The Charlotte News
Monday, July 15, 1940
Site Ed. Note: "Quartette" brings to mind the story about Cash which his widow Mary related to Cash biographer, Joseph Morrison, in the mid-1960's. Sometime round about the time this editorial was published, Cash and Mary were attending a social gathering together in Charlotte. Someone, probably somewhat in her cups, hearing Cash say that he supported by and large F.D.R.'s efforts in the New Deal to rebuild the economy of the country, had the temerity to ask Cash, surmisin'-heim-a-ly, whether he was on relief. He responded, "No, I am an associate editor for The Charlotte News."
"Observed" calls up the image from Life of the middle-aged Parisian man weeping like a baby at the heroic sight of the Liberation troops parading through the streets of Paris in the fall of 1944.
Radical Foreigners Are Slow About Renouncing Relief
The official who estimated that there were 30,000 Communists and Nazis on WPA in this country must be first cousin to the chap in Berlin who calculates the daily destruction of British warships.
Beginning July 1, Federal relief was denied by order of Congress to practicing Communists and Nazis. Expectations were that the legislation would have a double effect in pruning the relief rolls of the unworthy and in exposing potential Fifth Columnists. And what happened?
Why, so far, over the whole country from the Atlantic Seaboard across the Appalachians through the Mississippi Valley and the plains over the Great West to the far Pacific, a vast land supporting 130,000,000 people, some 2,000,000 of them at the Federal expense, a grand total of four persons, two in New York City, one in Detroit and one in Philadelphia, had confessed the taint of Communism or Nazism and renounced the right to good old Democratic relief.
This seems to illustrate two or three principles that deserve admission into the category of axioms.
1. The grip of the relief class on the public teat is tenacious.
2. The Fifth Columnists are hardly going to accept formal invitations to advance and be recognized for traitors.
3. The present Congress has a naive conception of the forces and factors with which it has to deal.
Nazis Attack Us With Threats and Falsehood
Nazi Germany's tactics with reference to the United States are at present both to threaten and attempt to lull us.
The Deutsche Allgemeine Zeitung represents the threatening technique when it warns the Democratic national convention in Chicago to look after the fate of America and let England go, thereby getting better terms for ourselves.
And the German radio represents the lulling technique when it assures us:
"National Socialism (Nazism) does not want to export itself. We are not forcing constitutional forms on other lands although it is well remembered that the Allies after the World War forced democracy on Germany."
The last, of course, is untrue. The German republic was born before the Armistice was signed, and the Allies at no time insisted that the German government had to be democratic. Merely, they insisted that they would not deal with the Kaiser's Government.
As for the claim that Nazism does not want to export itself or to force constitutional forms on others--was there ever a more brazen speech? The armistice forced upon France contained an explicit reference to "preliminary conditions for establishing peace in Europe," and everybody understood that that meant France must have a Nazi government. The Laval-Petain regime is the answer to that demand. Does anybody believe the French people would adopt Nazism if they had a free choice?
Nazism does not want to export itself! That in the face of what has happened and is now happening in Austria, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Norway, Holland, Belgium and France!
Long ago Adolf Hitler said: If you tell a lie, tell the greatest and most brazen one possible. Then people will be so dazed by it that the silly among them will actually believe it.
Dr. Ellwood Fails To Note an Alternative
Dr. Charles A. Ellwood, of the School of Sociology at Duke University, writes Senator Vandenberg protesting against adoption of universal military training. It will, he avers, destroy the spirit of America and eventually cause the land to run red with blood, as Europe runs.
It is idle to wave away his argument as without merit. Universal military training does carry with it the danger of the growth of the militaristic spirit and the desire for conquest by murder. But it does not make these absolutely necessary.
France was not militaristic, despite the fact that it had had universal service for a century. Neither is Switzerland.
Nevertheless, if our choice were free, it would certainly not be in keeping with the American tradition to adopt universal military service. The Founding Fathers were suspicious of standing armies as a menace to the liberties of the people, and wanted as far as possible to get along with nothing but a voluntary militia. That principle has always been a dominant part of the thought this country.
But what Dr. Ellwood fails to observe is that our practical choice is now narrowed down to the question of whether or not we shall have universal service and prepare to fight Hitler if we have to, or be ready to submit quietly to his taking charge of this hemisphere and eventually our own nation. If Dr. Ellwood has examined Hitlerism, he must be aware that its purpose does not end with Europe. We do not believe that he favors submission to Hitler. And if he doesn't, his protest against compulsory training is mere wish-thinking.
France Keeps Her Liberty Day Despite Conqueror
France kept its Bastille Day after all. There had been reports it would be ignored. But it was observed as a day of mourning.
The Bastille was the symbol of the tyranny of the absolute monarchy and a corrupt nobility. Its destruction on July 14, 1789, brought on the French revolution, which was to plant the ideas of freedom and the rights of man solidly in the French consciousness.
What France mourned yesterday, the thing for which men sobbed aloud in the streets, was the suppression of those ideas, and the return of the Bastille. For all France is today a Bastille more terrible than any which France has tolerated since the Middle Ages.
But France at least does not accept it placidly. If France is being forced into Fascism, it is at last refusing to pretend that it does not in its heart hold still to the ideals which it has served so long. And the final proof is that the crowd cheered President LeBrun as he rode away from the palace.
LeBrun was the last symbol of the republic. And it was the republic the crowd cheered in his person. The republic which was honeycombed with corrupt politics, greed, and treason. But which was also the symbol of the fate of France that it is the right of man to be free and to govern himself, even though he sometimes does it badly.
Maybe Adolf Hitler can keep the soul of France locked up in his Nazi Bastille indefinitely. Maybe he can utterly extinguish it there. But in view of the history of France and the obvious refusal of her people to give up their inner conviction, it does not seem likely.
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