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Word Count: 3,630
Lead this people into war and theyll forget there was ever such a thing as tolerance To fight you must be brutal and ruthless and the spirit of ruthless brutality will enter into the very fiber of national life infecting the Congress the courts the policeman on the beat the man in the street It is one of historys crazy things that Woodrow Wilson who was re- elected as a peace candidate in 1916 led America into the First World War With the help of a propaganda device that was unmatched in world history Wilson forged a nation of immigrants into a fighting whole A check of public opinion before the war propaganda efforts during the war and the endurance of propaganda in peacetime raise significant questions about the viability of democracy as a governing regulation Like an undercurrent Americas motion toward war was subtle and powerful According to the peace lover Randolph Bourne war sentiment spread gradually among various intelligent groups With the aid of Roosevelt wrote Bourne the murmurs became a monotonous chant and finally a chorus so mighty that to be out of it was at first to be disreputable and finally almost obscene Once the war was underway conflict was basically impossible If you believed our going into this war was a mistake wrote The Nation in a post-war editorial if you held as President Wilson did early in 1917 that the ideal outcome would be peace without victory you were a traitor Forced to stand quietly on the sidelines while their neighbors ran towards war many pacifists would have agreed with Bertrand Russell that the greatest difficulty was the mental one of resisting mass suggestion of which the force becomes terrific when the whole nation is in a state of violent excitement This wild support for the war was specifically distinguished in light of the fact that Wilsons re-election had been widely seen and understood as a vote for peace
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