It is reassuring to be reminded that Harvard still resents the more blatant forms of jingoism. The Liberal Club by energetic canvassing collected an impressive number of signatures--well over a thousand--for removing the Hearst-Metrotone newareel from the University Theater, and the management readily complied with popular opinion.
The Boston "American" and its sister sheets will continue to appear; pronunciations from San Simion will continue to influence the beliefs of large numbers of citizens. Nevertheless, Harvard no longer gives unqualified consent by silence. It is true that in the future many battleships with fluttering flags will progress across the silver screen accompanied by the emotion-filled voice of a narrator; but some of the spectators will check the patriotic threbbing of their pulses and consider--perhaps--the diplomatic or financial corollaries of the spectacle.
In circulating the petition, the Liberal Club made no extravagant claims. The calmness of the approach explains to a large extent its encouraging results. Direct action, however minor, combating the current tendency towards exaggerated "Americanism," is definitely valuable--more so than volumes of speeches. A petition has a dramatic appeal that literary efforts can never achieve.