About Me

I am Associate Professor and Chair of the History Department at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth. I am also the Academic Director of the Clemente Course in the Humanities, in New Bedford MA. Author of "Social Security and the Middle Class Squeeze" (Praeger, 2005) and the forthcoming "Saul Alinsky the Dilemma of Race in the Post-War City" (University of Chicago Press), my teaching and scholarship focuses on American urban history, social policy, and politics. I am presently writing a book on home ownership in modern America, entitled "Castles Made of Sand? Home Ownership and the American Dream." I live in Providence RI, where I have served on the School Board since March 2015. All opinions posted here are my own.

Friday, April 30, 2004

A military draft, part 2

I have received lots of email responses to my previous post, on whether we should consider a military draft. below, i've tried to put together my reaction -- incorporating objections, tweaking arguments, and reconsidering some things. thanks, all of you.

thinking about this issue is tying my moral intestines (and to some extent the real ones) in knots. i did say in my piece that a bush victory (or electoral theft) in november changes things for me with regard to the draft and iraq. as i read emails from others like yourself, i'm beginning to move toward the position that there should not be any kind of draft whatsoever for THIS particular conflict -- but that when it is over (or when the US is out), we've got to have some kind of public reckoning, a real discussion of why this war happened, and how we want to orient ourselves to the rest of the world in the era of terrorism. a draft has to be a part of that discussion, i think.

my great fear with the draft (and part of why i'm so conflicted over it) is that the idiocy of patriotism will just make the draft a source of more cannon fodder for the continuation of the same policies. if our leaders are bent on empire, and they are good enough liars and manipulators of political symbols and the reins of government to fool the American people into drafting its children for more wars of pre-emption and messianic destruction, then all a draft will do is accelerate our journey as a nation and a democracy down into the wormhole. I guess i'm betting, hesitantly, on the American people not being so gullible. or, i'm betting on the ability of those who love peace to persuade those who think peace isn't possible. if we have a draft (or even a public discussion of one), it will vastly increase the pressure on our political figures before, during and after any military adventures. and it won't take years, like it did in Vietnam. information from around the world is too readily accessible today, and far more Americans have a built-in skepticism of war, foreign policy, and our 'elected' leaders today than was the case during Vietnam. Congress is not some Solon-like deliberative body; it is, in the main, a group of rich white cowards. they do understand votes, however. for libertarian reasons alone, the possibility of an impending draft will cause the political sh*t to hit the fan, right quick...

and i do want to address a point a number of folks have raised -- do i have the right to discuss a draft as a possibility, when i am past draft age (i'm 37), and my present and future children haven't reached it yet? well, a future draft would certainly touch me in a concrete way: i spend most of my waking hours with young men and women between the ages of 18 and 24 -- hundreds of them every academic year. I become very fond of many of them; remain in touch with many of them, years after they've left school. they babysit my kids; they provide me joy (and frustration!), and give a great deal of meaning to my life. i'm not blind to the human costs of this. but i feel like we who love peace, and who care to trouble those who would rule over us, are stuck between a rock and hard place. if we have to have a military, and must occasionally go to war, how do we do it? Iraq provides us a ringingly clear example of how NOT to do it. how do we avoid future Iraqs?

i do want to be clear that i am not advocating a draft because i think it will end this war, and thus i'm willing to sacrifice the lives of others for this purpose. I have read some people in the anti-war movement who will bluntly argue for the draft as a means to this end. i do happen to think, from observing american history and american politics, that the launching of future wars will have a totally different process (and may not even happen at all, or as frequently) if war automatically triggers a draft. my reasons for considering a draft really have to do with one question: how should a democracy, with a civilian-controlled military, involve itself in modern war? how can we make war a very last resort for our political leaders, and for those american citizens who like their patriotism drenched in the blood of others? how can we ensure that when we do go to war (or fight to defend ourselves), that the reasons for doing so are publicly considered, and that the burden of doing so isn't placed on the backs of the working-class alone? how can we ensure that their deaths don't become anonymous (they won't even let us see the coffins, for god's sake)? or that the actions they take in places halfway across the world are not taken in our name and again anonymously, inspiring hatred of America that blows back to us years down the line, ensuring the repetition of this cycle of death again?

one of the unintended consequences of even discussing a proposed draft is that it might broaden the realization among americans of just how dangerous, unfeeling, and unaccountable this administration is. i can only hope that we can have that debate, and remove him and cheney from office, without actually having to implement a draft. but while i do see some form of draft in the long-term as something we need to consider, if this Administration is re-elected, and it somehow convinced Congress to initiate a draft to continue its prosecution of the war in Iraq, and its policies of pre-emption and empire more generally...well, i'm going to jail, somehow. in vietnam, LBJ and Nixon continued to throw our young people into the volcano long after they knew we couldn't stop the eruptions. we know we can't stop the eruptions in iraq already, before we even have a draft. it would be morally abhorent to initiate a draft while this president is in place, and without a drastic change in policy. but in the future, we DO need, i believe, to have an open and honest conversation in this country about our role in the post-cold war world, and the place of the military within it.

the larger question that we still have to address somehow is this: if we assume, as i think we unfortunately must, that this nation will fight wars in the future (most of them unjustified, if history is a guide), how can we ensure that the decisions are made democratically, that the full moral cost of a possible war is discussed and considered, and that the burden of war isn't carried by a small, unrepresentative, and relatively powerless minority, as it has been in the past? how can we minimize the frequency of American wars, and increase the possibility of solutions to world problems that are peaceful, just and multilateral? i honestly don't know the answer -- or i should say i don't really like the answer i come up with, which is a draft. how does a democracy keep a civilian controlled military, and fight modern wars when necessary? we can't keep on the way things are going now. something has to change. maybe the answer lies outside of all this -- in campaign finance reform, in building alliances between the peace movement and movements for economic justice, in revolution? i'm desperate. we're desperate.

what answer do i really want to give? that i don't accept the premise of the inevitability of war. but realistically, unless and until people like Dennis Kucinich are running this country, i just don't see that happening. we are a long, long way from the kind of cultural and moral transformation in this country that would be needed for us to choose peace, always and everywhere. i don't think a draft is a magic bullet to stop this war, or any other one. we must keep on writing, talking, marching, and going to jail to prevent our leaders addiction to the use of military force to solve all problems from holding sway. i just think that an equitable draft -- even if it is just a possibility -- will force all of us to decide: do we REALLY want to send our kids abroad to kill and die, because our leaders tell us it is patriotic to do so? if there is inevitably a burden to be carried, who should carry it? most Americans seem to be comfortable allowing a volunteer, professional military carry it, and our politicians to keep us blissfully unaware of the moral costs of that burden. but we can't go on like that. i don't know if a draft will stop it, but a public discussion of it might.


Saturday, April 24, 2004

The draft, Iraq, and the role of the military in a democracy (2004)

On the possibility of a draft:

I just came back from hearing a talk by Jonathan Schell, capping a day-long conference on peace and justice sponsored by the American Friends Service Committee here in Providence. the draft came up in virtually every session, and its got me thinking...

as an opponent of the war in iraq, and as a man of the left who is deeply, deeply suspicious both of the viability of military means in pursuit of peaceful and democratic ends, AND of this Administration and its goals at home and abroad, i find myself very conflicted on the issue of the draft.

on the one hand, if it appears (as it does presently, under Bush/Cheney) that the purpose of instituting a draft next year is to better enable the execution and expansion of 1) the policy of pre-emption, and 2) policies based on the assumption that only an American monopoly on global military force (empire, in other words) can provide security and peace...then i will oppose it with every bit of energy, passion and intellect i can muster. 'Starve the beast' may have to take on a different flavor here. Both #1 and #2, as i'm sure everyone reading this knows, are the formally stated pillars of American foreign policy under the current Administration. we might have to somehow throw a monkey wrench into the machine (stop the draft, don't give them the cannon fodder), before it grows too large and inaccessible to be 'monkey-wrenched.' or try to make sure that when the draft does takes place, Bush isn't there to determine how and when our young people will be asked to kill and die...

then again, in an op/ed piece i wrote back before the war started, i argued for a draft.

i have had this discussion with a number of military friends and acquaintances, and all of them have opposed the idea of a draft. why? basically, because they believed that modern war is complex, and should be fought by the 'pros' -- that green draftees will just create a gigantic training headache, making our military cumbersome, instead of quick on its feet (i read 'quick on its feet,' cynically, as a codeword for 'unaccountable to people not in the military').

in the end, i believe that the creation of a professional, all-volunteer military has been bad for American democracy, bad for our foreign policy, and thus bad for countless millions of people around the world who are subject to that policy. in the wake of the vietnam war, when the draft was the focus of so much protest and controversy, many well-intentioned people in Congress and the anti-war movement believed that having a volunteer military would make wars less likely.

this of course has proven disastrously wrong. it has not made American involvement in war less likely. what it has done instead is

1. made American involvement in war more secretive, less transparent
2. greatly strengthened the Imperial Presidency, rather than weakening it
3. removed the decision to go to war from democratic deliberation
4. essentially provided an unaccountable army awaiting its Caesar (who has now arrived)
5. militarized American foreign policy, by weakening public oversight and concern
6. encouraged our leaders to carry out some of their overseas objectives by creating, funding and supporting non-state military actors to do our bidding (Al Qu'eda in Afghanistan being the best example), who have come back to bite us in the butt
7. encouraged our leaders to privatize and outsource military and even diplomatic tasks to private companies beyond the reach of Congress, who are essentially war profiteers -- mercenaries, criminals, really
8. created what is basically an army of economic conscripts, repeating all the errors of the Vietnam-era draft (a class and race skew) without any of the benefits of transparency and public discussion that a wartime draft tends to encourage. do you want to see Bush/Cheney's policy for the working poor? You'll have to travel to Iraq and Afghanistan (and the dozens of other places around the world where our young people are serving) to see it.

one of the things a draft does (theoretically) is ensure that decisions about foreign policy and war take place out in the open, in the bracing air of public deliberation. under a democracy, as long as equality under the law and open access to power exist, citizens do have an obligation to contribute to the common defense (my belief). as long as the draft is fairly administered (as it was not for most of Vietnam), i believe that in the modern world, a draft is an essential part of a civilian-controlled military, which in turn is an essential part of democracy (the 'civilian-controlled' part, that is).

does it rub our libertarian tendencies the wrong way? sure. ironically, however, a universal draft may be a better way to preserve those liberties in the end than a volunteer, professional military, accountable to no one -- other than to Congress, of course, which presently hears only strident and well-funded lobby groups (AIPAC), and defense contractors, on foreign policy and military issues. If millions of Americans are under arms, members of Congress will have little choice but to consider a broader cut of public opinion. can you imagine Congress rolling over as badly as it did in the build-up to this war, if we had a draft (at the time, or in the works)? i can't. at the very least, hearings would have been held to validate or debunk the Administration's case for war, allowing for a real public discussion of whether Bush's radically new plan for American empire is something we want or need. the reality of a draft might have made Bush actually tell the truth from the beginning about the war, or seek international legitimacy for it, or better yet, not launch it at all.

and just in case anyone thinks Vietnam is a counter-example to what i'm saying here, it isn't. popular pressure to pull out of Vietnam was in large part a direct result of the ubiquity (and possibility) of military service among the American middle and working classes. Tom Hayden and Abbie Hoffman didn't force a change in policy. churchmoms, WWII vets, and ordinary Americans worried about the lives of ordinary Americans, and about their own lives, did (and the Vietnamese themselves, of course). a draft doesn't always stop our Presidents from lying about why we need to go to war, but it does make it more likely that the truth will win out eventually.

World War II is an interesting example. while there were some class biases in the draft in World War II (and in the south, racial biases), by and large it was equitably implemented. i submit that widespread participation among the male population in the military during WWII and the decade or so after, had profound (and largely positive) effects.

if you count the peacetime and Korean War drafts, it provided two generations of American men with important experiences that shaped our culture, our foreign policy, and our military in positive ways. the experience of war for a substantial portion of our male citizenry helped to shape broad-based support for the internationalism of American foreign policy during the Cold War, which sought to contain communism, rather than 'pre-empt' it (the former worked eventually; the latter would not have worked, and won't now). It also provided millions of Americans with first-hand knowledge of other countries, other ways of living.

George Carlin once said that 'war is God's way of teaching Americans geography.'

it is of course a truism that those who have seen war will be less likely to support it in the future, but it has some basis in fact. the age group that was consistently most critical (according to polls) of US involvement in Vietnam in the 60's? the WWII generation (not 18-24 year olds, who supported the war in larger numbers than any other age group). the experience of service broadened minds, engendered a sense of national obligation, and encouraged generations of Americans to feel that voting and democratic participation was both their birthright and their obligation (those born in the Twenties, Thirties and Forties vote in higher percentages than any other age group). it also, after the desegregation of the armed forces in the late 40's, gave many Americans their first and only sense of our national diversity -- but also of our commonalities, across lines of race, ethnicity and religion.

the universal draft in WWII played a critical role in the creation of the modern American welfare state, and the post-war middle class. how? by helping to create a sense of common risk and common obligation, it encouraged FDR and Congress to fund the war equitably (through progressive taxation), and to provide returning veterans and their families with some measure of economic and social security upon their return (the GI Bill, creating the first real home-owning, college-educated middle class in American history -- a middle class under siege presently).

when the Iraq war started, we heard a lot of talk of 'supporting the troops.' the premise, of course, was that we lost Vietnam because of noisy dissenters at home, and anti-war protests this time around would lead to the deaths of soldiers, the destruction of military morale, and defeat. that is an inaccurate understanding of Vietnam, but it is also a very limited understanding of the word 'support.' Supporting the troops, at the very least, has to mean not only initiating a public debate and following Constitutional mandates with regard to the declaration of war -- it also means preparing the nation as a whole to join with the soldiers in equally and justly sharing the burdens of a democratically declared war. This means to me, among other things, following past precedent (World War II) and initiating economic and fiscal policies that do this. This would decidedly NOT include a series of tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, and punishing budget cuts in the programs which provide social and economic security for the American working and middle classes -- who provide most of the soldiers, and build most of our weapons. It also shouldn't mean publicly opposing the use of affirmative action -- a policy that while limited, has been incredibly successful in providing equal opportunity for women and minorities. Our military, disproportionately made up of people of color, is the single greatest institutional example of the effectiveness of it. Apparently it’s OK for W to send lots of minorities to kill and die, but it’s not OK to send them to the University of Michigan.

Supporting our troops also means seeing to it that they have jobs, and the means to re-adjust to civilian life upon their de-mobilization. Where will the compassionate conservative support for our troops be in a few years time, when they come back home, and seek employment, a union contract, a safe workplace, a living wage, a labor market and system of higher education free from racial discrimination? History (as well as W's budget) tells us the support of our troops will fall somewhat short of this. Can this still happen to vets if we have a draft? of course. is it less likely? i believe so. social and economic policies to help vets would then become broadly supported, not just temporary assistance to a specialized class. compare the support for Social Security, which virtually all Americans are entitled to, to the support for welfare, which goes to a small, means-tested and largely invisible group that is powerless to affect policy, and to make convincing arguments for a common interest in their lives.

so i think an argument can be made for instituting a draft, both as a means to other good ends, and as an end in itself. we are fast reaching a point of no return in this country.

we can choose empire, or we can choose democracy.

we can't have both. if democracies are going to fight wars, as occasionally they must, they must have a means of waging war that bears some resemblance to the fundamental values and institutions on which democracy is based. as imperfect as it is, a draft is the best means we've come up with.

war, as jimmy carter said, is sometimes a necessary evil. but it is ALWAYS an evil. the decision to engage in it must be made democratically, not by a small group of people in Washington, with a messianic religious bent, and a fundamental lack of intellectual curiousity, moral humility, and respect for the rule of law.

"On Patriotism," a talk presented March 26th, 2003 at St. Al's church at Gonzaga University

"On Patriotism," a talk presented March 26th, 2003 at St. Al's church at Gonzaga University, Spokane WA

A 12 year-old school girl in Maine wrote the following essay last year for her 6th grade class:
“The American flag stands for the fact that cloth can be very important. It is against the law to let the flag touch the ground or to leave the flag flying when the weather is bad. The flag has to be treated with respect. You can tell just how important this cloth is because when you compare it to people, it gets much better treatment. Nobody cares if a homeless person touches the ground. A homeless person can lie all over the ground all night long without anyone picking him up, folding him neatly and sheltering him from the rain.

School children have to pledge loyalty to this piece of cloth every morning. No one has to pledge loyalty to justice and equality and human decency. No one has to promise that people will get a fair wage, or enough food to eat, or affordable medicine, or clean water, or air free of harmful chemicals. But we all have to promise to love a rectangle of red, white, and blue cloth.

Betsy Ross would be quite surprised to see how successful her creation has become. But Thomas Jefferson would be disappointed to see how little of the flag's real meaning remains.”

As an opponent of this war, and an American historian, I have spent a great deal of time recently agonizing over what patriotism demands of us. Like millions around this nation, my acts of protest before the war began have inspired accusations of disloyalty; even within the anti-war movement, many have said that all protests must stop once the first shots are fired – that patriotism demands that we support the troops, and unify behind our leaders and our soldiers. I do not agree. Or, at the very least, I do not share the same definition of patriotism, nor of ‘support.’ Indeed, it is my patriotism that drives me to speak louder now that the war has begun. The logic is simple. If it is right to oppose a wrong when it is being publicly contemplated, how much more important is it to do so when it is in the process of commission? “When a whole nation is roaring Patriotism at the top of its voice,” Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote, “I am fain to explore the cleanness of its hands and the purity of its heart.”

It is not those who protest the war who need to justify themselves. The burden of proof is on the makers of war. As former President Jimmy Carter said recently, “war is sometimes a necessary evil. But it is ALWAYS an evil.” I’d like to share my thoughts on war, patriotism and support of the troops with you this morning. This will not simply be a plea for peace; it will also be a plea to stop THIS war. I can’t help that. I apologize if this talk will seem strident to you, but I believe it is important for those who support this war, and those who oppose it, and those who aren’t sure, to understand how much in common we share.
Why do I oppose this war? There are many reasons, but among the most important is my belief as an American in the rule of law over the rule of force. Under the new Bush Doctrine, a bold military strategy of preemptive attacks–including the possibility of a unilateral nuclear first strike– is intended to prevent any state or group of states from challenging our preeminent role in the world. The war in Iraq is the first application of this doctrine. Preemptive war, however, is unequivocally illegal. This prohibition was incorporated into the United Nations Charter after WWII as the basis for a new system of collective security in which no state retained the unilateral right to attack another–with two specified exceptions: self defense and Security Council authorization.

All of us should consider whether this radical new strategy is good for our country and the world, and whether it best represents what this nation stands for. What would happen in a world stripped of the very laws designed half a century ago to protect humanity from the carnage of unrestrained force? Can pure military might really defend us from evil and secure our freedom at the same time? The passage of the USA-Patriot Act should tell us no.

Before it is too late, we would do well to heed Sir Thomas More’s advice on the rule of law in the play “A Man for All Seasons.”

And when the last law was cut down and the devil turned around on you,
where would you hide, the laws all being flat? Do you really think
that you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then?

Why do I believe that it is a patriotic act to protest against this war? There are two visions of America, I believe, with deep roots in our history. One precedes our founding fathers and finds its roots in the harshness of our puritan past. It is very suspicious of freedom, uncomfortable with diversity, unfriendly to reason, contemptuous of personal autonomy. It sees America exclusively as a religious nation. It views patriotism as akin to allegiance to God. It secretly adores coercion and conformity. Despite our Constitution, despite the legacy of the Enlightenment, it appeals to millions of Americans and threatens our freedom, in peace and wartime.

The other vision finds its roots in the spirit of our founding revolution, and in the words of the Declaration of Independence. It loves freedom, encourages diversity, embraces reason and affirms the dignity and rights of every individual. It sees America as a moral nation, neither completely religious nor completely secular. It defines patriotism neither as blind obedience to government, nor as submissive worship to flags and anthems, but rather as love of one's country and one's fellow citizens (all over the world), and as loyalty to the principles of justice and democracy.

The admirable obligation human beings feel to their neighbors, their loved ones, and their fellow citizens, all too often becomes confused with blind obedience to government. Most of the evils in world history have come from obedience, not disobedience; from conformity, not from dissent. Unity, stability and order are not the only desirable conditions of social life, even in wartime. There is also justice, meaning the fair treatment of all human beings, the equal right of all people to life, liberty and prosperity. Absolute obedience to law may bring order temporarily, but it may not bring justice. And when it does not, patriotism may require us to disobey the law; and citizens may protest, may rebel, may cause disorder, as the American revolutionaries did in the eighteenth century, as antislavery people did in the nineteenth century, as Chinese students did in the last century, and as anti-war protesters are doing now.

It is this second vision which is my vision, my patriotism. It is the vision of a free society. We must be bold enough to proclaim it, and strong enough to defend it against all its enemies, even during wartime. When he spoke out against the Vietnam war, Martin Luther King explained his protest simply: “I criticize America because I love her. I want her to stand as a moral example to the world.” If we do not speak out in protest, King continued, “we shall surely be dragged down the long, dark and shameful corridors of time reserved for those who possess power without compassion, might without morality, and strength without sight.” With Dr. King, I claim, without pretense or apology, a place in the long and honorable tradition of those who demand that American ideals apply to all and oppose the efforts of those, from whatever quarter, who try to reserve them for privileged groups and ignoble causes. The most effective way to love our country, I submit, is to fight like hell to change it. Through most of U.S. history, this brand of patriotism was indispensable to the cause of social change. As the poet Langston Hughes wrote, "Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed. Let it be that great strong land of love where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme; that any man be crushed by one above."

Given this vision of patriotism, what does ‘support the troops’ mean to me? First, supporting the troops means preparing the nation as a whole to join with the soldiers in equally and justly sharing the burdens of a democratically declared war (though this is not, as of yet, a ‘declared’ war). This should include an ongoing public debate over the rightness, the wrongness, and the feasibility of this war. This means to me, among other things, following the precedent of WWII and initiating economic and fiscal policies that call on all of us to sacrifice, and that support the troops and their families. This would decidedly NOT include a series of tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, and punishing budget cuts in the programs which provide social and economic security for the American working and middle classes -- who provide most of the soldiers, and build most of our weapons.

Second, Supporting our troops means seeing to it that they have jobs, and the means to re-adjust to civilian life upon their de-mobilization. Recently, the Republican majority on the House Budget Committee voted for $25 billion in cuts in the Department of Veterans Affairs budget, and a $204 million cut in the Impact Aid program that supports the education of soldiers' children. 163,000 veterans of the Gulf War continue to suffer from largely unaddressed illnesses from exposure to the fall out from destroyed chemical weapons, ammunition depots, oil fires, depleted uranium and experimental drugs. I question where the compassionate conservative support for our troops will be in a few years time, when they come back home, and seek employment, a union contract, a safe workplace, a living wage, and a labor market and system of higher education free from racial discrimination. History (as well as the President’s budget) tells us the support of our troops will fall somewhat short of this, unless we speak up for them. Supporting the troops doesn’t mean abject silence. It means seeing them as real human beings, with families, with fears, with rights, with opinions, and with moral consciences which will be stretched to the limit by the nature of modern war. And as human beings who will hopefully live long lives upon their return.

Last, and most important: supporting the troops means speaking up on their behalf, and demanding that our elected representatives do so as well. The men and women in our armed forces are duty-bound to follow the orders of our commander-in-chief. That is their job; it is their citizenship duty, and they should be honored and respected for fulfilling it, in an age when too many of us see democracy as a spectator sport. I salute them for their sacrifice on behalf of our nation. I thank them for their willingness to risk their lives. Even as I praise our servicemen and women, however, I regret that the President of the United States has ordered them to start a preemptive war fought without international support. A preemptive, unilateral war is unworthy of the honor and tradition of the U.S. military. Our armed forces should not be invading and occupying other countries. In a democracy, it is we the people that send them to war; it is we, the people, who choose when to bring them home. They die in our name, and they kill in our name. To attempt to cut off public discussion once the war starts – or even to question whether the public has any legitimate say at all – both undermines our essential values, and jeopardizes our soldiers far more than any protest ever could. We cannot shirk this responsibility, nor can we allow others to fulfill it for us. We must speak up for the soldiers, regardless of what we think about the war itself. Do you want to know how to support the troops in wartime? Do not be a cheerleader. Be a citizen. Speak up for them, in all their diversity. When we silence any of us, we silence them as well.

The idea of 'support our troops' is troubling for those who oppose this war, because it is being used by many to hammer dissenting voices into silence. Given my definition of support above, I intend to get louder, not quieter, once the war begins. It is my patriotic duty to do so.

I would like to conclude with the words of Mark Twain:

“Each of you, for himself, by himself and on his own responsibility, must speak. And it is a solemn and weighty responsibility, and not lightly to be flung aside at the bullying of pulpit, press, government, or the empty catchphrases of politicians. Each must for himself alone decide what is right and what is wrong, and which course is patriotic and which isn't. You cannot shirk this and be a man. To decide against your convictions is to be an unqualified and inexcusable traitor, both to yourself and to your country, let men label you as they may. If you alone of all the nation shall decide one way, and that way be the right way according to your convictions of the right, you have done your duty by yourself and by your country- hold up your head! You have nothing to be ashamed of.”