The Charlotte News

Sunday, November 3, 1940



Site Ed. Note: For the two editorial views on Roosevelt and Willkie, to which Cash refers below, Cash for Roosevelt and J. E. Dowd for Willkie, see "Inter-Office Memo: Willkie or Roosevelt", October 13, 1940.

And they still got along at the end of the day and after the election... Not just Dowd and Cash, but Roosevelt and Willkie as well. Mr. Willkie went to work for the Administration in 1941.

It seems that our truly great presidents were the ones who forged alliances across party lines through bi-partisan federal judicial appointments, cabinet appointments, ambassadorships, and so on. Notable examples are Lincoln's tapping in 1864 of Democrat Andrew Johnson to be his Vice-President, FDR's elevation to Chief Justice in 1941 of Justice Harlan Stone, appointed to the Supreme Court by Herbert Hoover, JFK's appointment of Byron White, a Republican, to the Supreme Court in 1962, Bill Clinton's appointment of William Cohen, a former Republican Senator, to the position of Secretary of Defense. Such primary appointments to high government positions or cabinet posts are always welcome signs to the American public, those of both parties and independents, of someone with a fair approach to governing them. Would it were that we would see more such examples from the leaders of both parties.

Perhaps our next president should create a new cabinet post, Secretary of the People, and appoint a new person each year or every other year who has never held political office to the position, the job being to report to the president regularly on the daily fears, wants and needs of the American people, and substantial segments of them, the vox populi--not just those of the large campaign donors and heads of large corporations and the like who usually obtain the ear of the president and high government officials.

There is abroad the land a thirst for a more responsive government, less beholding to large purse strings. One only need look at the long lines for Michael Moore films to understand that simple concept.

We are tired of glossy photo-ops signifying nothing, and pols who stand on protocol amid fast-talking operatives and advisors who tell them what to say, who to see, and who to avoid, and government functionaries who treat their constituents as subjects rather than those who voted them into or will shortly vote them out of their particular office.

We thirst for change. We thirst for public servants, not public sycophants. We thirst to have our voices heard. We thirst for that precious First Amendment right to petition our government for the redress of grievances to have some real meaning to it. When was the last time you petitioned your government for the redress of a grievance? Would we even know how?

Will the next four years, after promises made in the next few months, settle into the old routines? Time will tell. We hope, and once again, we will trust, that ideals will match action and that, most of all, we will each be made to feel that we count, whether we have $10 in the bank or 10 million.

Nov. 5

It Finds Minds Unmet Up in the Tower Room

Tuesday is the fateful day, for which the whole country may join with the two Presidential candidates in giving thanks. The campaign has reached the point where nothing more of consequence is to be said.

The people know, as they have a right to know, where and for what the two men stand. Little can be added which would change a basket of ballots from one side to the other. Mr. Willkie is laboring on under the most excruciating exhaustion of all but his magnificent courage, whereas Mr. Roosevelt has been largely assured from the start of the support that he will receive on Nov. 5. His speeches are designed to defend the record of his two terms for audiences who consider that they require no defense.

The share of North and South Carolina voters in Tuesday's proceedings is virtually that of interested witnesses rather than participants. As for North Carolina, all the polls and the rule of past experience and the disinterested guesses concede that the best Mr. Willkie can hope for is a complimentary minority vote.

As for South Carolina, of course, its one-sided majority is already in the Roosevelt bag, and has been.

Even so, people over the two states will vote their convictions as they were born with them or have arrived at them, and in that connection The News, not wanting to evade the responsibilities of the franchise or the obligations of an independent newspaper, would like to add a postscript to the exchange between its two editorial writers of their views on the issues and the candidates.

How they vote as individuals is of no importance except to them, but the stand they think the paper should take ought properly to be disclosed to its readers.

And much as they regret their inability to get together, the one of them still holds for Roosevelt in the conviction that the defense of the country against world-wide aggression demands him, where the other has reached the conviction that the true defense of the country begins first of all at home and calls for a change from Roosevelt to Willkie.

Rara Avis

He Ought To Be Stuffed And Bled in a Museum

In ancient Corinth Diogenes the Cynic would have blinked at him and thrown away his lantern. And even in his own generation in this country, he is almost, if not quite, unique.

His name, alas, is lost to history, but it ought not to be. The memory of those who achieve the incredible ought always be kept green in the annals of the human race.

He is the 72-year-old man from Rockingham who wrote a letter to the Welfare Department in Raleigh. He was visiting in Idaho then. And he had been getting an old age pension. For that he was properly grateful. It would have been hard sledding for himself and his wife, he said, if it had not been for the pension. But just now he was in such position that he would not need the pension for awhile. And he disliked the idea of being a burden to the Government. And so, please, would they stop the pension until he really needed it again?

The staff of the Welfare Department is reported to be responding to nicely to the treatment for shock. But we wish they'd get the gentleman's permission to pass along his name to posterity. For it may well be that he will presently be as marvelous an exhibit as a genuine diplo-docus or a dodo. If he is nearly unique even in his own generation, is there any chance at all that his type will survive in the generations now in their prime and in those coming after them?

In Suspense

Airport Dispute Not To Be Settled Without Full Facts

Charlotte, yclept the Friendly City, may always be counted on to put friendship to the test of controversy. Few things pass unchallenged here, whether they be public or private in their nature.

A case in point is the latest squabble over Mayor Douglas's handling of the airport lease. The details of the lease and the CAA's regulations remain too unclarified as yet to warrant any opinion as to whether Mayor Douglas acted wisely or in disregard of equities, both municipal and private.

For instance, it would be unfair to the Cannon Airport were the activities at that field to be curtailed because of any regulation which became operative with the leasing of the City's airport to the Army.

Furthermore, the apparent necessity of buying land for another municipal airport in order to vacate the present field for all except limited uses, and the dependence upon Federal aid for the improvement of the second field, could turn out to be a swap of a bird in the hand for two in the bush, always a risky business.

But the answers to these questions, we say, are not to be made until all the facts are at hand and may be reviewed in relation to all the factors. For the moment, fairness to Mayor Douglas requires acknowledgment of his diligence and the selection of the city as an air base. To offset so desirable a deal as that would take a lot of bad handling.

Coming Close

Nazis in Greenland Would Put Us in Great Danger

If the story of the frustrated Nazi attempt to seize Greenland is true, it is of the gravest importance to the United States.

Greenland is emphatically in the Western Hemisphere, and any attempt of the Nazis to lay hands on it is a flat defiance of the Monroe Doctrine and the Declaration of Havana. Nor will any attempt to camouflage it by claiming that they were merely trying to vindicate Danish sovereignty against the British change it.

But an attempt on Greenland is not only a defiance of our most solidly established national policy, it also involves immediate physical peril to the United States.

Greenland lies only about 800 miles north of Newfoundland, where we are presently establishing a new naval base under the recent agreement with Britain. More than that, it is only some 300 miles from the coast of the Canadian mainland, and the country facing it is extremely wild and lonely, would offer an excellent landing place for small forces of, say, parachute troops, bent on seizing air bases and other key military points.

And for that matter, Boston and New York are both within bombing distance of Greenland itself.

Once in Greenland, Adolf Hitler would be in position to strafe Canada unmercifully and to strike us if we attempted to do anything about it.

The story may not be true, for it rests only on a radio broadcast in German from a British nation. But if it is true, it obviously calls for steps to make sure that the attempt is not made again

Roy Hudson*

Forthrightness Was His Distinguishing Quality

Roy Hudson, who was killed Thursday in an unusual railway accident, was a whole-souled man, strong of body and rugged in his convictions. Despite his three terms as City Councilman--a place to which access lies only by politics--he was unlike a politician in both appearance and manner.

In him was no guile but rather a hearty forthrightness that marked him for a ready and loyal friend. Sheer popularity accounted for much of the support which elected and re-elected him despite the fact that to a great many people of the city he was wholly unknown.

It so happened on no more than one occasion that his votes on measures before the Council came in for critical comment in these columns. He conceded the newspaper's right to its opinion of his decisions as fully as he retained the right to reach them independently, and it was characteristic of him that he never allowed this difference of views to affect personal relations.

The range of his activities--railroad fireman, grocer, City Councilman--will cause him to be widely missed, just as the cheerfulness and fellowship he brought into all of his contacts assures the genuineness of the sorrow that will be felt in his passing.


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