(Charles Lindbergh - toning down the rants big-time)
By the middle of 1941, it was looking more and more obvious America would be getting involved neck-deep in World War 2, it was only a matter of time. The America First rally's were initially about the "European Business Interests" and varying degrees of anti-Semitic rants. Even Charles Lindbergh, the American Aviation pioneer who a few years earlier was the first to cross the Atlantic Ocean in a solo airplane flight, had toned down his rhetoric as 1941 ground on, switching from his "Jews in high places" position to "We should have let them have Poland and Russia and maybe they would leave us alone". Big switch - but I can't help but think of the Leopards versus Spots analogy - they don't change them.
Lindbergh: “As you all know, in spite of the opposition of the American people, we have been led step by step to war, until today we are actually engaged in undeclared Navel warfare. How this was accomplished is one of the most amazing and alarming developments in the history of the United States. Those of us who have stood out against war have, from the beginning encountered an insidious opposition. It has been an opposition whose word has not been good from one side of an election to another. It has been an opposition that has made constant use of undercover methods. An opposition that has fought in personalities and smearing campaigns and not on issues. An opposition that has discarded one American tradition after another, while it claims to be upholding the American way of life. If the issue of intervention had been placed openly before our Congress and our people, a decision could have been reached in the traditional American way. But this was not done because the interventionists knew that the American people would not agree to war. Instead of submitting the issue of war to our vote, they said ‘of course, we will not go to war, but couldn’t we aid England and France just by selling them arms if they send their own ships and pay us in cash?’
This America First Rally is from June of 1941. It was never broadcast, so the original runs over 2 hours. I've extracted the main speeches and left them intact. It is, for all intents and purposes, one of the more polite rally's America First staged. In the coming weeks, I'll drag out one of the more impolite ones.