The Charlotte News
Monday, October 7, 1940
Such as These Have No Place In a Democratic Election
Hard words, but no harder than circumstances called for, were those which Wendell Willkie flung out in Brooklyn. "Any man," he cried, "no matter how high his position, who impugns the completeness of my patriotism, is a coward and a cur."
A whispering campaign against this upstanding American and World War soldier would be a grotesque commentary on the methods employed to preserve this democracy. If it should be traced to any of the ward politicians or bosses of the Democratic Party, it would again present that weird contradiction between the Liberalism of the New Deal and the rough and readiness of its gorillas.
And decent people who would observe that such a shameful campaign was being waged against Mr. Willkie would have only one coarse then to take, the same which was forced upon some of them in the Smith-Hoover campaign of 1928. That is, they would have to protest the slandering of a man of integrity by voting for him whether they had intended to or not.
But then they might recall the equally shameful slanders which have been made against the integrity of President Roosevelt, and perhaps decide how to vote by pitching a coin or by staying at home on election day.
Draft Recalls We Are Still At War With Seminoles
Among the men who came up to register for conscription October 16 will be at least 65 subjects of the nation which is presently at war with the United States. However, they will not be enemy aliens.
Which may seem slightly screwy, but isn't. They are Seminole Indians in the Everglades of Florida.
It all came about this way:
In 1834, the United States entered into a treaty with the Seminoles whereunder they were to cede their lands in Florida and be removed to the Indian Territory in the West. They had already had one war with the United States--in 1817-18--but old Andrew Jackson had put them bloodily down.
But in 1835 they refused to conform to the terms of the treaty, on the ground that it had been forced on them, or to be transported. Result was a war which did not the end until 1842, and in which the generals who were presently to win the Mexican War--Winfield Scott and Zachary Taylor--got their training.
At last, however, the main body of the tribe submitted in 1843 about 4,000 of the Seminoles were finally removed to the West. But not all of them. A remnant of the tribe buried itself in the depths of the Everglades swamps, went on vaguely resisting the United States for years until their fighting power alternately petered out. By that time nobody bothered about them anymore, and no treaty of peace was ever arranged. Thus they remained formally at war with the United States.
Whether the old spirit still survives or not we don't know. They have grown tourist-conscious. But they used to be excellent fighting men, capable of showing even a Nazi a trick or two.
It Makes Willkie a Nazi, F.D.R. Inventor of Hitler
There is nothing like the old party spirit to beget twaddle. Take Charlie Jonas. By and large, Mr. Jonas is a pretty good fellow. But when he settles down to the old party line, he can talk twaddle with the best of them. He talked it yesterday at Asheboro:
"If Franklin D. Roosevelt had kept his nose out of Europe as well as Hitler and Mussolini had kept their noses out of the United States, we would be happy and peaceful today."
He explained that he had no love for Hitler and Mussolini. We are sure he hasn't.
All the same that speech adds up to saying that Franklin Roosevelt is responsible for the fact that Hitlerism now menaces us, which is just what we called it--plain twaddle.
Twaddle, too, is the suggestion that Hitler and Mussolini had kept their noses out of this country. Did Mr. Jonas never hear of the German-American Bund? Doesn't he know that the German and Italian embassies and consulates are heavily over-staffed with men whose business it is to line up the Germans, Italians, and other disgruntled elements in this country in a Fifth Column? Hasn't he been reading the sabotage stories and J. Edgar Hoover on sabotage? Hasn't he heard of what is going forward in Latin America?
Any morning now we expect to wake up to find the Republicans telling us that Adolf Hitler has no actual existence, that he and all his deeds are a myth right out of the head of Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
But Senate Seems To Have Reason To Dwell on It
Is a little startling these days to turn to the Congressional Record and find the Senate engaged day after day talking about wool--quite as though these were the good old Smoot-Hawley tariff days.
However, it turns out, on examination, that there is a sort of method in the Senate's madness. The bill under discussion is one providing, among other things, that garments offered as "wool" must hereafter contain a label announcing to the customer that they are "virgin wool" or "re-processed wool." Ostensibly it is a move to protect the consumer. Actually, it appears to be a scheme of the sheep-raisers to force up the prices of wool.
The idea seems to be to play on the common notion that "virgin wool" is necessarily better than "re-processed wool" (usually called "shoddy") and stimulate increased demand for the "virgin wool," thus raising prices.
It turns out, however, that there are fourteen different kinds of virgin wool, and that the poorer sorts of this are far inferior to the better sorts of "re-processed wool."
More important, perhaps, there seems to be no reason for raising the price of wool. Wool prices are now 128 percent of parity, whereas wheat prices are only 54 percent of parity and cotton prices only 59 percent. And, with the nation already in process of buying millions of uniforms for the armies, the problem promises to be one of keeping wool prices down to reasonable levels rather than raising them.
Perhaps it is just as well that the Senate did decide to pay a little attention to wool even in times like these. Else this measure might have slipped by without anybody bothering to observe what it was up to.
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