The Evils of Peace
The above is what Your Editor calls an 'anti-peace cartoon'. It first appeared in a paper called the Brooklyn Eagle in 1917. We found it in Cartoons magazine, a commercial publication that was used to sell art lessons. Apparently, in addition to being 'boring', peace, love, and understanding are also unpatriotic.
This obnoxious cartoon and the accompanying rant-y article by the publisher, called 'Our Loyal and Disloyal Citizens', appeared at a time when the US was debating whether to enter the Great War on the Allied side due to problems with German submarines. The Editor will refrain from ranting back on the subject of whether it would not have been better for all concerned if the US had explored other options. Avoiding taking sides would definitely have been better for the state of US democracy, and some possible options might have helped prevent the Second World War. Instead of trying to 'prove' a bunch of counterfactuals, we will content ourselves with reprinting some of this other editor's drivel and making mock.
Our Loyal and Disloyal Citizens
The principal danger to America in the present crisis is from within. More dangerous even than the German agents, the paid spies, and the professional hyphenates1, are those misguided rabbits2, the pacifists. Living in a Utopia of their own creation, they, like the Nikko monkeys3, can see no evil, hear no evil, talk no evil. They are self-centered. They constitute their own little solar systerns around which they revolve4. They demand peace at any price. They care nothing for the rights of the United States or its citizens5. They would as readily take a slap on one cheek as on the other, preferably on both. Trying, as they suppose, to steer the country out of the war shoals, they merely interfere with the pilot. Their course, if pursued, will lead more directly into war than the course charted by President Wilson. Instead of standing behind the president, they drape themselves around his feet. Like Lilliputians, they try to bind the hands of their Gulliver. In congress they oppose universal military training. They block the plans for an increase in the general staff of the army6. This "war with Germany," they say, is a plot hatched by the newspapers and the ammunition interests7.
We have the spectacle of William J. Bryan8, the ardent Chautauquan, wigwagging the kaiser, and trying to tip off President Wilson’s hand. In conspiracy with Dr George Barthelme, the Washington correspondent of the Cologne Gazette9, and Dr. George Kirchwey, the former dean of the law school of Columbia University, the Great Commoner interprets for German ears the chief executive's message to congress. According to Bryan, Mr. Wilson is all bark and no bite10. He doesn't mean what he says. He, too, is a pacifist.
We have the spectacle of Jane Addams, the head of Hull House, a woman whose influence among the foreign population of Chicago is considerable11, going down to Washington to try to get the president to call off his dogs12. Had she been in the pay of the German government she couldn't better have served the kaiser's ends.
We have Stone and La Follette13 in the senate: Kitchin, Mann, Cooper, London, and others in the
house, playing Germany’s game for all they're worth, hampering the president at every opportunity, and deliberately closing their eyes to the danger the country faces today.
Of all the group of so-called pacifists, Henry Ford alone has proved himself a man. He, too,
had dreams of world peace, but he is no longer a visionary. In placing his entire resources at the
disposal of the government without profit, he has proved himself a patriot of the first water14.
The average American citizen who was brought up on "My Country, 'Tis of Thee," and "The Star Spangled Banner," and George Washington, and to whom the Stars and Stripes appear as red, white and blue, instead of red, yellow, and blue15, must have blushed for shame at the sight of these anti-war (and anti-American) demonstrations of German-inspired peace leagues that have been held recently.
Opposed to these cowards and shirkers, these ostriches and bunny rabbits16, are the Americans of German parentage or descent, who, regardless of their love for Germany, will stand by the United States first and last. The rush of aliens for naturalization papers – one of the first results of the break with Germany – doesn't necessarily indicate loyalty on the part of this element of our population17. Loyalty lies deeper. With many of these aliens it was a 'safety first' measure, a measure taken to insure jobs or to avert suspicion18. This class is not included among the real German-.Americans, for whom strong words of encouragement and praise are due.
Editor's Note: This goes on for a bit more. You can read it, if you've a mind to, at this internet locus. You can look at more awful cartoons, too. We really hate this guy. He's a…a bunny rabbit, is what he is. It all goes to show that nothing changes at all. When will we ever learn?