The Charlotte News
Thurssday, July 11, 1940
Site Ed. Note: Here, Cash appears to be rapidly losing confidence in Franklin Roosevelt as a leader up to the task of defeating Hitler's advancing menace, a menace which Cash, and many other liberal journalists of the day, believed was on the verge of overrunning not only England but the United States as well. And there was sound and rational reasoning to back up such an assertion of belief--with Hitler having conquered virtually all of Europe, except Russia and England, England appearing on the ropes, and Stalin cautiously playing fence-sitter. Certainly such an assertion as a dramatic warning that doing nothing would lead to such was not only rational but required of anyone who was rational and informed--as to have done nothing might well have in the end produced the end, as the further delay desired by the United States until 1943 to achieve a better equipped and prepared military strength, could have provided Hitler with just the crucial time-frame necessary, not to mention the continued assistance of Wernher Von Braun at Peenemünde, to achieve his long-range rocket dreams attached to a doom's day weapon more terrible than any ever unleashed, a dream he was very near to realizing when the end came in April, 1945. Would greater military preparedness by the United States, had Pearl Harbor never occurred, such that direct involvement could have been delayed another year or so, been sufficient to end the war still by 1945? Sometimes history's cruel lessons are not as cruel as they might have been and so must be constantly kept in a perspective against the result of having adopted a different and even largely favored policy of the day.
While Cash would quickly modify his position--if his position in truth ever really changed sufficiently to be modified--and editorialize strongly for Roosevelt by October, he would to the end hold fast to the notion of the Nazi threat to the United States, remarking on it plainly at the start and end of his last public statement, the commencement address at the University of Texas, June 2, 1941.
President Plays Up to The Isolationist Vote
The President is obviously playing politics with the European situation quite as actively as did the Republican platform committee--and to the same end of appealing to the vote of the chronic wish-thinkers called isolationists.
His "we will not send our men to take part in European wars" is open to various interpretations. But it is certainly designed to make the isolationists think that the President has promised them what they want. And Bounding Burt Wheeler probably knows what he is talking about when he proudly proclaims that it heralds a strong "keep us out of war" plank in the Democratic platform.
The President has abandoned his position without even waiting for it to be seriously attacked. That position recognized the plain fact that we have no ultimate choice but to fight Hitlerism or submit to it, and held that it is better to keep the war in Europe than to bring it to these shores. Now he serves notice on England that she will have to fight with nothing but kind words from us--for all the bluster about sending her important aid is only a cruel hoax. At the present rate there is no prospect of England getting anything which amounts to much from our manufacturers for at least a year. And he serves notice to Adolf Hitler that the latter had nothing to fear from us in his present crime--that he may confidently count on dealing with us alone, which is exactly his purpose.
If, in these circumstances, England chooses to sue for peace and hands over her navy to Hitler in order to get better terms, thus leaving us helplessly at his mercy, no one can blame her.
A Man Goes To Jail for Failing to Honor It
Yesterday the Associated Press carried the following dispatch:
AMSTERDAM. (Via Berlin)--A Dordrecht (The Netherlands) store manager who urged his women employees not to have dates with German soldiers--not even to talk with them--was sentenced to three years' imprisonment by a German court-martial today.
That is interesting as showing the new German chivalry at work.
It is a part of Hitler's game of conquest, as outlined in many Nazi journals and in the conversations with Rauschning, to have his soldiers make up to the young women in the conquered countries by way of producing a bumper crop of German babies to grow up into proper Germans--to the end of making those countries German also.
In cases where consent is obtained from military authorities, such soldiers may marry the girls if they wish. But in general that will be discouraged and the soldiers reserved for the marriage portion of the Gudruns back home in Germany proper. Most of the births will be illegitimate in the strict sense of the word, but will be immediately legitimized under the present Nazi laws.
So far as possible, the gentle method of seduction is to be used. But if a young woman in the conquered countries is not properly appreciative of the honor of becoming the mother of a holy German by a man who is not her husband, then the soldier is authorized to use force for the achievement of his purpose--in the full assurance that no charge of rape will lie against him.
Such is the new German chivalry. The unfortunate Dordrecht merchant seems to have been so benighted as to fail to recognize its splendid beauty, as contributing to the holy aim of multiplying Germans to murder the human race.
Youth Congress Lines Up Solid for Moscow
The American Youth Congress makes sure that nobody shall any longer have any doubt as to where it stands. It stands for Russia and Joe Stalin, first, last, and all the time.
One Franklin Kramer of Elgin, Ill., chairman of the University of Wisconsin All-Campus Peace Federation, introduced a resolution into the Lake Geneva session of the outfit which denounced Russia along with Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, and Japan.
It was a bad enough resolution. For its primary purpose was to promote the "peace at any price" poison which is presently sweeping American campuses and which may yet be the final undoing of the United States. But it was not on that ground, you may be sure, that the Congress promptly and overwhelmingly turned it down.
Not at all. It was on the ground voiced by Mr. Carl Ross, national secretary of the Young Communist League. He said that he thinks Russia "is a democracy" which "is willing to co-operate with America to stop this war."
It Would Be a Good Idea To Settle This Fight
It is a little startling to find General Hugh Johnson in his column today calling for the nomination of Wendell Willkie by the Democratic convention and so dispensing with an election this year. Several times in recent months Ironpants has inveighed against the idea of making it unanimous for Roosevelt and insisted that the people must always be given the right to assert a choice, that elections must on no account be called off.
Certainly, it is a dangerous precedent he proposes to set--far more dangerous than third terms. For it would open the way for two gangs of politicians to control the naming of the President without ever bothering to give the people a chance to vote.
Nevertheless, it is possible, and even probable, that it might be a good thing this year. If the President runs, we are likely to be torn by one of the bitterest contests the country has seen, at a time when the primary concern ought to be to get ready to head off the Nazi mess and save ourselves from being Nazified, if that is now possible.
The plain fact is that this nation is at an impossible impasse, and has been throughout the second Roosevelt term. That impasse resides in the fact that business and the New Deal are at dagger's point.
The New Deal is exceedingly vague in its philosophy, but insofar as it may be said to have a prime postulate, it is that laissez-faire economy is impossible in the modern world, that Government planning and control are necessary.
Business in America, on the other hand, holds to a modified laissez-faire philosophy. It asserts that if it is given a free hand, lower taxes, and Government aid and encouragement, it can solve the economic problem of the United States, put the unemployed back to work and raise the general standard of living in America.
Whether that is true or not nobody really knows. Its opponents charge that business had absolute control of America from 1920 to 1932, and ended in disaster. But business men generally believe in it absolutely, blame the New Deal for the fact that unemployment has not been solved, assert that the New Deal has choked recovery. Result is hatred between business and Government--capital and Government opposed.
And in that situation, the only rational thing to do seems to be to put it to the test, to give business the chance it demands, and at the same time the full responsibility.
Mr. Willkie is the candidate of business. He is also to a large extent the candidate of the middle class as a whole, save the liberal wing of that class. And many liberals are backing him, others are on the fence. But above all, he is the candidate of business, as witness the fact that party lines are rapidly breaking down in the South itself and that business men are flocking to his standard.
Mr. Willkie is obviously an able man. Moreover, he is an honest one. There is no question of mere selfishness or serving fat cats in his case. The American people generally expect nothing but that he will approach his task in the spirit of good will. Moreover, he gives every sign of being aware of the conditions of the modern world and the difficulties of trying to make any sort of laissez-faire system serve the people in it, especially with Hitlerism to be dealt with. In short, an ideal man to put the matter to the test.
If he succeeds, he will certainly command the gratitude of all Americans. If the laissez-faire idea will not work, we shall at least know finally and conclusively where we stand.
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