FROM THE ANTHOLOGY: Essays for the Presidency

After the Election

Calvin Coolidge. Library of Congress

Vox populi—the great American people—has spoken in no uncertain tones. It has declared that it wishes to have Mr. Calvin Coolidge for President and that it approves of his policies; which are those of the party he leads. But what are these policies? In spite of the flood of recent as well as of earlier literature on the subject and the pronouncements of those highest in authority, there is still room—indeed there will always be room—for the inquiry.

In the London Times for October 13th we find its American correspondent saying of the presidential campaign, "There is not a genuine issue before the country." This is not the place to enter into the question of whether such a sweeping assertion contains any truth in regard to our domestic affairs. Be that as it may, can we not at least maintain that the three great parties differ profoundly in their ideals of foreign policy? If so, the renewed triumph of the Republicans will mean something more than the victory of a particular set of men. It determines our attitude for the next four years towards the other nations of the world. What, then, is our attitude? Let us begin by summing up in the briefest space the tenets of the American parties in regard to foreign affairs.

Certain broad principles are generally accepted, for instance the Monroe Doctrine and the Open Door. To come down to a more concrete and immediate example, all three parties believe—the Progressives the most of the three—in the payment of the Allied Debts. All recognize, too, that America must take some part in the settlement of world problems, including European ones, but their interpretation of that part varies greatly. The Republicans favor what might be called cooperation without commitment. The Democrats wish to join the League of Nations after they are sure the majority of the voters will support them. The Progressives prefer to keep out of the hornet's nest of

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