June 12, 1919

 

 

WOMAN SUFFRAGE

"If we wish to know the political and moral condition of a State we must ask what rank women hold in it. Their influence embraces the whole of life. A wife--a mother! -- two magical words comprising the sweetest source of man's felicity. Theirs is the reign of beauty, of love of , reason, -- always a reign! A man takes counsel with his wife, he obeys his mother; he obeys her long after she has ceased to live; and the ideas which he has received from her become principles stronger even than his passions."

 

   The most unreasonable and intolerant person on earth is the self-centered, ignorantly, learned vain man in high official station.
   The fight against Woman Suffrage by certain southern Congressman is short-sighted and in some instances really stupid. The excuse they give for opposing suffrage to women is that the negro woman will pester us. And yet, these same disingenuous, shallow statesmen have never made an effort to eliminate the negro man from politics until the woman suffrage amend came up for consideration.
   Senator Harrison expressed himself as favoring it when he was hanging on to Vardaman's coattail. And Williams said that he would give his left arm to repeal the fifteenth amendment when he was a candidate but when he was elected to the Senate the first time, he was heard to say that he "never expected to open his mouth on the damn question."
   It is all the result of lack of vision and stupid prejudice.
   Woman Suffrage is right. The influence of woman at the ballot box is the only thing which will save this world from Hell. It is coming. The movement is worldwide and is as uncontrollable and resistless as the moving of the tide.
   I cannot express my own views on the question for the readers of Vardaman's Weekly better than by the  reproduction of a speech delivered by Senator Vardaman in the Senate of the United  States on the 26th day of September 1918.
   Mr. VARDAMAN. Mr. President, the world is passing through a period of change. Things that were new yesterday are to-day old and to-morrow will doubtless become obsolete. New principles and untried policies are passing through the processes of experimentation, and the mutations coming with lightning rapidity challenge our attention and present the world in the perspective as a cosmic phenomenon, kaleidoscopic in character. It reminds one of the cyclone that rushes through the country razing to the ground houses and forests mingling the debris with the boiling, onrushing clouds, scattering woe and want, and leaving in its wake misery on very hand. After awhile it will run its course. The twisting winds shall cease to twirl; they will assume their normal velocity and the force which wrought widespread destruction but a few moments before will be changed to the gentle zephyr passing over the landscape, drinking in the perfume from the fragrant flower, or fanning the dimpled checks of joyous innocent childhood. The frowning front of the cloud of war will pass away, and the rainbow of peace shall shine forth to quiet the troubled soul.
   In the midst of this desolation and devastation, the deadly work of the typhoon of war, it is well-aye more, wisely prudent -- that the American people, in the quiet of their homes should take an inventory of their national assets and liabilities, indulge in serious thought, and make ready in so far as possible


 

at this time, for the great work of reconstruction and rehabilitation, which must engage our attention after the war is over.
   In time of war let as prepare for peace, for in the performance of that great work we shall have need of all of the moral forces and mental strength which the wisest of men and women who make up the composite citizenry of this Republic can contribute This we must do if we would perform properly our part in saving the world from a lapse into the barbarism of the Dark Ages America must continue to lead the world in civic righteousness and democratic re fore.
   Offensive warfare universally brings about a recrudescence of brute force in government and its general effect is to stifle the nobler impulses of the human soul. There was never a war in all the ages of  the world that could not have been averted if the leaders on either side had been sufficiently wise, brave, patriotic, unselfish, and true to the highest ideals. I am quite sure, however, the there are instances in the world's history where wars were forced upon people, and self-preservation and the preservation of governmental existence made it necessary to engage in war. In such cases which we will call defensive war- fare, for a righteous cause, in individual cases the dross is separated from the gold and it also works for national exaltation and individual excellency. But at best war is a brutal business "only splendid murder, the mad the world so loves to play," if I may be permitted to quote Dean Swift; it is contrary to the teachings of  the Prince of  Peace, an impeachment of the world's Christianity, and violative of all the principles of altruism.
   One of the unfortunate, very unfortunate, incidents to all wars is the disposition of even so-called righteous men and women to condone the violations of the moral law to a degree which almost amounts to suspension of the moral law. Constitutions are also set aside and Necessity becomes the final arbiter.  To win is the goal to which and for which men fight; and particularly is that true in the desperate conflict now being waged upon the broad theater of the world The unconquerable spirit which bids us fight until victory for the allied cause is achieved lire; the heart and animated the soul of every patriotic American to-day America entered this war, we were told by the President of the United States, to uphold the rights of her citizens upon the high seas and in defense of an ideal; and having entered, every citizen of the Republic will willingly lay his all as a fitting sacrifice upon the altar of his country's cause.
   We must, however, not fall below or go beyond the first high purpose. We can not afford to lose sight of the real motives that moved us as a Nation in the beginning.
   President Wilson's famous address to the Senate on the 22d day of January, 1917, contains the definition of the aim and end of America to which in after years posterity can point with pride The brutality and wickedness of our adversary must not be permitted to betray us into being the things which we condemn in others and to demand more at the hands of the vanquished than we started out to achieve.
   Justice is not measured by the weakness of our adversary, and righteousness must not be determined by the superior strength of our arms. In the prosecution of this war courage and heroic devotion to duty must characterize our conduct if we would win the war, and the spirit of generosity, love, and charity for our fellow man must crown and glorify our acts in...

 

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