Remembering Hearst

Westbrook Pegler

Monroe (LA) News Star/August 17, 1951

New York. Aug. 17.— William Randolph Hearst was a great patriot who tried to keep the United States out of both world wars. Had he been able to persuade the Wilson administration to redeem the Democratic party’s campaign slogan of 1916, “He kept us out of war,” Mr. Hearst probably would have forfended World War II and the now descending doom of this republic in the political, economic and military showdown with the Soviet empire. Instead, Wilson hurtled into the first world war within a few months after he had been re-elected.

Wilson and Franklin D Roosevelt were toadies in their secret hearts who felt inferior to European royalty and other dignitaries of state. They were not of the people. They felt themselves to be superior to the American people and manipulated and exploited them to show off to European rulers. The Korean war is a consequence of the second world war, which was the first one.

Our press has a habit of referring to Bernard M. Baruch as a venerable elder statesman and an adviser of presidents. The two presidents who would seem to have listened most attentively to his counsel were the two presidents who pushed the United States into those wars. We have never been taken into the intimacy of those counsels between Mr. Baruch and presidents Wilson and Roosevelt so we do not know what advice he gave them. On results, assuming that they took his advice, it would seem to have been faulty counsel, whereas Mr. Hearst continually tried to arouse public opinion against disastrous decisions. He was ignored.

In September, 1914, as the infatuation of American dollar-aristocrats on the eastern seaboard grew more and more intolerant of straight American patriotism, Mr. Hearst wrote: “The war in horrifying progress in Europe is, in reality, that most dreadful of all wars, a civil war. It is a war between states which should be living in peace and amity, in cooperative effort, in intellectual and material progress and even in governmental accord as ‘the United States of Europe.’ . . . Accumulated treasures of centuries are being destroyed whose elevating and civilizing influence will forever be ended in the world. It means a diminution of the number and a weakening of the power in the world of the white nations — of the occidental nations, of which we are one. It means an assault; on the standards, the ideals, the conditions of life which have been the contribution of those occidental nations to the civilization of the world. It means a corresponding strengthening of oriental aims, ideals and ambitions. It tends to make possible an eventual triumph of ideals and conditions wholly foreign and offensive to our own.”

Mr. Hearst was a fighter of tremendous bold courage. His newspapers were burned and barred from newsstands. His supplies of raw paper were threatened. He took boycotts and fought back. His reporters were thrown out of England. Still he fought to warn the people of the United States of the horrible folly of Wilson’s course. Many young Americans who would soon be floundering in mud, sleeping in wet soldier suits, in drafty French barns in winter, dying in battle or in the pestilential camps where flu wiped out thousands of them, despised Hearst as a pro-German traitor. They hated with furious intensity a man who was trying to save them and their country.

A week later, Mr. Hearst wrote: “Truly, as Kipling says, ‘The Hun is at the gate’ but the Hun comes not, nor ever has come, from Germany, nor from any part of Europe but will come, as he has in the past, in almost irresistible tides of invasion from the interior of Asia.”

During Roosevelt’s war, the American and British military planners had this thought in mind in planning to keep the Asiatic Russian hordes at bay on the eastern borders of Poland and to keep western Europe secure in occidental hands. Roosevelt, Truman, and General Eisenhower made the western forces hold back while Stalin first slaughtered the Polish patriots and then accepted with surly condescension the gift of Anglo-Saxon eastern Europe, which occidental troops had won for him.

In 1917, Mr. Hearst wrote: “The United States is a republic but the United States went into this war without having secured the consent of its people or having sought to secure their consent, although it had two and one-half years to do so.”

At any time down to the very hour when congress yielded to British and French propaganda and declared war by joint resolution, the people would have voted to stay out of Europe’s war. Germany was not threatening the United States, but American war profiteers were selling food and munitions to the British while we submitted to their blockade around Germany. Naturally, the German U-boats began to sink the ships. Germany was hungry and our munitions were killing her boys, as fine as any crop of boys on earth, although they differed from their enemies in some superficial ways.

“The white races are blinded by the fury of their internecine strife,” Mr. Hearst wrote in 1918. “What does it matter how the white races are grouped among themselves? In any case, the white man’s civilization. the white man’s religions, the white man’s standards of living and morals will be maintained and that is all that counts. The whole program of the white nations is along the path of democracy to higher humanitarian ideals and more just and equal social and political conditions. Oriental­ism. on the contrary, means despotism.”

In 1941, Winston Churchill belatedly had the same idea—too late. In all such discussion Mr. Hearst implied the inclusion of the American Negro population in this “white” nation. The distinction he drew separated the Occident from the Orient. In September, 1939. he wrote: “We can keep out of the war if we want to. Europe could keep out if it wanted to. There is no situation in Europe which could not have been solved by the peaceful discussions which the president urged. But war is in no sense inevitable here.” Mr. Hearst encouraged labor unions when that was a very unpopular cause. When unionism ran riot he advocated compulsory arbitration through courts to be established for that special purpose. Of the strike of the Boston police in 1919, he wrote: “It is an utterly intolerable thing that such trusted public servants should seek to render allegiance to some class organization superior to that which they render to the whole public.”

On immigration he frankly noted in 1940 that “It no longer takes courage and character to come to a great unknown and undeveloped land called America.”

“America,” he said, “is a reasonably rich and well-developed country. It is the safest country in the world to live in. There is no longer need to incur danger or even to strive strenuously. Now America is a developed continent where living is soft and pickings are easy. Is it not time we considered more thoughtfully what kind of American citizens we should select for our safety and stability? We do not want social malefactors or political traitors. We do not want the refuse of Europe — the sewage and the garbage. We do not want the Communists and the criminals.”

We have no successor to William Randolph Hearst. Journalism never produced his equal. Had the country been given the wisdom to heed Hearst and the “visionary crackpot,” Henry Ford, who earnestly tried to get the boys “out of the trenches by Christmas” in 1915, the doom of western civilization would have been averted.

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