Once I could Vote, Too! [Willkie War Veterans National Committee, WWII poster]
A 1940 presidential campaign poster for Wendell Willkie, the Democrat-turned-Republican activist and lawyer from Indiana. Here, American war veteran supporters of Willkie back his European interventionist policies, specifically in aid of France which had been invaded and subjugated by Nazi Germany in May and June 1940.
The poster depicts a French soldier speaking about the power of voting and its necessity for freedom:
“Once, I could vote, too! Once, like you, I was a free man! A Frenchman! Politicians made speeches to me, too! They spoke about our impregnable democracy. They told me what they were doing to protect my standard of living and my working conditions. They promised my family safety through preparedness. But they weren’t honest with me! They let me down! ... I was one of a nation of free men who did not prize freedom—who forgot that the price of freedom is eternal vigilance. ... Today, I am no longer free.”
The Chicago-based Willkie War Veterans National Committee warns that France’s tragedy can become our own and urges preparedness, warning that Democrat incumbent President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “administration is failing America as the French politicians failed France.”
OCLC records one variant example of this poster printed in New York City, “Prepared by St. Georges and Keyes, Advertising.”
Description: Once I could Vote, Too! [Willkie War Veterans National Committee, WWII poster]
[Chicago: Willkie War Veterans National Committee, . 16½ x 11½ inches. Half tone illustration. Typographical Union “bug” at lower left. Folds and faint creasing; small tears in margins at one seam line; very good.