The Pittsburgh Press (January 17, 1941)
HAVE THEY HEARD YOU CORRECTLY?
Around Congress these days, we are told, you hear many such statements as this:
I think this Lend-Lease Bill goes too far. And I don’t like it. But I think my people back home want me to vote for it. Just look at this Gallup poll; it says that 60% of the American people think it is more important to help England than it is to keep out of war ourselves, even if in helping England, we take the risk of getting into war. I’m beginning to believe that my people back home are ready to go to war.
With due deference to the Gallup poll, we do not believe that a majority of Americans actually favor taking steps which will get us into war, or that a majority realize that some of the steps advocated would almost inevitably mean war. We know that American sentiment is practically unanimous in favor of Britain, and in favor of giving all help to the British short of war. Since no overt act has been committed against our neutrality, and since we anyway have as yet precious few planes and guns to fight with, we think the American people are too hard-headed to commit the folly of wilfully plunging into war.
But the important point is that many Congressmen have begun to believe that their constituents are losing their ardor for peace. And Congressmen usually vote the way they think their constituents want them to vote.
So if you who read this – you who are voters – don’t want to get into war and don’t want Congress to pass legislation that is likely to get us into war, then it is time for you to advise your Senators and Representatives of your opinions and wishes. It is time to invest 3¢ in postage, or the price of a telegram to Washington. If you fail to let them know how you feel, and they happen to vote contrary to your desires, then don’t blame them.