Tuesday, October 30, 1928

Shelby, N.C.

C. J. Mabry .. President

J. Nelson Callahan .. Business Manager

W. J. Cash .. Managing Editor

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Site Editor's Note: In the Moving Row piece, "Simmons" is regressive Democratic Senator Furnifold Simmons of North Carolina who Cash would skewer in his first piece, "Jehovah of the Tar Heels", sardonically titled and delivered, for The American Mercury, in the July, 1929 issue. Josephus Daniels, then still the semi-progressive editor of The Raleigh News and Observer, formerly Secretary of Navy under Woodrow Wilson during the mid Teens, and incidentally the boss of young Franklin Roosevelt as Assistant Secretary, was one of the high chieftains and political anointers of North Carolina's Democratic Party; hence the opening simile below. Both stood at the forefront of the Anti-Smith Democrats in North Carolina, Daniels often running pieces recalling the days of Black Rule during Reconstruction as a scare tactic to prevent Democrats from voting for the Liberal Al Smith.

Cash refers below to North Carolina Methodist Bishop Mouzon and Bishop Cannon who, along with various other religious leaders including Duke Divinity School professors, were outspoken critics of the Smith campaign. Using anti-Catholic sentiment as their weapon, some of the more noxious, such as the Klan-distributed Fellowship Forum, went so far as to hearken back to events occurring hundreds of years earlier to raise the spectre of threat of persecution of Protestants by Catholics under a Catholic President. Cash contrasts this position with that of other more progressive voices in the Protestant church like that of Dr. John Moore of St. Peter's Episcopal Church in Charlotte who believed Prohibition was a mistake.

As we hear a certain politician/preacher who operates from Virginia Beach condemn the "nefarious" practices of the A.C.L.U. "to make society totally secular" by its continued representation of persons seeking to stop institutionalized public prayer in purely secular settings, we wonder if such politician/preachers have ever bothered to read closely that part of the Bible which warns of the fellow who walks through the public square wearing his religion as a display on his sleeve. Why is it so often that such publicly religious fellows turn out to be so flawed in private? Perhaps, just perhaps, the First Amendment to the Constitution and its Establishment Clause aside, it is the Bible, and not the politician/preachers, which is correct. Were Jefferson and Madison also among this horribly corrupting cabal of "trial lawyers" of which we are so regularly warned by these fellows of Virginia Beach and elsewhere--or did Tom and James bother perhaps to read their Bibles a little more assiduously, studying less the primp of their hair in the mirror before taking to the hustings in front of their television cameras paid for with the sale of gold-adorned, leather-bound Bibles?

Completely lacking in precognition, the gentleman who Cash references in the last piece opines that Al Smith would inherit the mantle of leadership in the national Democratic Party even as a loser in the upcoming election. Instead, Smith, after his resounding defeat to Herbert Hoover in 1928, retired from private life, became president of the firm which owned and operated the Empire State Building and edited a magazine for two years, The New Outlook. Of irony, even though the support of Smith by Franklin Roosevelt, on his own way to being elected Governor of New York, had been instrumental in securing for Smith, a man of humble background, the 1928 Democratic nomination for President, Smith became a staunch opponent of the New Deal during Roosevelt's first term and supported subsequent Republican candidates against F.D.R., Alf Landon in 1936 and Wendell Willkie, himself a defected Democrat, in 1940. Smith died in 1944 before Roosevelt's election for a fourth term over then New York Governor and racket-buster Tom Dewey. Prior to his run for the Presidency, Smith had been the popular and effective progressive Governor of New York for eight of the ten years between 1918 and 1928.

A scientist in Atlanta holds up a piece of steel, takes his hand away and the steel remains suspended in the air without support, says a reporter. Yeah, and we knew another reporter who had seen orange elephants and saffron kangaroos.


"Washington hears that slanderous reports are being used against Smith in North Carolina." At that rate of alertness, Washington will know by the fall 1932 who won the election in 1928.


The big-eared damsel on Mars didn't answer the prof's Morse radio. But there's something in this psychic business just the same. "You're going to lose a large sum of money" droned a gypsy to a Carolina man--and relieved him of his pocket book.

Bishop Cannon denies by wire that he called Carter Glass a "mere pawn in the hands of Olvany, Hague and Brennan." Probably, it'll turn out that the Bishop said that the Senator is a mere "tool" in the hands etc. Such are the crimes of the "yellow" press.


John Roche Straton sues the New York World for $200,000, because a reporter says liquor was sold over the bar in a hotel owned by the doctor. Come to think of it, it really has been all of two months since the doctor has made the front page. Wouldn't it have been better to have sued on the ground of "mental anguish?"



Those people who have been bilked to buy the claim that Al Smith proposes to let down the bars to immigration cannot do better than read the article, by Judge Riggs, which appears on page one of this issue of the Press.

It will be observed that Smith is merely urging the application of a new law, passed on in 1924, which bases quotas on the national origins of all--note that, of all--the people in the country in 1920. The law also flags a limit of 150,000 per year. That law has been in effect eighteen months. Yet Herbert Hoover has ignored it and, as Secretary of Commerce, has enforced the law, no longer in effect, based on the 1890 census of the number of aliens--note that, of aliens only--in this country at that time. Under it, he has already let in 169,000 immigrants for the year. And, under it, the English-speaking peoples have been able to send in only 62,458 immigrants instead of the 91,111 to which they were entitled. Moreover and finally, Herbert Hoover has definitely stated his wish to have the percent quota basis changed.

Now, just who is favoring the "Wops" and "Sheenies," the "filth and the scum" of Northwestern Europe?



"Do you," asks a reporter from the New York World of Herbert Hoover, "agree with Dr. Work that the people are tired of hearing of oil?" "I will not discuss that question!" replies Mr. Hoover.

Why not? Mr. Hoover asks the highest office as the gift of the American people. Why then have we not the right to know what he thinks of the freebooting of the Harding crowd? Of the strange silence of Mr. Mellon? Of the slick dodging of Will Hays? Dr. Hoover has favored us with much chatter concerning the glories of the Harding and Coolidge Administrations. He has told us what he thinks of prosperity (page New Bedford!) what he thinks of economy (sic), what he thinks of the Prohibition enforcement policy of St. Calvin of the Snows? Why not tell us what he thinks of oil?

Why not tell us about his own record. Surely, it has an ugly look. Here are the facts. The lease delivering Teapot Dome to Harry Sinclair was executed April 7, 1922 in absolute secrecy. On April 20, Col. Birch Helms, Vice-President of the Texas and Pacific Coal and Oil Company, telegraphed Herbert Hoover protesting against the secret lease, which had been made without competitive bidding as required by law, and asking his aid in securing an audience with Harding on April 25 or 26. On the 24th, when it was too late to do anything about the interview, Hoover handed the telegram to Albert Fall, who received $333,000 for his part in the famous crime, with a note saying: "I should be glad to convey to this gentleman any reply which you may suggest."

Why this failure to inquire into the facts? Why this betrayal of the public?

Moreover, Mr. Hoover was in Washington, certainly, on Nov. 18, 1921, when the Cabinet adopted the policy of leasing the oil reserves. Did he attend the meeting or didn't he? Nobody knows. Why not an answer to that? But Mr. Hoover will not discuss that.



The American mania for laws reaches the ultimate absurdity with the passage of a law in New Jersey forbidding hitch-hikers to solicit rides and motorists to give them. Manifestly, of course, that law cannot be enforced. Nor is it desirable that it should be. No man is under obligation to give the hiker a ride unless he so desires. Nor has the State any business telling a citizen that he may not offer another a ride if he likes.

Katherine Fullerton, writing in Harper's, explains our passion for passing laws that we know that we will not obey, that we never can enforce, as a gesture toward the moralities. Our national hypocrisy, she thinks, is really a shame-faced tribute to standards that we accept without much questioning. But that sort of hypocrisy is as contemptible as any other. Worse, it's stupid. It's the outgrowth of an adolescent attitude, of romancing about ourselves. Moreover, it's exceedingly dangerous in that it breeds easy contempt for all laws. What we need to do is to grow up, to fix the standards, as a society, by what we are actually going to do, not by some vague notion of what we ought to do. Aspiration is the realm of the individual. Reason and realism are the only safe guides for society.



Dr. Arthur J. Barton will enter North Carolina to battle under the anti-Smith banner.

In a speech at Macon, Ga. on August 9, Barton, who calls himself a Christian minister and who is office secretary of the Southern Baptist Home Mission Board, had this to say of the candidacy of Alfred E. Smith:

"The South will ordinarily go Democratic even if they nominate a yellow dog--Mr. Smith and Mr. Raskob know that, but they don't know the rest, that the South won't go any lower."

That of the man who has, for eight years been Governor of a great State, who has given the State its cleanest and best organized government, who, more than any other man in the whole history of the State, has been responsible for humane legislation, that is to say, legislation that may be properly styled "Christian."

Of that same man Charles E. Hughes had this to say: "If Alfred E. Smith lived in another country, he would be elevated to the peerage. As it is, he belongs to the only American aristocracy, that of service to his fellow Americans."

To oppose Smith is the privilege of every man. No decent man will oppose him because of anything Barton, or his ilk, may say.


"We are no more than a moving row
of fantastic shapes that come and go."


It occurs to me that Simmons, in his flings at Josephus Daniels, is like that lap poodle which, once at Murren, I saw barking at the Jungfrau.

Bishop Mouzon replies to the claim that preachers ought to stay out of politics with "we get our call from God, not from men." And that, I confess, strikes me as a most curious argument.

I had rather held the notion that preachers are mortal, and that they get their call to preach very much in the same manner that other men get theirs to write poetry or, for that matter, to sell soap. But granting a special intervention of Providence in their case, must it, therefore, be assumed that they are provided with esoteric information as to the Mind of God? I have myself always supposed that the Words of Jesus were the one final revelation to Christians, that a layman might understand quite so well as a priest. If that be true, it is very clear to me that a pulpit dedicated to the worship of God through Jesus as His Son ought to be a place for the preaching of only those things which Jesus Himself taught. Certainly, such things would alone constitute "the knowledge of things not seen" acquired through Faith.


If, however, as the Bishop suggests, preachers, and bishops, in particular, are vouchsafed extraordinary information from God, if the Words of Jesus are constantly being supplemented with new dispensations concerning Prohibition and Al Smith and the canonizing of Buck Duke or Lord Hoover, then, it is obvious that we are on the wrong track. Indeed, the doctrine of the separation of Church and State becomes ridiculous. The only sensible form of government, if the Bishop be right, is a Theocracy, controlled, say, by the bishops, Dr. Straton, a Blue Stocking or so perhaps a cambellite--but no Roman Catholic. And yet, why not? Clearly, a cardinal believes himself to be the only true representative of God's ideas. And another thing, I can't for the life of me make out just why a fine Presbyterian like Dr. Van Dyke should be for Al with the instructions of God, while Bishop Mouzon is against him at the instance of the same Deity. Is it to be presumed that Dr. Van Dyke is lacking in Grace? Or is it Bishop Mouzon who has slipped? How am I, a mere Sinner, denied the boon of private audience with The Maker of us all, to know just what is God's will? If I accept Dr. Van Dyke's word and Dr. Van Dyke is wrong, am I to be damned for that? Am I not between the same Scylla and Charybdis in the case of the good Bishop?


The same thing holds good of Prohibition. How am I to steer my frail Homeric craft between the position of Dr. John Moore Walker, Episcopal rector of St. Peter's in Charlotte, who says that the 18th Amendment is "a great mistake" and that of Bishop Mouzon, who is convinced that the law has become a lesser deity? Apparently, I'm to be damned if I do and to be damned if I don't.

And, if my private opinion is worth anything, I don't believe God has anything to do with the opinions of Bishop Mouzon save insofar as he has to do with the opinions of the muddiest of us all. I think, if a cat may presume to look at a bishop, that Mouzon is merely propounding the medieval dogma of Papal infallibility.

* * * * * *

Will Al Smith, if he loses the election in November, go the way of Cox and Davis and sink into the blackest oblivions to which have been consigned the average American also-ran?

Mark Sullivan thinks not. He is quite sure that the leadership of the Democratic Party has passed definitely into the hands of Smith and will remain there for a long while to come, with the probability that Al will be the standard-bearer again in 1932. He advances the argument that some 15,000,000 people, at least, will vote the Democratic ticket this year. Of this number, the South will furnish about 2,000,000. The remaining 13,000,000, he thinks, will represent, almost entirely, a portion of the protest vote against the Prohibition laws. He points out that these 13,000,000 will be entitled to a party of their own and declares his belief that the Democratic Party is destined to carry the modification banner. What the South, which is ordinarily said to be "bone-dry" will do about it, he does not pretend to say.

Moreover, increasing evidences that Smith, if he loses at all, will lose by a narrow margin, are seen as making the Governor's leadership inevitable. And, should it turn out to be true that Smith will continue to lead the party, it is inevitable that Simmons, Heflin, and other brothers will be thrust defiantly to the outside Democratic ranks, political observers agree.

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