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Foreign Secretary of the British Government declared: "Brute force is what they fear, and only brute force enlisted in their behalf will give them the security of which they feel the need." He was speaking for peace. A short time before this a noted American general publicly declared: "If for one moment you remove force as the mainstay of government, that moment the civilization of 2000 years disappears like an exploded soap-bubble." He was He was speaking for war.
But here you have the doctrine from both sides, the doctrine which has lately reduced a continent to one weltering mass of human misery, still claiming to be the stay and prop of civilization, still accepted as the basis of peace and of war. Did Bernhardi claim anything different or anything more? Did Cæsar or Napoleon build upon any different theory? Does the law of the jungle rest upon any different basis? I utterly reject the doctrine that force is the mainstay of government. Unfortunately it still has its place in organized society, but it is incidental. It is subordinate to a higher and more enduring power, and should always be regarded and treated as such. The fleeing criminal and the pursuing sheriff are but an incident in the life of the countless millions whose devotion to order and obedience to law make organized society possible. We see only the criminal and the sheriff, and overlook the silent, majestic force which finds expression in millions of homes and in the daily occupations of the people and through which alone society is held together. If it were not for the love and loyalty of our people to our
country, this Government would crumble in a night, and our army and navy would go with it.
We have reached a point where it seems to me there is no alternative. We shall either change our faith, or civilization will experience the crash which has twice before overtaken it. After 2000 years of this worship of force, after 2000 years of this teaching and of the practice which flows from such teaching, what are the results, what are the fruits? If any one is familiar with the vernacular of hell, let him undertake to paint the picture. Human tongue is inadequate to the task. First, a debt of $350,000,000,000, resting like an eternal mortgage-for it will never be paid-upon the brains and energies of the human family, driving men and women on to days and nights of ceaseless and fruitless toil. Nations rich, marvelously rich, in national resources, now on the very verge of bankruptcy, and still laying on like a burning lash upon the backs of their peoples, heavier and still heavier burdens. Hospitals from Leningrad and Berlin to San Francisco and Peking, crowded with the diseased, the maimed and the insane. Families broken and scattered, states dismembered, peoples oppressed, babes born prematurely old and cursed with inherited disease, communities visited with strange epidemics and incurable afflictions, and finally every government, in the face of all this, now searching for more deadly and destructive means of indiscriminate murder; these are the fruits of this worship of force, this urge for blood. I maintain that the human family cannot carry the creed. It is undermining and de
There is another issue which is now confronting the American people. It is that of supporting law and order, or of preaching nullification and anarchy. Here again it is a question of loyalty to the Constitution and to the nation.
Perhaps no provision of the Constitution ever went into that instrument after more consideration and more deliberation, more agitation, more discussion, than the Eighteenth Amendment. Thirty-three states prior to its adoption, had established state-wide prohibition; the subject had been discussed among and before the people for the last fifty years; every state legislature had adopted the principle in some form or other. Finally, the amendment came before Congress, was discussed in both bodies of Congress, went to the respective legislatures of the states, was considered by the legislatures, and ratified by all the states except two. Certainly, no one can contend that this provision of the Constitution is there by accident. Certainly, they cannot successfully contend that it went there without proper discussion and consideration. The amendment is there as the deliberate, expressed will and wish and purpose of the American people. It carries the same sanctity and the same force as any other provision of the Constitution. It is there, and so long as it remains there, it is vital to the cause of good government, to the cause of
constitutional government, and to the cause of law and order, that it be lived up to and maintained in all its integrity. There can be no more vital problem presented to a free people than the problem of whether or not they can hold and maintain the Constitution of which they have deliberately written.
What did this this constitutional amendment do and propose to do? It established, in the first place, a great national policy, the policy that intoxicating liquors should not be manufactured, sold or transported throughout the United States, or any part of it; that they should neither be imported nor exported. Here, therefore, was a national policy declared and written into the fundamental law as the deliberate, the unmistakably expressed will and wish of the people of the United States. The question presented therefore is a greater question than that of prohibition. Important as the question of prohibition is, the question that is now presented is the enforcement of the amendment, the higher and bigger and broader question of whether we, as a free people, can maintain and enforce the provisions of the Constitution as they have been written. That involves the whole question of constitutional integrity, of constitutional morality-indeed, of the ultimate success of free government itself. Let us view it from that standpoint as we consider the question.
But the constitutional provision went further than the mere declaration of a national policy. It declared, or granted, the power to both the State and the National Government
to execute and make effective that national policy. It gave concurrent power to the State and to the National Government to see that that policy was made effective. It did not leave it to the National Government. It did not withdraw from the states the powers which they had had and lodge them in the National Government; but after declaring a national policy, it placed the obligation upon both the State and the National Government alike to enforce it. There has been much discussion about the duty of the State under these circumstances. It is a subject about which earnest and able men may differ. But the discussion has seemed to me to proceed on too narrow and too technical a plane. It is not only a question of what the State is legally bound to do, or what it may be compelled to do, but what the State as an integral part of the American Union and acting in the integrity and purposes of that Union should do. Certainly we cannot mandamus a state to pass a law or to execute or enforce a law. But there is an infinitely more compelling power calling the State into action, and that is the fact that the State is an integral part of the American Union. The whole purpose, the very existence of the Union requires and depends on concerted action in carrying out the aims and purposes of the Union as expressed in the Federal Constitution. We live under two sovereignties. We seek to combine and utilize local and national interests in one grand purpose. We are endeavoring in this way to work out the great problem of representative government. Is not every state a part, and anxious to be considered
a part of that purpose? Is not every state interested and deeply concerned in working out that problem? Is not every state bound in the most solemn way to contribute to the fullest extent of its ability to the solution of that problem? Who wants to be considered a slacker in the most sublime task ever undertaken in the affairs of government-that of demonstrating that a people may govern themselves, govern under established law and in the spirit of regulated liberty? Does any one think such a task possible of achievement, if sovereign states withdraw or withhold their most zealous support of the supreme law of the land or any part of it? Forget for a moment that the Eighteenth Amendment covers the question of prohibition and think of it only as a part of the Charter under which we live and to which we owe allegiance and support, and how plainly the duty of every individual and of every state appears!
If some one thinks the Eighteenth Amendment is unwise and desires to come out before the American people and advocate its being taken out of the Constitution, neither you nor I can criticize him; that is a right which he has. But so long as it is there written, so long as it is a part our Constitution, the questions of States' rights can have no hearing when the question of enforcement is up for consideration. The question of States' rights was fought out when it was before the State legislatures, and the states, as sovereignties, said: We delegate this power and are willing to coöperate with the National Government. And it is not the part of any government or any individual representing a state after that judgmer
has been rendered, to say: In my opinion, it encroaches on States' rights. It is a fearful doctrine which has been preached to us, this doctrine of disregarding the Constitution under the claim of States' rights. It feeds lawlessness as the poison of the swamp feeds the germs of disease. It is a libel on the whole theory of the American Union. It is an indictment of the whole superb scheme of 1789.
There is a well-organized movement in this country against a class of people who, it is said, are unfriendly to our form of Government and our Constitution, a class of people who are designated as Reds and Radicals. Those who are uneasy about the rights of property as guaranteed by the Constitution, are greatly interested in this work. They have a thorough organization dealing with the subjects of anarchy, Communism and Bolshevism, and those things which they feel undermine our Government and destroy the stability of our institutions. I thoroughly sympathize with their desires to inculcate respect for and loyalty to our institutions. I think you cannot spend too much time in educating the American people in the worth of the institutions under which we live and of the value of our form of government. A man who comes to our shores and openly defies our Constitution, is a most unworthy creature. But he is not so reprehensible, so much to be criticized, it seems to me, as the man who has been reared in this country, who has had an opportunity to know the beneficent worth of our institutions, who has witnessed the value through all these years of the law under which our
Government lives, and who still disregards or defies some particular provision or amendment because it runs counter to his personal interests or personal views or personal vices. Let me say here—not all of them, of course, but many of those people of property, many of those who are much agitated over the question of foreign propaganda and its undermining effect on our Constitution, are the most pronounced, insistent, and persistent violators of the Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution. The hotbed, the scouting, noisy rendezvous of lawlessness, of cynical defiance to the Eighteenth Amendment, is among those of social standing, of large property interests, and in the wealthier homes. Without their patronage, their protection, and their example, the bootlegger could easily be brought within the control of the law. I repeat again, I am thoroughly in sympathy with their anxiety over foreign influence on the Constitution, but I must say in all sincerity that just to the extent that they undermine respect for the Constitution, respect for law, by the lives which they lead and the examples which they set and by the influence which they exert against the Eighteenth Amendment, just in that proportion, to that extent, they are also undermining those provisions of the Constitution which protect property. The Eighteenth Amendment is in the Constitution by the same authority as as the the Fifth Amendment, which throws its protection around life around life and property. The undermining of one undermines the other. The Eighteenth Amendment is in the Constitution by the same authority and with the
same sanctity as the Fourteenth Amendment, which stands between the State and the property-holder against all assaults by the State. That which undermines the Eighteenth Amendment undermines the Fourteenth Amendment. The Red sits in his darkly lighted room, around his poorly laden table, and denounces the provisions of the Constitution placed there to protect property. The "white" sits in his brilliantly lighted room about his richly laden table and defies or denounces the provisions of the Constitution placed there in the belief they would protect the home. I leave it to all good citizens whether it is not true that both are traveling the road of lawlessness, both sowing the seeds of destruction, both undermining the whole fabric of law and order.
Let these people of influence who insist on satisfying their appetites against the expressed will of the American people, understand that they cannot have their property secure, that they cannot have their homes safe, that they cannot protect their wealth and those things which they deeply cherish, if they continue by their examples and by their precepts to sow the seeds of lawlessness throughout the United States.
We all know from a review of history that lawlessness is the insidious disease of republics. It is the one great malady against which every true patriot will ever be on guard. It is but a short step from the lawlessness of the man of means who scouts some part of the fundamental law because forsooth it runs counter to his wishes, to the soldier who may be called into the street to protect property, but who, taking counsel of his
sympathies, fraternizes with the mob. The great question, therefore, before the American people now is, not that of prohibition, because that as a policy, has been settled. The supreme question is: after we have determined as a people on prohibition, whether we have the moral courage, the high determination, and the unwavering purpose to enforce that which we have written into the Constitution.
In these anxious days, almost every one has a plan or a scheme for the betterment of conditions--for the adjustment, or readjustment, of things which seem so strangely, so persistently, out of joint. But if I were going to inscribe a banner under which to arouse the dispirited and discouraged millions of brave and loyal citizens, I should precede all other inscriptions, plans, and pledges with that of obedience to law because it is law. There are hundreds and thousands of people, with the number daily increasing, who would like to feel safe in their persons, safe in their work-shops and homes, who would like to feel that justice can be administered and laws enforced, and that the provisions of our Constitution which protect property are no more sacred than the provisions which protect human rights and moral values. What shall it profit that leaders have planned and patriots have striven and sacrificed through all these years if we have come at last to the fearful, accursed creed that constitutions are to be disregarded, laws to be evaded or defied, and, finally, that we are to accept and put in practise the vicious and destructive and savage rule that every man is a law unto himself?