Editorial: Let Congress vote (10-21-41)

The Pittsburgh Press (October 21, 1941)


Let Congress vote

By Mrs. Walter Ferguson

Dr. Gallup’s poll says that a final check-up on President Roosevelt’s “shoot at sight” order indicates that its sentiment is widely approved by the American people. If that’s the case, I say we should do the honorable thing and let war be voted by Congress as well as by Dr. Gallup.

One of my favorite publications, The New Republic, with whose views I often violently disagree, is positively yowling for battle (it’s interesting to notice how much louder its yowls, and those of other leftish papers, have become since Russia is involved). And a great many thinkers and leaders are doing the same. We must be convinced that the time for a showdown has come.

There should be no serious objection to a Congressional vote on “shoot at sight,” and for the sake of unity it ought to be taken. By clarifying the atmosphere, those citizens – and I am proud to be one of them – who still oppose involvement in foreign wars would be relieved of a burden. When the will of the people is made known by constitutional methods, we can pitch in to help the movement without betraying our principles.

When, for example, Miss Thompson says we should “get into the war, not only to defend the United States but in defense of humanity, for the noblest of causes and the loftiest of aims,” what’s the comeback?

Even the old Crusaders didn’t take in that much territory, but by any opposition to such a laudable program the plain citizen who knows that he doesn’t know everything is stamped as a milksop or a craven.