William Howard Taft is an amiable gentleman. There is so much to agree with in the world that he seldom finds it possible to disagree with anything. It is a very comfortable attitude for one to assume, but it doesnít push the world along. Real harmony is wrung out of discord by laboring against disagreeable facts; it is not achieved by mere pit-pats on the back of untoward conditions.
There is no doubt that had one approached William Howard Taft a year ago and said: “Mr. Taft you know there are evil forces in the world which ought to be resisted,” he would have replied, “Certainly, by all means.”
If one had said, “Mr. Taft, some of this evil is just ignorant inclination, which can be dealt with by various means of enlightenment, but some of it represents a deliberate philosophy which has gathered about itself a definite organization for action,” he would have responded: “I am afraid it is true.”
And then had one said: “Mr. Taft, the people should be made aware of this, given a key to it, that they may keep their eyes open and learn the meaning of certain tendencies that have puzzled them,” he would in all likelihood have replied, “I believe in enlightening the public mind that it may take care of itself.”
Suppose you had added: “Mr. Taft, if you found a written program setting forth the steps to be taken to fasten a certain control on society, and if on looking about you observed a definite set of tendencies which seemed to parallel the program at every point, would it appear to you significant?”
Mr. Taft would, of course, answer, Yes. There is no other answer to make. No other answer has been made by anyone who has compared the two things.
If Mr. Taft had been approached first on that side of the question, he would have uttered words very valuable to those who would attach value to his words.
But what has Mr. Taftís “testimonial” to do with either side of the case? Does his support strengthen it, or does his opposition weaken it? If it came to a battle of names, THE DEARBORN INDEPENDENT could present a very imposing list of men who acknowledge the importance of the studies being made, and who agree with most of the observations presented. But such a list would add nothing to the facts in the case, and facts must stand on their own foundation regardless of the attitude of Mr. Taft, or even Mr. Arthur Brisbane.
But there is a very interesting story about Mr. Taft and the Jews. Mr. Taft knows it and can verify it. A number of American Jews also know it. And it may perhaps be useful to tell it now.
However, that we may not seem too desirous of evading Mr. Taftís latest defense of the Jews, we shall begin with that.
Unduly stirred by this series of studies, the leading Jews of the United States indicated by their perturbation that the truth in these articles made it impossible to ignore them. Perhaps as many people have been inclined toward agreement with the articles by the attitude of the Jews themselves as by the statements made in the articles. Jewish defense has been made with great formality and show of authority, but without the hoped-for effect. The Jews of the United States, evidently finding that their own statements have failed to carry, are making a wholesale conscription of Gentiles for the purposes of defense. As in Russia, the Gentiles are being pushed into the firing lines.
Mr. Taft was therefore approached with a proposition. That was some time ago, probably about November first.
Now, according to Mr. Taftís own signed statement made on November 1, he had not even read THE DEARBORN INDEPENDENTís articles but was taking the Jewsí word for their character and contents. And yet, on December 23, we find Mr. Taft in Chicago at the La Salle Hotel, delivering an oration before the Bínai Bírith, uttering his statements with all the finality of a man who has made a deep study of the Jewish Question and had at last attained a mature conclusion.
On November 1, Mr. Taft wrote to a New York Jew deprecating these articles as “a foolish pronouncement which I understand has been issued through THE DEARBORN INDEPENDENT.” The expression, “which I understand,” is equivalent in ordinary speech to “which I have heard.” He had not read them. He was taking hearsay on which to base his opinion. There are signs that he had not read them even at the time of his speech in Chicago, for he did not so much as allude to one of the startling parallels which have weighed on the minds of many important men in this country.
The Jews wanted Mr. Taftís name, they wanted “a Gentile front,” and they got it. The speech contributes nothing to the discussion; it proves nothing, it disproves nothing. In parts it is a rehash of a speech delivered by a New York rabbi. Indeed, one of William Howard Taftís most telling points was the almost verbal repetition of a point made by that rabbi.
Mr. Taftís business now is the delivery of addresses. Between November 1, at which time he had not read the Jewish Question at all, until December 23, when he presumed to pronounce judgement on it for all time, he had been away a great deal on the road. Indeed, he reached Chicago without having done any of his Christmas shopping. He explained that he had “been traveling over the country so fast” that his time had all been taken up. When he found time to study the Jewish Question does not appear. It is most probable that he had no time and did no studying. If he did, he carefully concealed the fruits of it when delivering his address.
Before his address was delivered, the newspapers had announced that it was to be made against “anti-Semitism,” and this series of articles was specified. It was apparently foreknown, therefore, that not a judicial pronouncement was to be expected from Mr. Taft, but a partisan plea. The newspapers indicate that Mr. Taft had not even dictated his speech until he reached Chicago. The material he had at hand during his dictation was the printed propaganda with which the Jews have been flooding the country. Taftís speech reeks with it. There isnít an original idea in it. He was the human megaphone whom the Jews retained for one night through whom to voice their words. The real purpose of the speech was, of course, to secure its publication throughout the country as the voice of the people on the Question. But nothing whatever excuses the fact that the speech contains absolutely no contribution to the Question.
Mr. Taft is against religious prejudice. So is everybody else. Mr. Taft is against racial prejudice. So is everybody else. Mr. Taft wants concord and good will. So does everybody else. But what have these to do with the facts which comprise the Jewish Question?
The real story of Mr. Taft and the Jews begins back in the time when Mr. Taft lived in the White House. The Jews maintain a lobby in Washington whose business it is to know every President and every prospective President, and, of course, Mr. Taft was known to them a long while before he was made President, but whether they did not foresee his political future or whether they considered his opinions as having too little force for them to bother about, is not clear, but the fact seems to be that very little fuss was made about him. There are no indications that he ran after the Jews or the Jews after him in the days before his presidency.
As President, Mr. Taft once stood out against the Jews, was strongly denounced as unfavorable to the Jews, was soundly beaten by the Jews in a matter on which he had taken a firm stand, and has ever since shown that he has learned his lesson by accommodating the Jews in their desires.
The story involves a portion of that voluminous history which consists of the quarrels between the United States and other nations on account of the Jews. Readers interested in this phase of the history of the United States can find it fully set out by Jewish writers. There seems to be a certain pride taken in recounting the number of times the nations have been compelled to give diplomatic recognition to the Jewish Question. From 1840 until 1911, the United States had special diplomatic trouble concerning the Jews. The trouble that culminated during 1911, in an unparalleled act by the United States, involved William Howard Taft, who then was President.
For centuries, Russia has had her own troubles with the Jews and, as the world knows, has at last fallen prostrate before the Jewish power which for centuries has been working to undermine her. Even Disraeli was not blinded to the fact that Jews had a control over Russia which the rest of the world never knew. The biggest hoax in modern times was the propaganda against Russia as the persecutor of the Jews. Russia devoted to the Jews a large part of the most favored section of the land, and was always so lax in those laws which prohibited Jews from settling in other parts of the country that the Jew was able to create an underground system throughout the whole of Russia which controlled the grain trade, controlled public opinion and utterly baffled the czarís government. The cry of “persecution” arose because the Jews were not permitted to exploit the peasants as much as they desired. They have, however, gained that privilege since.
Now, when the United States appeared as “the new Jerusalem,” its Jewish citizens conceived the idea of using the American Government to achieve for the Jews what other means had failed to achieve. Russian and German Jews would come to the United States, become naturalized as quickly as possible, and go back to Russia as “Americans” to engage in trade. Russia knew them as Jews and held them to be subject to the laws relating to Jews.
Protest after protest reached the State Department as more and more German or Russian Jews went back to Russia to circumvent the Russian laws. At first the matter was not serious, because it was shown in many cases that these naturalized “Americans” did not intend to return to the United States at all, but had acquired “American citizenship” solely as a business asset in Russia. In these cases, of course, the United States did not feel obligated to bestir herself.
The time came, however, when American ministers to Russia were requested to look into the situation. Their reports are accessible. John W. Foster was one of these ministers and he reported in 1880 that “Russia would be glad to give liberal treatment to bona fide American citizens, not disguised German Jews.”
During all this time the “Russian Question” was being sedulously propagated in the United States. It appeared first in the aspect of the “Russian persecutions.” The Jews represented that their life in Russia was a hell. John W. Foster, later Secretary of State, father-in-law of Robert Lansing, the recently resigned Secretary of State under President Wilson, was at that time representing the United States in Russia, and he reported as follows on the status of the Russian Jews:
“* * * in all the cities of Russia the number of Jewish residents will be found more or less in excess of the police registry and greater than the strict interpretation of the law authorizes. For instance, persons who have given the subject close attention estimate the number of Jewish residents in St. Petersburg at 30,000, while it is stated the number registered by the police authorities is 1,500. From the same source I learn that * * * while only one Hebrew school is registered by the police, there are between three and four thousand children in unauthorized Jewish schools of this capital. As another indication of the extent of Jewish influence, it is worthy of note that one or more Jewish editors or writers are said to be employed on the leading newspapers of St. Petersburg and Moscow almost without exception * * *”
At every turn the United States Government discovered that the Jews were exaggerating their difficulties for the purpose of forcing government action.
Presently, after years of underground work and open propaganda against Russia in the daily press, until the American conception of Russia was fixed almost beyond correction, the agitation took the form of the “Russian passport question.” Russia dares to flout an American passport! Russia insults the government of the United States! Russia degrades American citizens! And so forth and so on.
Jews in the United States demanded nothing less than that the United States break all treaty relations with Russia. They demanded it! James G. Blaine desired one thing more than another, which was this: that something, anything, be done to block the flood of Jewish immigration then beginning to flood the country. “The hospitality of a nation should not be turned into a burden,” he wrote.
There was then the strange situation of the United States itself making complaints about the Jews and at the same time being asked to question Russiaís right to handle similar complaints in her own domain. The minister of foreign affairs for Russia appreciated this point, and when the American minister told him that 200,000 Jews had emigrated to the United States from Russia, he rejoined: “If such a number of people had gone to the United States as workers to aid in developing the country he supposed they would be acceptable, but if they went to exploit the American people, he could understand how objectionable it was.” Of course, the whole point with Russia was that the Jews were exploiting her. They were milking Russia, not feeding her.
If space permitted, much rich material could be presented here. The attitude of the American statesmen of 25 to 40 years ago, on questions of immigration and racial propaganda, was eminently wise and sound.
So, until the days of William Howard Taft, this Jewish propaganda continued, always aimed at Russia, always planning to use the United States as the club with which to strike the blow.
It must be borne in mind at all times that the Jews maintain a lobby at Washington, a sort of embassy from the Jewish Nation to the Government of the United States, and this lobby is in the hands of a principal “ambassador.” It was, of course, this ambassadorís business to get hold of President Taft as firmly as possible.
But President Taft was not at that time so “easy” as the people have since been taught to regard him. There was a commercial treaty between Russia and the United States, and it had existed since 1832, and President Taft behaved as if he thought the Jewish demand that the treaty be broken was rather too much. The Jewish demand was that the United States denounce a treaty which had existed between the two countries for almost 80 years, and during the life of which Russia had repeatedly proved herself to be a reliable friend of this country.
The Jews wanted just two things from William Howard Taft: the abrogation of the Russian treaty and the veto of what Congress had repeatedly tried to do, namely, put a literacy test on immigrants. Jewish immigration into the United States being so important an element of Jewish plans, American Jews never cared what kind of human riffraff filled the country as long as the Jewish flood was not hindered.
Presently, President Taft had undergone the persistent nagging characteristic of such campaigns and had asked, perhaps impatiently, what they wanted him to do.
“Have a conference with some of the leaders of American Jewry” was the proposal made to him, and on February 15, 1911, there walked into the White House, Jacob H. Schiff, Jacob Furth, Louis Marshall, Adolph Kraus and Judge Henry M. Goldfogle. They had lunch with the Presidentís family and adjourned to the library.
The President was fairly wise in the matter. There was no chance whatever for him in an argument. His guests had come prepared to talk, to “tell” him, as some of the same men lately “told” an eastern publisher, pounding the table and uttering threats. The President was to be overwhelmed, his good nature carried with a rush.
But, instead of anything like that, the President, as soon as they gathered in the library, took out a paper and began to read his conclusions! That staggered the Jewish ambassadors at once—the President was reading his conclusions! He was “telling” them!
The Presidentís statement is really worth reading, but it is far too lengthy to present here. He called attention to the right which this country exercised to say who shall, and who shall not sojourn here, and also to the conflicting interpretations which American secretaries of State had given the Russian treaty. He contrasted with that Russiaís consistent interpretation from the beginning. He then said that the treaty was sacred because under it for more than 50 years the citizens of the United States had made their investments in Russia—resting solely on their faith in the United Statesí and Russiaís treaty honor. He said that if it were a new treaty that was being written, the case would be different; he would then consider the Jewish argument of weight. But he said, we had other treaties with other countries who did not always share our views as to what certain sections of the treaties meant, but we have lived and worked under them. He instanced the Italian treaty with regard to the extradition of criminals. He wished to impress on the Jewish ambassadors that they wanted to make an exception of their case, which, of course, they did.
The President then said he would be willing to consider taking some action if he did not believe that in taking action he would be endangering the status the Jews already enjoyed in Russia. If this treaty were denounced, large American interests would be jeopardized (here the President mentioned certain interests, all Gentile).
He said he liked to see Russian Jews come into the country, but added “the more we spread them out in the West, the better I like it.” He ended with a plea for the Jewish ambassadors there present to consider the plight which denunciation of the treaty might involve Russian Jews, and ended with the words—“That is the way it has struck me, gentlemen. That is the conclusion I have reached.”
The Jewish group was plainly taken aback. Simon Wolf, who was always on guard at Washington, said, “Please, Mr. President, do not give to the Press such conclusions,” but Jacob Schiff broke in with a voice vibrant with anger—“I want it published. I want the whole world to know the Presidentís attitude.”
The discussion then opened, with the President cool and self-contained. Finally, after some useless talk, and having other business to attend to, he gave them a letter just received from the American Ambassador at St. Petersburg, Mr. Rockhill. Mr. Rockhill presented in that letter to the President the whole Russian contention about the Jews—statements which have been confirmed a thousand times by the events that have since occurred.
They then renewed their expostulations and arguments, but to no avail. The President expressed regret, but said he could see no other course to pursue; he had studied the question in all its lights, and his conclusion was as stated.
On leaving the White House, Jacob Schiff refused to shake the Presidentís hand, but brushed it by with an air of offended power.
“Wasnít Mr. Schiff angry yesterday!” exclaimed the President the next day.
But the President did not know what was going on. When Jacob Schiff was descending the White House steps he said, “This means war.” He gave orders to draw on him for a large sum of money. He wrote a curt letter to President Taft. The President sent Mr. Schiffís letter and the reply to the Secretary of Commerce and Labor, Charles Nagel, who replied to the President with these words: “I am very much impressed with the patience which you exhibit in your answer.”
Neither did the President know what was behind it all. Look at most of the names of the men who represented American Jewry in the White House that 15th of February, 1911. And then consider that the abrogation of the Russian treaty would throw all the vast business between the United States and Russia into Germany, into the hands of German Jews. The Frankfort bankers and their relatives in the United States knew what that meant. It meant that German Jews would be the intermediaries of trade between Russia and the United States. The business itself meant money, but the relation meant power over Russia—and Jacob H. Schiff lived to overthrow Russia. The neutrality of the United States was torn to shreds by a movement organized and financed on American soil for the overthrow of a friendly nation, and the organizers and financiers were Jews! They used their internal power to deflect the policy of the United States to assist their plans.
The game was financial and revolutionary. It was decreed. It was then part of the program to be accomplished, and the United States was to be used as the crowbar to batter down the walls.
When the Jewish ambassadors left the White House, orders flew from Washington and New York to every part of the United States, and the Jewish “nagging” drive began. It had a center in every city. It was focused on every Representative and Senator—no official, however, was too mean or unimportant to be drafted.
American editors may remember that drive; it was operated on precisely the same lines as the one which is proceeding against the press today. The Jews have furnished absolute proof in the last two months that they control the majority of the American press. There are signs, however, that their control does not mean anything, and will not last long.
Jacob Schiff had said on February 15, “This means war.” He had ordered a large sum of money used for that purpose. The American Jewish Committee, Bínai Bírith and others of the numerous organizations of Jewry (how well organized they are the signatories of the recent Jewish defense prove) went to work and on December 13 of the same year—almost 10 months to a day after Jewry had declared war on President Taftís conclusions—both houses of Congress ordered President Taft to notify Russia that the treaty with Russia would be terminated.
Frankfort-on-the-Main had won!
In the meantime, of course, the Jewish press of the United States berated President Taft with characteristic Jewish unreserve. It would be an eye-opener if, at every speech which William Howard Taft makes for his Jewish clients, there could be distributed copies of the remarks printed about President Taft by those same clients nine years ago.
The methods by which the Jews set forth to force congressional action are all known, and the glee with which Jewry hailed the event is also known. Two governments had been beaten—the American and the Russian! And the American President had been reversed!
Whether this had anything to do with the fact that William Howard Taft became that unusual figure—a one-term President—this chronicle does not undertake to say.
There was quite a scurry for cover at that time. Taft had been beaten, and all the men who had stood beside him ran in out of the storm. John Hays Hammond was represented as having been sympathetic with the Russian view of the Jews—as most of the American representatives were. As late as 1917, William Howard Taft, then a private citizen, wrote to the principal Jewish lobbyist at Washington asking that Mr. Hammond be not held up in Jewish histories as one who had opposed the breaking of the Russian treaty.
The President had really done what he could to prevent the Jewish plan going through. On February 15, 1911, he withstood them face to face. On December 13, 1911, they had whipped him.
And yet in the next year, 1912, a peculiar thing occurred; the high officials of the Bínai Bírith went to the White House and there pinned on the breast of President Taft a medal which marked him as “the man who had contributed most during the year to the welfare of the Jewish cause.”
There is a photograph extant of President Taft standing on the south portico of the White House, in the midst of a group of prominent Jews, and the President is wearing his medal. He is not smiling.
But even after that, the Jews were not sure of President Taft. There was a fear, expressed by private letters between prominent Jews, and also in the Jewish press, that President Taft, while officially abrogating the treaty, would consent to some working agreement which would amount to about the same thing. There were cables from Jews in Russia, stating that Taft would do that. The President was closely watched. Whenever there was an open chink in his daily program, he was approached on the matter. It was made utterly impossible for him to do anything to patch up the differences. Frankfort was to have the handling of American trade with Russia, and Jewry was to have that club over Russia. Money, more and more money, always accompanies every Jewish plan for racial or political power. They make the world pay them for subjugating it. And their first cinch-hold on Russia they won in the United States. The end of that American influence was the rise of Bolshevism, the destruction of Russia, and the murder of Nicholas Romanoff and his family.
That is the story of William Howard Taftís efforts to withstand the Jews, and how they broke him. It is probably worth knowing in view of the fact that he has become one of those “Gentile fronts” which the Jews use for their own defense.
[THE DEARBORN INDEPENDENT, issue of 15 January 1921]