The Trouble with Senators Who Oppose the League of Nations
The trouble with Senators who oppose the League of Nations is that they are thinking of the days that are gone and gone forever. The conquering empires of the world have been wiped out. The fall of Russia and Germany and Austria-Hungary removed from the world the last representatives of the conquering spirit and of autocratic power. The world is now democratic. Senators should cease to turn their eyes to the past and should turn them to the future, and see what we have before us.
The spirit of democracy has come into its own. We have come into a new world. We are about to organize the democracies of the earth to establish law and order among the nations. And we can do it now for the first time in the history of the world. We need take in no despots. We need take into consideration no conquering empire. That day has gone, and we have come into a new era. The senators should realize it. Let them grasp the fact that the spirit of the age is to end conquest. That the spirit of the age is to have the people rule. That the spirit of the age is that government shall be content to serve their own people and not to despoil others. Let them see the New World as it is, and the new spirit which inspires it. Let them appreciate the fact that humanity is not willing to sacrifice itself further, that men and women demand of their government that as the fruit of this terrible war an agreement shall be entered into for the preservation of world peace in the future. If senators will turn from the past towards the future, they will behold a new heaven and a new earth, not a millennium perhaps, but a world in which the affairs of nations are to be administered in justice and reason and humanity. A world in which the chief affair of government shall be peace and development and progress. A world in which man shall attain its highest destiny and happiness. This was impossible in the days of tyrants and autocrats and conquerors, but it is possible in the new age of liberty, statesmanship, and philanthropy.
The late war cost seven million lives, and millions more of cripples. It has destroyed hundreds of towns, it has widowed millions of wives, it has brought in its train the inevitable consequences of war, pestilence, and famine. One of the war diseases alone has cost this country over three hundred thousand lives of the civilian population. It has let loose and inflamed the passions and lusts of man, and crushed and humiliated millions of women. Massacre, torture, and assassinations have accompanied it. Law and order have been overthrown. Bolshevism and anarchy have been profligated. The confidence of men in government has been shaken. It will never be restored until governments devise some way to end war. The League of Nations is that way.