Letters from readers (1-21-41)

The Pittsburgh Press (January 21, 1941)

Defense should not be an “emotional orgy,” she argues

Editor, The Pittsburgh Press:

I have always admired Mrs. Walter Ferguson’s good sense but last Wednesday my esteem for her was somewhat lessened. She requested that as the men are being mobilized for defense, the women also be mobilized. Quoting Mrs. Ferguson:

Besides, women and girls are clamoring to be mobilized. They want to do something exciting, spectacular and patriotic.

This exciting and spectacular patriotism is the crux of the whole preparedness program. Our enthusiasm arises not from deep seated and sane patriotism but from the desire for excitement and spectacle. All of us approve of defense, but many of us do not like the emotional orgy in which people are indulging and excusing it in the name of patriotism. Defense problems are serious matters which will not attain their proper end until all such razzle dazzle has subsided.

Defense is no picnic. It means hard work. It means ‘work and sweat and blood and tears.’ The sooner we can squelch those people who support preparedness and war measures for their emotional values the safer this country will be.

Our greatest patriots are behind the plows of our farms and behind the machines of our industry but not making exciting speeches about our duty to save every country. The people who are saving our democracy seldom use the word.


Says Gallup poll errs on Irish aid issue

Editor, The Pittsburgh Press:

I would like to know where Mr. Gallup got his authority to speak for the American people. He says 63% of the American people. He says 63% of the American people would like to see Ireland grant Britain the naval bases.

I have a very wide acquaintance and I have yet to meet one individual who was asked to vote on that issue.

I would like to inform Mr. Gallup that the Irish have made a very intelligent survey of the risks and have made a decision that none other has the right to make for them. They know without being told what war is, after over 700 years of it.

Ireland, unlike some other countries, has had too much experience of the reality of oppression at the hands of one of the participants in this conflict, to be terrified by the suggestion that she may be a victim of oppression by the other. To that order of fear seven centuries of physical and economic terrorism has made her immune.

Mr. Gallup, please do not underestimate our intelligence.

7136 Monticello St.