ourselves but of others.... And our position in wartime is exactly the same. It is still production—production to reinforce the rim of freedom far beyond our borders. The failure of America to produce, whether in peace or in war, makes havoc of the democratic world.

Let us be very clear about that. The fact that the New Deal stopped the recovery that was coming about in 1937 helped wreck France and England and helped to promote Hitler...

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