Alf Landon Talks About Foreign Policy – January 11, 1941 – Past Daily Reference Room
Alf Landon – Foreign Policy Address – January 11, 1941 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –
For those of you unfamiliar with him, Alf Landon was a one-term Governor from Kansas who landed the Republican nomination for the Presidential election of 1936. Considered a shoe-in based on a mail-in poll taken by the magazine Literary Digest, it placed Landon the overwhelming winner with some 57% of the vote. A strong opponent of the New Deal and also of Social Security, he was considered the shining hope for the conservative wing of the party to dismantle the legislation introduced and overwhelming passed during FDR’s first term in office.
Trouble was, the mail-in poll was wrong – it fact it was horribly wrong. Instead of the resounding victory, Landon suffered a stunning defeat losing by some 10,000,000 votes. The magazine got it wrong and soon went out of business and the nature of polling would be changed forever.
Fast forward five years and here we are with a War entering it’s second year in Europe and edging closer to U.S. involvement as of January 11, 1941. Landon is vehemently opposed to our involvement in the war and indicates that, despite insistence on maintaining a neutral position, the Lend-Lease Bill is anything but neutral and that the American people were being sold a bill of goods, and that it would be only a matter of time before we were involved in the war.
But Landon was looking at our involvement as a drain on our economy and resources. Delivering his address at the 15th annual banquet of the Alexander Hamilton Club in Tulsa Oklahoma, he lashed out at Britain, saying if we ensured Britain’s victory in the war it would spell economic ruin for us.
As a reminder of opposing views on matters of vital interest, here is that address given by Alf Landon on January 11, 1941.
2 thoughts on “Alf Landon Talks About Foreign Policy – January 11, 1941 – Past Daily Reference Room”
Like everything else he predicted, He was wrong. The U.S. would get mired in the War as he predicted, but we came out the most powerful Nation on Earth as a result, and had the resources to re-build much of the World that was devastated by the conflict. So far as Social Security, we still have it, and it’s more popular than ever before. Republicans still think like him and refuse to re-consider their views based on the evidence.
The sad part of this Speech is the fact that Lend Lease did work. It bought the U.S. valuable time to build the greatest Military in the World while we supplied other Countries with Materiel’s to carry the fight until we could jump in. We didn’t ask these Countries to defend us during this time, and would have been able to defend ourselves in any case, but we had an obsolete Military and knew it. It was a wise move in hindsight, and that’s why it worked so brilliantly in the end. I’m certain the Republicans were just as in the dark about the Atomic Bomb as the rest of the World when we used it. As Americans, I think they should have been in on the Secret, but I can see why they weren’t. They were wrong back then, as they are now. I wish I didn’t think that way, but I see nothing in the Republican Party that is of redeeming value. It isn’t the Party of Eisenhower anymore. At least under his leadership we had some signs of progress for the average American—–not anymore!!!
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