Summons to Duty
The war had set a great task for statesmanship. The best thought of the world demanded that a serious attempt be made by the leaders of the allied governments to formulate a treaty of peace which would prevent the recurrence of war. Every rightful impulse of the human heart was in accord with that purpose. For the first time in the turbulent annals of the human race, such a project had become feasible. The destruction of militarism, the crumbling of thrones, the disillusion of dynasties, the worldwide appreciation of the inner meaning of war, and the final triumph of democracy, had at last made it possible to realize the dearest dream of man since the dawn of civilization. We had a right to expect the sympathetic support for such a policy from all patriotic Americans, quite irrespective of political affiliations.
At this critical juncture in human affairs, Republican leadership completely failed. In the face of the greatest problem in the world, Republican leaders saw fit to remember only that they were Republican. Many times in history, men have had an opportunity to speak for the freedom of a people or of a country, but never before, since time began, have statesmen been afforded the opportunity to speak for the freedom of the world.
Let the true purpose of our party be clearly understood. We stand squarely for the same ideals of peace as those for which the war was fought. We do not propose to submit to the whittling down of the peace treaty to the vanishing point. We stand, without flinching, in support of the only feasible plan for peace and justice. We seek to apply the principals of humanity to the problems of the world. We are neither discouraged nor disheartened by the difficulties with which we have to contend. We do not turn our back upon the history of the last three years. We seek no avenue of retreat. We insist that the forward course is the only righteous course. We decline to compromise our principles, or pawn our immortal souls for selfish purposes. We rely upon the people of America. They are craving for a renewed demonstration of the ideals that are to pervade the prophecies of world adjustments and domestic relationships. They seek for an expression of their own spirit of liberalism — of the high progressive aspirations which are astir everywhere throughout the world.
Our cause constitutes a summons to duty. We seek to reestablish the fruits of victory. We seek to reinstate the good faith of our country, and to restore it to its rightful place among the nations of the earth. To lose an election fighting for such a faith is not a defeat, it is a triumph that carries with it the immortal garland of victory. But we shall not fail. The heart of America stirs again — the ancient faith revived. The immortal part of man speaks for us. The services of the past, the sacrifices of the war, the hopes of the future, constitute a spiritual force gathering about our banners. We shall release again the checked forces of civilization, and America shall take up once more the leadership of the world.