7.8 BQD: Can we make the world “safe for democracy”?
Prompt
This discussion asks you to consider the ideas in Wilson’s War Message (excerpted in the Voices of Freedom for this chapter, pp. 592-593) and how his ideas fit in with reality. I’m asking for your opinion here – so there’s not a right or wrong answer, as long as you support your ideas with evidence. This is important, because this discussion topic may seem more fact-y than some of our previous discussion topics.
The most famous line in Wilson’s War Message is the line where he talks about the war as being necessary to make the world safe for democracy.
Do you believe President Wilson when he says that the U.S. involvement in World War I is about “making the world safe for democracy”? Why or why not?
What do you think the most important reasons for U.S. involvement in the war were? (Here I’m asking you to evaluate the information presented in your textbook and weigh the different factors – so think about why you think a reason is important or not important.)
If you don’t believe Wilson, do you think he’s lying on purpose, or do you think he believes the statement as he’s making it?
What’s a counter-argument that might be convincing? (If you don’t believe Wilson, what do you think someone who does believe Wilson would say to support their ideas? If you do believe Wilson, what would someone on the other side say?)
What would Eugene Debs say (or what did Ricardo Flores Magón say) in response to Wilson’s speech, given the video clip from the Module 7.3 or Magón’s article in the PSD?
Make sure to include evidence to support your ideas and remember to cite your sources!
Optional replies: As with all BQD, you can post up to 2 replies to classmates for extra credit – @2 points per reply.

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