A reporter went backstage, showed Senator Gerald P. Nye an Associated Press bulletin, stating that his country had been attacked. Snapped Gerald Nye, all wound up for an anti-war speech: "It sounds terribly fishy to me. . . . Is it sabotage or is it pen attack? . . ."
That night he spoke at Pittsburgh's First Baptist Church. His manner and tone were bitter and defeatist: ". . . just what Britain had planned for us"; "we have been maneuvered into this by the President."
That was the day of the Pearl Harbor attack.
More from Time during the Pre-WWII 40's:
While debate on the Lend-Lease Bill rolled on last week, many a U. S. citizen raised shrill anti-war cries. Speaking for the leftist majority of the American Youth Congress, Executive Secretary Joseph Cad-den declared: "America's youth have repudiated every attempt on the part of the Administration and its lackeys to put over this war program."
In front of the British Embassy paraded lady members of the Paul Revere Sentinels and Women's Neutrality League, brandishing placards which blared: "Benedict Arnold Helped England, Too," "Move Over, Unknown Soldier."
"[Sen.] Pepper is a coward," screeched Mrs. Dilling. "He's just an old scaredy-cat and won't talk to us. How much is he getting to sell this Republic out? I'm hot and bothered. We came here to protest against this dictatorship and war bill. . . .
Paul A. F. Warnholtz bellowed, in the Alliance's News Letter: "They are usually old men, sterile biologically, and sterile even of all dreams and memories of life, love and youth, and would deny the right of youth to live. Their senile bodies, their cold, calculating brains, frequently find compensation for their lost youth in hatred and false ambitions for glory and gold. . . ."
Mr. Ford suggested that the U. S. give both England and the Axis powers "the tools to keep on fighting until they both collapse." Said he: "There is no righteousness in either cause. ... If we can keep both sides fighting long enough, until they cannot fight any more, then maybe the little people will open their eyes. . . . When both nations finally collapse into internal dissolution, then the U. S. can play the role for which it has the strength and the ability."
Sound familiar? (The American Dictatorship, war for money, anyone who wants war is wrong, etc...)
A popular voice is not always the right one; it is better to stand up for what is right than to take the easy way out of a hard fight.