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[519]

There is no possible remedy for such evils as this country has suffered except general military education. In my opinion, no man is fit for a seat in Congress unless he has such an education. The first thing he ought to learn is the old and trite military maxim that the only way to carry on war economically is to make it ‘short, sharp, and decisive.’ To dole out military appropriations in driblets is to invite disaster and ultimate bankruptcy. So it is in respect to the necessary preparations for war in time of peace. No man is wise enough to tell when war will come. Preparations are made upon the theory that it may come at any time. If a hundred millions are necessary for adequate preparation for defense, and you have spent only fifty when war comes, you might as well have thrown your fifty millions into the sea. There is no such thing as partial defense in modern war. If there are weak points in your defenses, your enemy is sure to find them. Indeed, he knows about them all the time, and will strike them at once. Then your whole costly system will be worthless.

What would be thought of the business capacity of a man who would not insure his house or his store or his stock of goods against fire because he did not happen to have money enough in bank to pay the premium, but would have to borrow it at three per cent.? Or of a man who would wait until he had realized the expected profit on a commercial venture before insuring the goods? If preparation for defense is the policy of a country, it would be little short of blindness to delay it on account of a temporary deficiency in the current revenues.

All now admit that universal education is an indispensable requisite to fitness for universal suffrage. The most serious questions upon which a free people can be called to vote are: a question of war, a question of preparation for war, and a question of approval and support, or disapproval and condemnation, of an administration on account

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