The Charlotte News

Sunday, November 10, 1940



Site Ed. Note: A resigned statement on the hapless plight of the United States Navy in neutrality limbo, "The Silent" is perhaps a prelude in contrasts to the Pulitzer nominated "Sea Fight" of November 14, celebrating the heroics of the British Jervis Bay. The poetry of the sea was always a consistent chord in Cash's writing.

Post Mortem*

Switch of Half-Million Votes Would Give Victory to Willkie

It works both ways. For example, a handful of popular votes would have swung Michigan back into the Roosevelt column. And the same is true of those two citadels of Republicanism, Maine and Vermont. It is true of Colorado, Indiana and Iowa, of all the states that Willkie won except Kansas and Nebraska.

But the fact remains that by arbitrarily transferring fewer than half a million popular votes of the nearly 50,000,000 cast in Tuesday's election, the result of electoral votes could be changed from a walk away for Roosevelt into a victory for Willkie.

The post mortem calculation of how this might be done will be found in a table elsewhere in the paper today. It is interesting, of course, mainly as an exercise in arithmetic, a consolation for the losers and a caution for the winners. But it is worth noting for the sheer astonishment of it that an election which went to Roosevelt by 449 electoral votes to 82 could have, with the transfer of fewer than a half-million votes, have gone to Willkie by 268 to 263.

The Silent

The Navy at Least Will Hardly Comprehend This

And John Paul Jones and Stephen Decatur and Perry and Farragut and Dewey and Mahan and all their assembled companies, lying in their graves, wept to hear it.

Twelve hundred Americans were marooned. For many reasons, most of them valid, they had remained in England late, but now, men, women, and some children, they wanted to come home to safety from the murderous bombs dropped by the barbarian on England.

In New York the great liner Manhattan lay ready to sail. In Washington the State Department had been negotiating for a month for safe passage for the ship. She only wanted to go to a neutral country, Ireland. She only wanted to go to the westernmost port on Ireland, Galway, 2,100 miles by sea from New York, 500 miles from warring England. And she blazed with light by night, with glaring paint by day, so that a seafaring man though a fool could have no doubt of her identity.

Once that had not been a matter for negotiation. For a hundred and fifty years the American Navy had proved that it was no matter for negotiation to all who doubted. But the United States had long since gone the road of appeasement and had surrendered the first attribute of its sovereignty, its absolute right under all law. And now-the little Italian jackal, anxious to please, willingly agreed. But the bully brute of the North, sullen over aid to Britain, had growled a surly no.

And the State Department, everybody admitted, would not send the Manhattan to a neutral port far from warring England. The helpless Americans would just have to stay and face the bombs, men, women, and children.

Maybe it was all right. Maybe. Certainly, the American people had demanded it so. But one thing was sure-the dead heroes of the navy who had made the name of the United States mighty and respected in the earth did not understand. And it was more than a fair guess that the living navy, remembering its great tradition, did not understand, either.


A City's Boss

Washington May Mourn It But Tar Heels Won't

It's sad news for Washington, but naturally Tar Heel hearts are going to swell with pride and joy in it. The Hon. Robert Rice Reynolds, the travelingest man who ever cooled his heels on a Capitol Hill desk, is slated to become chairman of the Senate District of Columbia Committee in the new Congress.

Congress, you know, governs Washington. And Robert in his new post will have greater powers than most mayors and city managers in the United States, and will come in for such swag in the way of power and patronage as would make any mayor's eyes pop out of his head with envy.

Robert will know how to manage it well-for Robert. As for Washington...

Well, if we belonged to that city, we'd stage a roaring march on the Capitol and yammer our heads off, under the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights. But Washingtonians have shown general willingness to take it lying down before rather than resort to such measures.

But stay; perhaps there is hope. Why can't Washington make up a fund and send Robert away to really see the sights of the world as he has never seen them before-say, for four years? For ourselves, we promise to deliver three rousing cheers for Washington if it does and to chip in a dime.

But as for Tar Heels generally, we have no doubt of their pride and their joy in Robert's rise to dizzy eminence. There is the record of the last Senatorial election to prove it. And if there were any doubt-it appears that one of the first results of Robert's elevation is that of a lot of them (Tar Heels) are going to get jobs helping to run Washington.


Miz Goose

Man Sets Out To Compile Verses in American Style

That Higgledy, Piggledy, the fat hen who laid eggs only for gentlemen, had a British sense of snobbery and said "bean," for "bin," is the premise on which Mr. Ray Wood of Raywood, Texas, is proceeding. Mr. Wood was in town last week and was properly written up in The News.

"You see," said Mr. Wood, "the classic Mother Goose was not written for children. It was governmental satire. Besides, it is English lore, not American. What I'm collecting comes from children of America and is for children."

So it's the compiling of an American Mother Goose that the gentleman is up to. That's why he's traveling around the country, dropping into newspaper offices and getting himself written up in the hope that people everywhere will send him the verses and the doggerel that they carry in their cranium, stored away from childhood.

It might be fun, at that, and helpful. Everybody in this neighborhood of the country was raised on rhymes. Perhaps readers of The News would like to help out Mr. Ray Wood and send their contributions to his anthology via The News, where they will first be printed.

To set the ball rolling, who remembers this one?

Butterfly has wings of silk,
Lightning bugs a flame;
Bed bug's got no wings at all,
But he gets there just the same.


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