Rule of Standpat Guard Near?
To the Editors of the CRIMSON:
Mr. Whittlesey, in his reply to my article of October 27, suggested "that its effectiveness depends largely on overlooking phases of those topics which it touches." If so, let me point out some of the phases overlooked even by Mr. Whittlesey. First, we have that recent and remarkable statement by Mr. Hughes to this effect: "My conception of the Presidency differs absolutely from that of Mr. Wilson. I look upon the President as the administrative head of the government. He looks upon the President as primarily the political leader and lawmaker of the nation." And they say Mr. Hughes means what he says!
To all those who have feared that not Mr. Hughes but the old standpat guard will rule the Republican party if put into power, this statement is undeniable confirmation of their fears: Mr. Hughes will not lead. He will sit back and let Congress in its infinite wisdom legislate or not legislate as the spirit moves it!
We must look then to the committee on naval affairs, headed by that famous "landlubber", William Alden Smith, who, in all seriousness, during the Titanic inquiry, asked such questions as "Did the boat go down by front or the bow?" and "Why didn't the passengers go into the water-tight bulkheads to keep from drowning?" for the continuance of our naval policy, which Mr. Whittlesey is afraid to leave to the party that put into law the naval bill--and to Boise Penrose and Joseph Fordney of "special interest" fame for the "fair and honest" tariff. And as to foreign affairs, they will be in control of such men as James Mann and Henry A. Cooper, of Wisconsin, both of whom voted for the McLemore Resolution, to abrogate American rights!
All the experience of Mr. Roosevelt and Mr. Wilson as leaders and Mr. Taft as an administrator seems to be lost on Mr. Hughes, or else judicial temperament prefers the Taft type of administration.
In regard to Mexico, Mr. Whittlesey again assumes that Huerta could have accomplished the impossible, if only he had been recognized, and declares for "legal insistence upon our rights." But as the New Republic of November 4 puts it: "He (Hughes) says he will protect American property abroad. Will he? Will he collect a usurious loan forced on a bankrupt government? If not, why not? If an American bribes a Latin American official and secures title to some enormous concession, will Mr. Hughes regard that as a right forever bound up with the honor of the United States?" What America wants is not the mere reiteration from Mr. Hughes that he will protects "rights"--but the statement of a policy. Does the fact that Mexico is struggling for self-government and freedom from capitalistic and aristocratic oppression, convey anything to him? Does he see in the Monroe Doctrine any responsibility of America to encourage just government and freedom in Latin American nations?
The same conception of rights has kept Mr. Hughes from helping us formulate a policy in regard to the European war. The sum total of Mr. Whittlesey's argument is that we would have obtained our pledge from Germany a little sooner under Mr. Hughes, and that we will succeed in "gaining fair treatment from England for our mails and cargoes." Just how, he neglects to state, but since we have already done everything but use force, economic or military, the intimation is that Mr. Hughes will do that! What a cheerful prospect this coercion of England for those of us who believe the Allies are right, and that our differences over property rights can be settled after the war, if need be, as the Alabama claims were settled, by arbitration! A. G. PAINE '17