The Charlotte News
Wednesday, July 17, 1940
This Is Mere Mockery of A Party's Free Choice
What is going on in Chicago is of course a mere farce. It is fair to assume that the President for many months at least has intended to run again. The way he justified that to himself was by nourishing the conviction that he alone in the Democratic Party was fitted to run the country, and that no Republican could be trusted to run it save on the lines followed from 1920 to 1932.
But behind it also was undoubtedly his own ruling itch for power and glory. He was willing to go back to Hyde Park for weekends but not for years.
And to the end of making himself the only possible candidate, he carefully played his cards so as to cut down every aspirant before his star rose too high. McNutt was allowed to flourish for awhile, apparently with something very like the Roosevelt blessing. But suddenly he found himself dangling on a limb, the White House cold to him, and he had hastily to rush into print and virtually withdraw himself from the race by reiterating that he would not be a candidate if the President was available.
Garner bloomed in his turn on his own hook, but as his boom began to get really going the word went out from the inside that the Roosevelt wing would veto his nomination at Chicago. The boom died abruptly, as the local politicians everywhere suddenly remembered their jobs.
Farley, too, raced hopefully around the country lining up delegates, but the same thing that happened to Garner happened to him also. He was stymied.
Then it was Hull. The old gentleman was not campaigning. The grapevine from inside was that the President was grooming him and at the right moment and in plenty of time would step aside and put him forward over all other candidates. But the official silence held on.
Now the farce goes forward. The President is not a candidate, he has never been a candidate. But of course if the convention should "draft" him, he would have to yield to the will of the people. And of course the convention is perfectly certain to "draft" him, as the only man in the Democratic Party who now has a chance to win the election, or upon whom a sufficient number of mystified delegates could unite.
It is totally uncandid. What it amounts to is an attempt to remove the prejudice against any man deliberately seeking the Presidency for a third term, in violation of established tradition. If the Democratic Party rises and "spontaneously drafts" a man and demands that he run for a third term--that, you see, is a very different sort of thing from his seeking it of his own free will and account. It is a play finally to the grandstand, and one which may not be without its effect.
Mr. Roosevelt and his champions justify it, as we have said, on the ground that he is the only man who can safely be trusted to lead the country in these times. They justify it on the ground that such is politics in America these days, and that any man who wants to win must play the game according to the facts and not according to his desires.
But the spread between profession and deed is wide indeed. And the whole proceeding must leave a bad taste in the mouth of even Mr. Roosevelt's most devoted admirers, and even in his own.
He Prefers Serpent's Way To That of the Lion
Adolf Hitler may feel as confident of taking England as his spokesmen boast. But it does not seem altogether probable. For the rumors about the terms he is said to be preparing to offer England make them too ostensibly easy.
Hitler's terms, of course, are never easy. For ultimately his promises are all founded on premeditated treachery, and, however mild they may sound at a given moment, are carefully designed to weaken the intended victim to the point that taking him will be easy.
Nevertheless, these, if they are accurate, are certainly designed to take England in if anything can. We hear nothing of any purpose to demand any part of the British navy. All the territory demanded seems to be Germany's former colonies in Africa, with perhaps some little bone somewhere for the jackal, Italy, to soothe its ignominious vanity. And England is to promise to let the Continent alone.
Joker probably lies in the inducements to be held out. One of these undoubtedly will be the promise of destroying Russia, and so soothing the fears of people in England who still think Communism a greater menace than Nazism. That means the final destruction of the European balance of power.
And the second is that England is to play a great role in the "economic rehabilitation" of Europe, specifically as "mediator" between the "gold bloc" (mainly the United States) and the totalitarians.
In plain language, what they probably come to is an offer to let England in on the exploitation of the new slave labor on the Continent. And what it eventually adds up to is probably a Nazi scheme to get England inside the toto economy by appeals to her greed, with the knowledge that the Nazi system always follows the Nazi economy.
Harry Loving a Good Man For a Big Defense Job
The place in the War Department to which Harry Loving has been called sounds like one of the greatest importance. To be in charge of construction in that division of the Quartermaster Corps at a time when the Army is working like beavers, preparing for the defense of the country and the training of its armed forces, is a commission of the first rank.
Naturally, the selection of a hometown boy for this post is proud news. People who know and have perceived his striking ability will be quick to say that he can fill it, too, as well as could any other man in the country.
Aside from that, the tidings are comforting. They seem to say that the Army is making ready for whatever is in store. When outstanding civilians are called to the colors, it is a sign that the nation is buckling down to business with all it has.
Politics Bars Realistic Policy in Far East
The inevitable and tragic weakness of foreign policy which is at the mercy of hundreds of Congressional politicians is again revealed by Secretary Hull's hasty assurance that the United States will continue to play a lone hand in the East and will not collaborate with Britain. Reason for that is that this is an election year, and that the pro-Nazis, British-haters, and "He's Plotting To Get Into War" boys in Congress will raise the roof if the President made any attempt to deal with the Far Eastern situation realistically.
It is idle to say, as some people do say, that we have no real interest in the Far East and the outcome of Japan's wars of conquest. They are the same people who were telling us until April of this year that we had no interest in the outcome of the war in Europe. Japanese success in the Far East means economic and political trouble for us, far over and beyond any question of supplies of tin and rubber. For it will give Japan command of a quarter of the world's population, to be made slave labor for the production of goods at prices we cannot dream of meeting. And that means that we can't meet their competition in the world markets, above all in Latin-American markets. And our political hold on Latin-America--essential to our safety--depends primarily on holding it within our economic orbit.
For the South, Japanese success also probably means the ultimate loss of the whole foreign market for cotton.
But we cannot meet the situation with energy and with regard to our own interests because of the continual encroachment of Congress on the power of the executive to make foreign policy. We shall in fact almost certainly do nothing until disaster is upon us precisely as we did nothing in the case of Europe until it was already too late.
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