PATRIOTISM STRAIGHTENERS

This week has been set aside as Education Week; teachers are urged to impress upon their pupils minds the undesirability of certain kinds of citizens. The bogy of the constitution-destroyer is to be popped out before the terrified school-children. The were-wolf of radicalism will be made to howl again across the barren steppes of the American desert. The generation at school will learn by rote that the penalty of thinking further or faster than their sainted ancestors is "death, destruction, poverty, starvation, disease, and anarchy." George Washington, himself a radical and revolutionist, will be summoned from his grave to defend the constitutional guarantees of "life, liberty, justice, security, and opportunity." The American Legion, that distinguished organ of intellectuality, and toleration, will furnish speakers ad libitum for mass meetings.

The omniscient authors of this outrage upon tolerant intelligence have overlooked certain matters which might have advanced public enlightenment more than the hate-songs of these blasphemous preverters of American liberties they do not realize that each man is no citizen of the world as well as of the United States; that six hundred thousand people, die annually from diseases preventable by public cooperation; that lawless murder has killed in the last ten years more Americans than all five foreign wars. But the perpetrators of the childlike insult to adult intelligence are not interested in real problems, they want only to affright the masses and enhance the importance of their own position as defenders of those traditions which they tacitly assume the people are too stupid or too indifferent to preserve.