It is an appalling historical fact that the votes of a few Representatives and Senators meant the difference between adequate and inadequate preparation for the war against Germany and Japan — between victory and defeat. The draft law, for instance, was extended shortly before Pearl Harbor by only one vote in the United States House of Representatives. It is aIso true that the kind of Senators and Congressmen we elect this November will largeIy determine whether we meet the challenge af the peace at home and abroad.
Too many people, I have found, seem to believe that too many other people become weary of well-doing. They point to the fact that Woodrow Wilson found it impossible to awaken the people of this country to the necessity for a League of Nations after World War I. They remind us that President Wilson, who gave his life to winning the peace after he had worn himself out in leading us through a successful war, was succeeded by President Harding, who beguiled the people with the sop of "normalcy." But I am convinced that the people of the United States are not asleep in 1046. The lesson of 1920 taught us that we cannot afford to lose interest even for a moment in political action — and from personal association with numbers of veterans, I firmly believe that the eleven million young men and women who served in the armed forces are exceedingly aware of both the dangers and opportunities before’ us as a nation and as a people.
I have more than faith to back up my belief that we can elect a progressive Congress in November of 1946. In California, for example, such progressive Democratic Congressmen as George Outland, Chet Holifield, Jerry Voorhis, and Helen Douglas ran better in the primaries this year than they did two years ago. In the Democratic Senatorial primaries, George Donart of Idaho, Lief Erickson of Montana, and John Sparkman of Alabama — all progressive — were victorious and will be elected to the United States Senate.
Then let us see how progressive Republican Senators and Congressmen fared in the primaries. Bob LaFollette in Wisconsin, Charles LaFollette in Indiana, and Joseph Clark Baldwin and Augustus Bennet in New York — all good progressive public servants — were defeated by the forces of Republican reaction. The warning is unmistakeable: if we are to have a progressive Congress this fall, it can not be a Republican Congress.
The rejuvenated Democrats in Wisconsin would have welcomed "Young Bob" after he had liquidated the Progressive Party — but he chose instead to return to the Republican Party, which stood for everything against which the LaFollettes had always fought. But the Republicans of Wisconsin spurned this able public servant whose sin, to them, was that he treated laboring men like other human beings. On the same day that the Republicans turned thumbs down on LaFollette, the Democrats of Wisconsin nominated Howard McMurray for the United States Senate. An able progressive, McMurray was one of Franklin Roosevelt’s staunchest supporters while he was in Congress, and I am certain that, if elected, he will be an outstanding Senator.