No Dictator Later

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Blue and red text on a white background

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This button is from the 1940 presidential campaign of Republican Wendell Willkie. He was a lawyer, corporate executive, and volunteered for the Army during World War I, but the war ended before he ever made it to the front. In the 1940 election, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (and fellow Republican) was running for an unprecedented third term and Willkie’s campaign relied heavily on “going negative” against FDR. Originally, Willkie held strong interventionist views concerning the war in Europe, as did President Roosevelt; but, as his campaign efforts ramped up, Willkie started to spout isolationist opinions and took to calling Roosevelt a warmonger.

The slogan on the button reflects the belief that if the American people elected the current president for a third term, he would eventually become just another dictator. After losing the election, Willkie urged those who had voted for him not to oppose Roosevelt on all issues, but to give him support where it was called for.

Catalog ID CA0373