In this Jan. 6, 1942, file photo, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, left, standing at the podium, delivers his war message to Congress at the Capitol in Washington. Credit: FIle / AP

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In the fall of 1940, Franklin D. Roosevelt was running for an unprecedented third term as president of the United States. His Republican opponent was American lawyer and corporate executive Wendell Willkie. With much of Europe under the jackboot of Adolf Hitler’s Germany, the president’s short-of-war strategy had led him to propose the first ever peacetime draft.

“If you want to win the election,” a reporter told Willkie, “you will come out against the proposed draft.” Willkie answered, “I would rather not win the election than do that.”

I grieve for the Republican Party of yesteryear.

Phil Locke