Never

World War I anti-war poster.

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Just what the hell does “NEVER AGAIN!” mean? WW1 built the military-industrial complex and destroyed American idealism. Although Woodrow Wilson issued his Fourteen Points, his view of a post-war world that could avoid another terrible conflict, he also pushed the Espionage Act of 1917 and the Sedition Act of 1918 through Congress to suppress anti-British, pro-German, or anti-war opinions. In 1919, during the bitter fight with the Republican-controlled Senate over the U.S. joining the League of Nations, Wilson collapsed with a debilitating stroke. He refused to compromise, effectively destroying any chance for ratification. The League of Nations was established anyway, but the United States never joined. A sick and failing Wilson was battered down by the forces of distrust and greed led by Republican Senator Henry Cabot Lodge. Lodge appealed to the patriotism of American citizens by objecting to what he saw as the weakening of national sovereignty: “I have loved but one flag and I can not share that devotion and give affection to the mongrel banner invented for a league.” Lodge was no rampant xenophobe, remarking once that “It [the U.S. flag] is the flag just as much of the man who was naturalized yesterday as of the man whose people have been here many generations,” BUT Lodge, along with Theodore Roosevelt, was a supporter of “100% Americanism. If a man is going to be an American at all let him be so without any qualifying adjectives; and if he is going to be something else, let him drop the word American from his personal description.”


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