The Charlotte News

Saturday, June 15, 1940


Site Ed. Note: "Willkie" is more probably from the typewriter of Editor J. E. Dowd, a Republican, than from Associate Editor Cash, a Democrat, as Cash was not so completely convinced that F.D.R. would seek a third term at this juncture, but we include it here anyway by way of contrast in their political opinions, which were in fact different only by a few degrees in the grey areas of the Liberal-to-Conservative spectrum. It is testimony to the editorial independence and integrity of each, however, that in truth, we cannot properly discern the author. And Cash clearly did write similar editorials on Willkie in July, 1940. The two traded their views in by-lined side-by-side pieces on the editorial page in "Inter-Office Memos: Willkie or Roosevelt", October 13, 1940, three weeks in advance of the election.

In 90 Days

U. S. Policy Does Complete Turnabout in Rapid Order

If anybody doubt that the policy of this Government and the attitude of its people have changed radically in a short month or two, let him take notice of these two paragraphs below:


"To me, it is only too apparent that the life, the liberty, the livelihood and the very safety of (U.S. citizens) may be dependent upon the outcome of the present war. [i.e. an Allied victory.]


"From one end of this earth to the other every civilized man is praying, after his fashion, for the victory of France. Americans know on which side stand right, justice and Christian decency, and on which side are wrong, cruelty and bestiality. They believe in France."

That last public utterance, being recent, may easily be recognized as the theme of address which Ambassador Bullit delivered in France last Sunday. It was pretty strong stuff, yet if the U.S. State Department rebuked him for it or reproved him in any way, there has been no announcement of it.

No. 1 also was delivered by a member of the diplomatic corps: Jimmy Cromwell, then Minister to Canada. He was roundly called down for indiscretion by the press and various Congressmen, who demanded his portfolio. Secretary Hull had him on the carpet and chastised him for all to hear: "Such public statements by our diplomatic representatives are likely to disturb the relations between this and other Governments."

Leche Gets His

And the Long Gang Finds A Flaw in Huey's Mantle

In less frenzied times, it would be Page 1 news when the Governor of an American State was sent to a term in the hoosegow. Especially if that term was a whopping one of ten years. Especially if the conviction was for fraud, which is to say stealing.

With the war going on, the happening of the above sequence to Richard Leche, former Governor of Louisiana (resigned under fire), went almost unnoticed. Matter of fact, Dick hasn't gone to jail yet. He's out on bond. But the doors are swinging open.

And in any event the Long gang in Louisiana has its nose rubbed in the dust. The voters turned out of office all those whom the Federal Government had not sent to Atlanta, Leavenworth and other receiving stations for common crooks. And Huey's mantle, which they fought over, turns out to have had stripes in it all along, just as we thought.

In Our Midst

Safety Requires a Watch On Germans, Italians

We have no right to assume that the body of German and Italian aliens or naturalized citizens in this country are going to be disloyal. On the other hand, our safety does not allow the complacent assumption that they are certain to be loyal.

Plain fact is that they have been generally disloyal in every country so far invaded by Hitler. The analogy is not exact, of course. Most of the Germans in the countries surrounding Nazidom were there for commercial reasons or had been sent in for the express purpose of breeding treason. But many of the Germans in this country came here precisely because they hated the sort of thing in German life which Adolf Hitler sums up. Nevertheless, it is certain that many of those here are not loyal. And some of them include people who have become naturalized citizens.

The Washington Merry-Go-Round story yesterday on the organization of a new super German-American Bund is in point. And Fascist activities in New York are highly developed.

Such outfits in the great cities of the East and Middle West, particularly those with large German and Italian populations, are intolerably dangerous. For by threat and intimidation they can line up large numbers for Hitlerism. Nor is it to be forgotten that the Hitlerian victories are going to have the natural psychological effect of inflaming pride in a great many German and Italian breasts which have hitherto been cold to Nazism and Fascism. And at a critical moment these creatures could well seize and paralyze the key points in the nation.

This is not to suggest a need for indiscriminate action. Popular action, save the request of the Government itself, is the last thing required. The innocent must be protected. But it is about time we began to move fully to separate the sheep from the goats, and to enact laws to deal with the goats without tenderness or sentimentality.

Freedom of speech and opinion we must preserve. The freedom of political conspiracy is another thing. Those guilty of it deserve the most rigorous penalties.

And if, as Merry-Go-Round intimates, some native industrialists are putting up the money for the organization of this sedition among the German and Italian aliens, they ought to be smoked out and shown up, however high and powerful they may be. And any penalty they get, right on up to and including the hot seat, will find us cheering in the bleachers.


For GOP Politicoes, It's An Outsider or Nothing

It is a sad choice the Grand Old Party is up against, but there seems to be no escape from it. Sad, that is, for politicoes. In brief, it is to nominate Wendell Willkie, who is no member of the guild and has little use for it, or resign themselves to having no chance at all against Franklin D. Roosevelt, now virtually certain to run for a third term.

Willkie is the only Republican in sight who gives any signs of being of a caliber fit for the tasks ahead.

Of the three leading Republican candidates, Thomas E. Dewey has no experience beyond the office of district attorney, has shown himself inclined to fix his viewpoint by what he imagined to be popular, and, worst of all, has manifested no grasp of the international case. A month ago he was offering to guarantee to keep us out of war come what might.

Vandenberg is a windy politician of the old school, a busted isolationist and a bitter-end partisan. He, too, was going to guarantee to keep us out of war at all cost.

Taft lacks the personality absolutely necessary in a leader in times of national peril and crisis, has evinced no particular concern for the international situation, has a distaste for anything resembling a crisis.

The people show every sign of realizing the inadequacies of these three candidates. They are likely to take to the idea compromising on Mr. Hoover with even less enthusiasm than they have for these three.

Willkie, on the other hand, undoubtedly appeals to large numbers of people in the country, not all of them conservatives. He has had a large experience with industry, which is important just now. His integrity and frankness are generally admired, even by people ordinarily suspicious of utility magnates. And he has showed as much understanding of the international case as President Roosevelt himself.

His chief handicap is that he is an untried quantity in political office, where the conditions of success are necessarily different from those in business. Nevertheless, he could cite great adaptability in his career. In any case, it is about as certain as anything can be that he is the only man the Republicans can nominate with any hope of victory and any assurance that the Government would be in strong, capable hands for these critical times.

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