TAYLOR FAVORS AID TO BRITAIN AND LASHES OUT AT ISOLATIONIST VIEWS
Points To Presidential Election As Proof That He Speaks For America
"The mass of Americans, given a full opportunity to judge, have rejected the position of the extreme isolationists," Charles H. Taylor, associate professor of History and tutor in the Department of History, argued in a letter printed in the New York Times recently. His argument was directed against an unnamed newspaper editor.
Professor Taylor observed of isolationists that "they believed that we must choose between the risks of total isolation in a world of dictators and the risks involved in giving major aid to the British Commonwealth of Nations, the one remaining democratic force that stands between us and fascism. Either course risks war," he observed.
No Issue on Policy
Isolation policies were not represented in the recent Presidential election, Professor Taylor wrote, although a group of isolationists supported Willkie. He maintained that "the campaign was not waged on the issue of isolation vs. war because the responsible American leaders, and most Americans, believed that there is no such issue."
The editorial which was refuted, accused America of "leaving the meaning of self-government in the ditch," and that the "real issue" was whether a policy leading the country into war should be continued. Hence the responsibilities of self-government have been surrendered, the editor deduced.
Professor Taylor replied by pointing out that "political campaigns have often failed to focus the vote on what later became clear as the underlying issue; the campaigns of 1860 and 1916 are examples in point, and on the editor's criteria we have abandoned the democratic process long ago."
When the editorial referred to "a new fashion called the democratic process." Professor Taylor recalled the dictum of former French premier Laval that "Democracy is dead the world over." He hoped that the isolationists would face the decision of the majority of Americans in the spirit of democracy. He declared that the "extreme isolation argument" had been fully heard in Congress, on the radio, and in the press.
Isolation support of candidate Willkie was without reason. Professor Taylor maintained, because "from the isolationist standpoint, the real sinner was surely Mr. Willkie." It is the duty of the opposition, he explained, to open up the fundamental issues, yet Mr. Willkie ignored the issue that was so plain to isolationists.