De Valera in America!
[Pat Read writing as] - O U Rube, in The Workers’ Republic, March 25, 1922, p4.
The job of the iconoclast is never a congenial one. But the Irish people being so pre-eminently a hero-worshipping rave it becomes necessary for someone to get busy at the idol smashing job. More so is it necessary when the subject is one who is by his actions helping to kill the Republic he professes to believe in.
The author of Documents No 1 and 2, is we are assured by his supporters, ‘the idol of the people’. He is the ‘main squeeze’ at all their meetings – a sure drawing card for a crowd. In view of the forthcoming ‘split’, it might not be amiss to throw a little light on his American tour and how he by sins of commission and omission helped to ‘sabotage’ the object for which he was sent to the Statue of ‘Liberty’ country: viz, ‘to secure the recognition of the Irish Republic’.
On his arrival in the Untidy Snakes, De Valera found one big political organisation the ‘Friends of Irish Freedom’. MacCartan as Ambassador had given his paternal benediction. Devoy was enthusiastic and imagined himself the ‘whole cheese’. It was however, owned and controlled by the professional patriots, the apes that find it necessary to ‘Free Ireland’ no matter what public office they are seeking (Colahan is still a Republican). Doheny, the American agent for the Rothschild oil crowd, the persecutor of the Mexican people, and Ryan the Copper King of Montana, were among the official crowd. No wonder the man in the street, knowing this crowd and hating them in his heart looked askance at De Valera when his time, his while time, was spent in their company. The rank and file however (of the FOIF) was sound and had it not been for the split caused by De Valera, would eventually have eliminated them.
This crowd put De Valera in the best hotels always, patted him on the back and told him he was a good feller. It was the Wilson experiment all over. When the Republican and Democrat Conventions were held in Chicago and San Francisco prior to the election, the good scout was kept out of the way till the important task of platform-making was over, and then received wonderful messages of sympathy. Had he asserted himself, the chances are he could have forced ‘recognition’ as one of the planks. This was course was why the politicians had handled him all along, fooled him by one of the oldest ‘confidence tricks’ in the market. Angry at being fooled (how much like Woodrow!) he splits the movement from head to foot, thereby taking away whatever usefulness it may have possessed.
The Socialist Party had as one of their main planks the Recognition of the Republic. The Liberal elements thoroughly disgusted at the rottenness of the two old Parties, looked to them as a source of hope. The New York ‘Nation’, and the ‘New Republic’, advised a strong vote for Eugene V Debs, as a protest against the reaction. As a consequence Debs polled a popular vote, variously estimated as between one-sixth and one-eighth of the entire electorate. One word from De Valera and this vote would have been largely augmented; his job was to secure ‘recognition’ and the party that openly advocated recognition hadn’t one published word of De Valera’s to help them in their fight for the grand old man in jail. Of course, De Valera would have lost the political parasites that were busy throwing bouquets at him, but recognition might have been attained.
India and Egypt
India and Egypt also had their advocates and it was no uncommon sight to see the representatives of the three countries on a common platform. But open alliance between the three, there was none, even though an alliance on the basis of the London Agreement between the Allies, open proclaimed would have emboldened the Finance Kings in their demand for England’s debts to be paid, thereby adding to her difficulties. ‘The Republic of Ireland’ may race about selling the pass. De Valera had the power then to consolidate the pass. But as Connolly said, constitutional agitation in revolutionary language is about the best to expect from Irish politicians.
While De Valera was enjoying himself on one of the best hotels of Broadway, another great Irishman was living in a little back room behind a saloon, a man who made possible De Valera’s position. This man, no other than our own Jim Larkin, who is regarded by native Americans as a ‘fighter all over and a man all there,’ was arrested on information laid by the British Consul. Expenses of witnesses were paid by Britain. But it fell to a friend of De Valera’s to so the real dirty work. Alexander T Rorke, a member of Clan Na Gael, was the State Attorney and his persecution of Larkin will be remembered as one of the dirtiest acts of a dirty profession.
And De Valera? Not by one published word did he help Jim. Among the faithful few who stood by the founder of the Citizen Army, ‘our president’ was conspicuous by his absence. We, who in those days had not yet lost our illusions waited in vain for De Valera to join the right thinking few who stood by Larkin, hoped hopelessly for some sign that De Valera was in sympathy with him we loved. I have been told, that could the inside story of the Republican Loan Drive; the Victory Fund Drive, and the Political Campaign for Recognition, be published, lynching of Irish-American politicians would become a national (American) pastime. With the little we can surmise I can believe it.
“The Republic is dead””, says McCartan. Not yet, but if it dies we must apportion no small share of the blame to him who declared that he was not a ‘doctrinaire Republican’, to him who alienated more sympathy for the Republic than he fostered, to him who declares for unity with the comic-opera, eternal revolutor, telegram-writing Miguel and his crowd of job-hunters. For unity with the blackleg buyer and the well-fed ape who gave way a lady in 1913 and again in 1916, but who now will not give way to a Gore-Booth, with the crowd who cover their shame by gratuitous insults to the lady members of the Dail!
A Republican party can be formed, can have great hopes for success, but it is not of this material, not by unity with the petty larceny grafters of the Majority. It can be formed of people ready to risk all, to dare all and the man who declared himself; ‘sick of politics’ can help its formation by standing down, thereby saving for himself the respect we have for him through his great fight in Easter Week.
O U Rube.
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