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America First

( Originally Published 1927 )


This is the season when Young America celebrates the glorious deeds of the forefathers, when they cut the leading-strings that bound them to the Old World, and stepped forth with the independence of manhood.

It took Rome five hundred years, five centuries of war, intrigue and arrogance, to overspread Southern Europe. In a little more than one century America has grown to a magnitude in area and perhaps in population also, equal to that of Rome in its most magnificent days.

" Civis Romanus sum!" was the proudest boast that could fall from the lips of man at the beginning of the Christian era. Is there to-day an American who rates his citizenship in the Great Republic at a lower value than Roman freedom nineteen hundred years ago?

The day for " spread-eagle " brag is long past, but there is no reason why we should hesitate to say what not we alone but all the people of the world believe, that it is the destiny of this country to become the greatest, the strongest, the wealthiest, the most self-supporting of all the nations of the earth. It is already the greatest self-governing community the world has ever seen.

How can we make it greater ? By standing together as Americans. We shall not magnify, but shall belittle ourselves, if we swagger before our neighbors—using bravado for the strong, and insolence in our treatment of the weak. But we should take American views instead of party views, when questions arise between this government and others.

The motto " America against the world " would be a contemptible motto. Yet is it not better to adopt even such a motto than to take the side of the world against America, or to be indifferent when the interests of 0ne's own country are assailed?

The Fourth of July is a good time for us all to resolve that we will be Americans at heart. Not that we will build up our own country on the ruins of others, but that when there is a clashing of interests those of our native land shall have our hearty support.

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