Road to War
Landon after the election of 1940, like all American politicians, was preoccupied with the question of war or peace. Remembering World War I and its aftermath, he feared war not only because of the deaths, blood shed, and economic disruption that would occur but because it might mean the end of American democracy. Democracy in the United States, as Landon saw it, had already suffered from the rise of authoritarianism abroad, from the domestic bitternesses of the 1930s, and from the concentration of power in Washington and in a leader who regarded himself as indispensable. If this was followed by a presidential dictatorship, which Wilson's administration had indicated war would bring, democracy might not recover.
These were the major reasons that led the Kansan to resist any move he thought might lead to war, but his anti-war convictions did not resolve all of the questions in his mind. He doubted that Germany could attack the United States, but he believed that Germany posed an economic threat, especially in terms of Latin-American markets. He wrote friends for advice on this and other questions. "How can a nation on a forty-hour [work] week ultimately beat a nation that is on an eighty-hour week?" If Great Britain fell, would Germany be able to attack the western hemisphere? What role would the British fleet play if Britain were defeated by Germany? Must the United States inevitably be drawn into war? If our merchant ships were allowed to enter war zones, would this not be tantamount to