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320   My Brother Theodore Roosevelt

cinnati. In the Cincinnati speech Mr. Wilson had made the remark "that it would never be right for America to remain out of another war."

Colonel Roosevelt, after ringing the changes on the fact that what would be necessary in the future was in this case just as necessary in the present, ended with a stirring exhortation and the emphatic words: "Do it now, Mr. President."

In spite of Colonel Roosevelt's strong plea that we should take our stand shoulder to shoulder on the side of the Allies in the great cause for which they were fighting, it must not be thought for one moment that Theodore Roosevelt put internationalism above nationalism. All through the exciting campaign of 1916, he laid the greatest emphasis upon true Americanism. At Lewiston, Maine, in August, 1916, he said: "I demand as a matter of right that every citizen voting this year shall consider the question at issue, from the standpoint of America and not from the standpoint of any other nation.... The policy of the United States must be shaped to a view of two conditions only. First-with a view of the honor and interest of the United States, and second-with a view to the interest of the world as a whole. It is, therefore, our high and solemn duty, both to prepare our own strength so as to guarantee our own safety, and also to treat every foreign nation in every given crisis as its conduct in that crisis demands. . . . Americanism is a matter of the spirit, of the soul, of the mind; not of birthplace or creed. We care nothing as to where any man was born or as to the land from which his forefathers came, so long as he is whole-heartedly and in good faith an American and nothing else. . . . The policies of Americanism and preparedness taken together mean applied patriotism. Our first duty as citizens of the nation is owed to the United States, but if we are true to our principles, we must also think of serving the interests of mankind at large. In addition to serving our own country, we must shape the policy of our country so as to secure the cause of international right, righteousness, fair play and humanity.

"Do It Now"   321

Our first duty is to protect our own rights; our second, to stand up for the rights of others."

The above quotation seems to me to answer indisputably the mistaken affirmation that "America First" could ever be a selfish slogan.

On October 24, 1916, a letter had been sent, directed to "The Honorable Theodore Roosevelt, en route, Denver, Colorado." This missive was received on the special train from which young Edwin Lewis had just written to his family the stirring letters which I have quoted above. It is an interesting fact that the letter which I am about to give was signed by men the majority of whom had not followed Theodore Roosevelt on his great crusade for a more progressive spirit in American politics. Some of them had agreed with him in 1912, but the majority had felt it their duty to remain inside of the political party to which they had given their earlier faith. Now, in the moment of the great crisis of our nation, these very men turned for leadership to the man whom they realized was in truth the "noblest Roman of them all." The communication ran as follows:

"It is our conviction that no other Presidential campaign in the history of the nation ever presented graver issues or more far-reaching problems than does this. Not only is the domestic welfare of the nation profoundly to be affected by the result, but the honor and the very safety of the Republic are at stake.

In this momentous hour, the vital need is for such a presentation of the issues as will arrest the widest attention and carry the clearest message to the public mind, and this task we commend to your hands. No living American has a greater audience. You have done memorable service to your country in awakening it to a sense of its perils and obligations and you have revealed an unselfish patriotism that makes your voice singularly potent in councils and inspiration. Will you not lend it to the cause once more by addressing the people of the nation from a vantage ground of a great mass meeting in the metropolis? Under these circumstances, a message from Theodore

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