PACIFISTS AND PATRIOTS
SUPERFICIALLY there could have been no more startling volte face than that of America in April, 1917. We had just re-elected Mr. Wilson, who had "kept us out of war"; immediately afterwards, and under his leadership, we entered the war.
Since then we have quickly learned to despise our former attitude, and men who have recently boasted of their staunch pacifism now hold that point of view to be obnoxious and contemptible. Yet to those who look beneath the surface the basic impulse which caused us to fight was the same that had long kept us from fighting. It was in the main idealism which thrust us in as it had once held us aloof. Beneath our sudden change in policy lay a perfect continuity in sentiment and conviction.
To understand our present attitude and to formulate an American policy, we must understand and emotionally experience that strong sentiment out of which our actions flowed. For we are today and will be tomorrow essentially what we were a year ago. A traditional popular impulse manifests itself differently under varying conditions, but itself does not quickly change. Consequently we approach