Americanism (Wood)

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Americanism
by Leonard Wood
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Americanization must be taken up earnestly and systematically. America first must be stamped upon every heart. There should be but one language in the public grade schools—the language of the Declaration of Independence, of Abraham Lincoln, of Theodore Roosevelt. A common language is one of the strongest influences for building up a spirit of national solidarity. We must emphasize that hand in hand, with equality of privilege and opportunity, goes equality of obligation in war and in peace, in fair weather and in storm.

There is no room in this country for any flag except our own. There is no room for the Red flag. It is opposed to everything our government stands for. It stands for anarchy, chaos, and ruin. Smash it! True liberty is found within the law. Law and order are the foundation on which rests business, confidence, and prosperity, without which there cannot be prosperous labor conditions, and without these we cannot have increased efficiency, and that increased production which is a great remedy for the high cost of living.

The war is over. We are confronted with the problems of peace, and organization for the extension of our trade. We must spread the war burden over a longer period of years. We must relieve business of any taxation which strangles enterprise. We must look to the establishment of a merchant marine, the maintenance of a small but highly efficient army and a firstclass , every-ready navy, and the development of a sound policy of national defense—a policy which places the obligation of service in war squarely upon all classes of our citizens.

This country must never be allowed to fall into such a condition of helplessness that it cannot immediately become a force for right. We want peace. We believe in arbitration. We shall have more of peace, and more successful arbitration, if we are not only just and righteous, but also strong. We must be prepared to meet the organized strength of wrong with a [desperate] strength of right. We must cultivate the spirit of service and sacrifice. The motto of every American should be: I serve. In considering the questions of labor and property, we should remember the words of Abraham Lincoln: "Let not him who hath no house pull down the house of his neighbor, but rather let him industriously strive to build one for himself, thus by example, showing confidence that his own, when built, shall stand."

Let us do all we can to help labor. Give it a square deal—an honest and generous wage for an honest day's work. Labor is neither a commodity or a chapel; it's human. Let us inject more of the human element into our dealings with labor and with those of others. Remember, you cannot legislate this into the souls of men. Without it, there never can be harmony, cooperation, and the progress we want.

Let us build up an intense American spirit—not selfish, but helpful to a world in trouble, backed for the right kind of an American conscience. Avoid loose-fibered internationalism as you avoid death, for it means national death. America has a great mission in the world, one which she can only perform by being a strong, united, upstanding people.