I Dare Say – Look to the 11 million (3-6-43)

The Pittsburgh Press (March 6, 1943)


Look to the 11 million

By Florence Fisher Parry

Eleven million men in the Armed Forces: the most potent political power ever to be snapped to dispense the future of this country.

All over the world they are hearing – from the peoples of other countries – about their President, who has become to the occupants of those countries the most almighty figure of benevolence and hope ever to sit in the White House. Yes, I am thinking of Washington and Lincoln and Wilson. Their influence, however benign, did not extend so far nor touch so many people.

Whatever we on the home front may think, whether or not we consider that the President deserves this reputation, it is his to enjoy.

He is now the Commander-in-Chief of THIS generation of voters. And THIS generation of voters is going to decide whether our two-party system and limited tenure of office in the White House are to endure. It is one of the most vital decisions ever to be made in this Republic.

What is being done to influence this potential voting army of 11 million men?

They are far from home. They are far from the domestic issues confronting our voting population on the home front. They hear vaguely of the farm problem and labor problems which are giving us such a headache. They hear very little about the confusion and unrest which exists in Congress and in the minds of the home front rank and file. They are thus supported in their belief that all goes well under the paternal dispensations of their President.

When they move out of the country this conviction becomes even more deeply rooted. The very name Roosevelt is a bright legend, it is known and loved in the furthermost outposts of the world. So, the myth takes new hold on them. It is easy for them to imbibe some of the hero-worship which seems to exist everywhere abroad.

A fourth?

So, when the question of a fourth term comes up, it seems to them a natural consequence.

I have talked with many of our boys returned from camp and from actual service in combat. THEY ALL – without exception – say, in substance:

Well, why NOT let our President finish the job? He’s the best able, he’s had more experience.

And you know how their ballot is going to be cast.

Never in the history of the world – yes, the world – has ANY man been given the opportunity to advance his popularity as has President Roosevelt.

Of these 11 million voters, how many even remember our having another President? Franklin D. Roosevelt celebrates his TENTH anniversary in the White House. To our boys from 18 to 25, this is a lifetime! They were little boys, 8, 10 years old, when he came into office. They have been conditioned to him. His unending term is not unique to them. THEY HAVE KNOWN NO OTHER.


So, the issue of a fourth term is no issue to them at all. THAT issue was lost to America in November 1940. Now we see that it was one of the great lost causes in our history. Perhaps the greatest.

But there are those of us still remaining who, when we pledge allegiance to our flag, resolve that it will stand for THE REPUBLIC, for the two-party system.

How we will manage to get our declaration over to those 11 million armed men, I don’t know. Without the support of at least half of them, our cause is lost.


I find her writings to be very thoughtful in asking critical questions that need to be asked, but also timeless in application.