Red Web - Blair Coan


One of these days the inarticulates of the qualified American electorate are going to awaken from their lethargy and find voice. When they do they are going to get sufficiently aroused to go to the polls on an election day and in a strikingly emphatic manner repudiate every politician afflicted with liver complaint, softening of the brain or flexibility of the spine. The result of this will be a new quality of leadership, patterned after an old one once revered; distinguished for intestinal stamina, frankness and dependability, and exemplified in word and deed by such men as Washington, Lincoln, Webster, Harrison, Cleveland, McKinley, Knox, Sherman, etc., etc.

This accomplished, the recent frame-up against the government and the people of the United States of America by the reds, the pinks and the yellows of domestic and imported politics may, perhaps, be atoned. But in the meantime, to talk about our phenomenal prosperity; to harangue about our position as leader among the nations of the world; to discourse on life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; to sing about the red, white and blue; to celebrate the Fourth of July and Constitution Day, and to offer reverently quoted excerpts from the writings and addresses of George Washington, the Founding Fathers and Abraham Lincoln, may be, in some instances, a thankless though high-minded task, but in most instances is nothing more than a lot of tommyrot.

It is time, right now, to get down to cases about this thing we hear called "the red menace." In doing so, about the first thing to be said is that the one real menace is a lot pinker than it is red; the pinks—parlor, bedroom, bath and bathless—are a greater peril to the national security of the American republic and its people than the reds; and even the pinks would not be so very menacing were it not for the yellows, the pussy-footers, the treadeasies, the oh-I-wouldn't-do-that-ers of American politics—the men in high places, official and otherwise, who fear to perform the duty they owe the patient and inarticulate majority because to do so means a bean-shooting barrage from the noisy and organized minorities who specialize in open letters, telegrams, resolutions, and cheap oratory about the "downtrodden peepul" whom they neither love nor represent, either in theory or in fact.

Armistice Day, 1918, had scarcely passed into history; American troops at the front in France were not yet on their way back to native soil; the treaty of peace with the foreign foe was yet to be negotiated, drafted and signed, when the frame-up, of which this book is the story, had its beginnings. From time to time since then, the United States has had its taste of civil war—abortive, to be sure,—but war none-the-less, and the sponsors and promoters of it have not yet acknowledged themselves wholly beaten. Whether they are or are not entirely and permanently subdued now depends upon how far and how long the American people may be disposed to go in their toleration of soft tactics, pussy-footing and compromise on the part of politicians and public officers occupying positions of dominance in national and international affairs.

If the people of the United States are not yet fully awake to the frame-up perpetrated against them and their government, they are sure to be awakened to it sooner or later, and when this comes the reds and pinks most conspicuously implicated will not be alone in the morgues for the politically deceased, because the mangled political remains of a notable galaxy of liverless Republicans and over-bilious Democrats will occupy slabs in the same or very proximate oblivion.

The pages of this book, the reader will find, state plain things plainly, not merely about the reds, but about the pinks and the yellows who have lent themselves, consciously or unconsciously, deliberately or unknowingly, to one of the most colossal plots against a government and a nation's people since the world began to put its history on record. These pages, the reader will find, are many of them shocking, some of them thrilling, not a few of them next to incredible, but all of them are loaded with facts in support of this demonstrable truth: that the people of the United States, their government and their Presidents, since the war "to make the world safe for democracy" was fought, have been deliberately and unconscionably tricked by the mob-minded apostles of that very "democracy," aided, abetted, goaded and, in some instances, financed by the red oligarchy of Moscow and its American adepts and dupes.

Herein is told the story of the attempt to assassinate Mitchell Palmer, Attorney General in the Cabinet of Woodrow Wilson; the record of the facts in the relentless assault upon Harry M. Daugherty, Attorney General in the Harding and Coolidge Cabinets, and the attempted crucifixion of Harlan F. Stone, Mr. Daugherty's successor. But it is not said or argued that Mr. Palmer was framed, or that Mr. Daugherty was framed, or that Mr. Stone was framed. These men—Palmer, Daugherty, Stone—were, so far as they were individually concerned, figures solely incidental. It was President Wilson who was framed—and President Harding and President Coolidge; it was the American government that was framed—and the American people, and the public press of the country upon which the American people depend for the truth they seek as the basis for the formulation of intelligent opinion.

The inspiration for this frame-up was criminal; the soul of it was alien-fed treason; some of the engineers of it were ex-convicts, and others were criminals not yet apprehended and convicted; but it has to be admitted that the most of those concerned were dupes, misled tools and sycophants in mentally delicate health.

There was a time, in the course of American post-war history, when the red menace was indeed a menace, when the red web might have been, when seen, something at which to shudder. But today the red web is pink, and only the threads of its origin are red.