Friday, September 28, 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: A poetic provenance of the county fair and its portent for civilization begins this day's ambages--(it should not be lost on those who believe in the proverbial literary muse that the following month Thomas Wolfe, the same age as Cash, would be involved in a bloody imbroglio in Munich during Oktoberfest such that he would later be inspired to begin a never-published work entitled The October Fair). Then Cash once again returns to Topic One, the election, strafing the religious bigotry of Frank McNinch, former mayor of Charlotte, who was head of the Anti-Smith Democrats in Charlotte. This league of battologists counted chief among their membership in North Carolina Raleigh News and Observer editor Jospehus Daniels and Senator Furnifold Simmons. Standing firm with Smith were Shelby's own Clyde R. Hoey, later to become Governor in 1937 and Senator in 1946, Josiah W. Bailey, who would defeat Simmons for the Democratic nomination for Senator in 1930, and Cleveland County's Congressman Major A.J. Bulwinkle. On more careful ground, though giving passing endorsement to Smith, was Shelby's other political star and brother-in-law to Hoey, O. Max Gardner, who had already secured the Democratic nomination for Governor and who would easily win in the traditionally one-party state come November.

Cash levels his site often during this and subsequent columns at Mabel Willebrandt, assistant United States attorney general from Kansas, who went about the country expelling an effluvial copia verborum against Smith and the threat she and others, like the Klan, claimed he would make to the free practice of Protestantism. Ah yes, them good ole flapping days...

"Doiby Al" in the "Bruce" piece affectionately refers to Al Smith's Lower East Side New York accent and his penchant for derby hats.

Note that while the newspaper masthead bore the name "W. J. Cash", the "Moving Row" columns each showed the name "J. W. Cash", with the order of the initials properly coinciding with Cash's actual name. The story goes that Cash reversed the order of the initials when he began writing so as not to create confusion with his father, John William. Just why then he decided thusly to by-line these columns in Shelby, published closer to his father's residence than any writing Cash ever did, provokes a question. Perhaps some notion of guilt over the Oedipal complex explains this deep, dark mystery; more probably, Cash was enjoying a private joke with his father. And perhaps remembering the stories surrounding William Lloyd Garrison, Cash felt that with the apparent presence of two Cashes around the publishing offices, he might feign the presence of a witness, should some bourbonized night-riders otherwise fancy calling some evening with blazing torches.



Faire! Foire! "To make, to do". Those things men, women have made, have done!

Fair! And Venice glittering under her saffron-washed, unbelievable sky, lean ships steaming home, crimson lateens bellied, triple-banked oars rising, gleaming, falling, cutting an aquamarine wake through the cobalt Adriatic to the waters behind the sand spit that is the Lido. The bells of St. Mark's rolling through the town, booming a flood of silver down palace-walled canals. And in the streets bales of purple, silks, casks, boxes, casques of jewels, cinnamon and perfumes. To show the things men have done, have made! To play! Laughter and a kiss. A sword and a masque and a dance in the Piazza! Clangor and the crowd falling back before doublet and blade. There a bent figure slinks to an alley. A [unreadable word] aglitter and Shylock is dead while the [unreadable word] laughs and nobles play at dice for his [unreadable word]!

Fair! And [unreadable word] the Princess in the midst of the world! Camel trains in her streets, blackamoors balancing boxes on shining polls. Fat German merchants from Cologne, Hamburg, Dresden Britishers. Priests and kings and fools. Sailors with macaws, parrots. Ser Marco Polo fresh from the land of the Men with Eyes in Their Bellies, from the court of the Mandarin. Tapestries and woolens, amethysts and pearls. The handiwork of men and God! And gaiety while Ruebens "mares" and dainty girls from Franz Hals dance in the cobbled square beneath the belfry that flings up and up against the pale, pale sky of Flanders.

Fair! And London Town! Thames crowded with a thousand ships. Strange brown men from the World Just Found, beads, arrows, scalps. Hairy-chested fellows with rings in their ears, cutlass at hip. Boxes and tar and emeralds and elephants. Ruddy yeoman from the downs, loaded with baskets. Strange cargoes from the West Indies, Persia, India, China. And above the guardsmen of the Tudor and the Stuart keep watch from the Tower of the town. But they dance in the muddy streets of London, kiss and laugh.

Fair! And the gaudy buildings of the Midway rise against the smoke and clash of Chicago. Fair! And Leipsic is the mart of blackened Germany. Gone the guilds, dead Bruges, Venice, the noble and the castle. Come Industrialism.

But there remain two urges fundamental to Man. The first to witness the prowess of another, to find the unknown, the grotesque, the diverting. The Circus Urge. The other to show the work of his hand, the things Man has done, the things Man has made! Fair!

* * * * *


Last week we had something to say about the "national origins quota" immigration bill. Just now Frank McNinch is hieing himself about the State bawling that North Carolina is 98 1/2 percent "pure Anglo-Saxon" (sic) and ought, therefore, to rise in her might to throw out the "dirty foreigner." McNinch harbors gaudy dreams, we think. What form they shall take depends upon what he, Frank Hampton, "His Master's Voice" and the god from the machine shall hereafter decide. That predicated, of course, upon the McNinch assumption of Papal infallibility.

Immigration is the least of the issues of the campaign as the "moral and idealistic" orator knows. He simply seeks to stir one more prejudice or rather to extend the anti-Catholic pogrom in the interest of his own ambition.

"Pure Anglo-Saxon" is pure hokum. There is not, has never been, such a race. "Pure Anglo-Saxon", properly applied, best describes a group of people in Southern Holstein, but these very people are among those hardest hit by the "national origins" nonsense. What McNinch probably has in mind is the Nordic superiority idea. For such superiority there is absolutely no evidence. Most of what we call civilization is borrowed from Greece and Rome, with contributions from Gaelic and Celtic races. Christianity itself came out of Asia Minor and was nurtured by Rome.

Does McNinch mean an Englander? A mixture of Nordic, Celt and Gael? or McTavish of Glasgow? Another fellow entirely, with the blood of a strange old race, probably from Africa, in his veins. Or Dennis of Ulster? Celt and Pict, whose Protestantism, in some esoteric manner, makes him better before the good God than that other Celt, Patrick, of Dublin, a Catholic. The only hundred percent Nordics are the North Germans and peoples of Scandinavia. Is there some magic in 98 1/2 percentum? A bit of "foolish consistency" might adorn so great a man as the McNinch.

By all means, let immigration be restricted, but let it be cut entirely off or let it be handled in a humane and sensible manner. Let it be kept out of politics. Let immigration stations be opened in Europe so that whole families may be examined at once, so that the disgrace of broken ties shall not be charged to inflexible laws. Let the fit of whatever race come. Let England's sweepings be rejected as completely as Italy's sweepings.

And we recommend to Frank McNinch that North Carolina is probably as much Celtic as anything else.

* * * * *


Senator Bruce of Maryland has an infinite capacity for being an ass. It has been demonstrated before. It becomes axiomatic when he hies himself up a stump, bellows that Sir Herbert Hoover is a sot, quotes Clarence Darrow as authority, and is promptly repudiated by the Chicago lawyer. Of course, Darrow never said that. And Bruce should have known it, probably did. The worst of it is that his bilge stands to hurt a better man than he is, "Doiby Al".

Hoover is not a sot. Every decent writer present in Washington join in the statement that he has unceremoniously observed Hoover's teetotalism since entering the Cabinet. And there are too many points in which Hoover is vulnerable for time to be wasted in an effort to establish what is without basis.

Bruce had far better have set forth the Truth: that Hoover is not a teetotaler in either conviction or practice--in private life. That statement bears the seal of the same decent correspondents herein before mentioned. But the fellow drinks in moderation always.

Exactly the same thing may be said of Governor Smith. And, it may be added, such liquors as the Governor uses were laid in before July 1, 1919 and are, therefore, perfectly legal. His enemies have persistently ignored that fact.

The case of Bruce emphasizes again that this has been a campaign of infamous lies. Smith has been the butt of by far the greater number of them. But Hoover does not seem to be totally exempt.


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


I am weary.

I'm weary of ubiquitous gents who, from a thousand housetops, tear their matted locks and yelp for Federalism, for the extinction of the rights of the States, of the individual in the name of Tom Jefferson! One gathers that they have read all Jeffersonica, all the 20,000 letters that yet exist. One listens. One is amazed. Nursery tales, perhaps. Reading from "The Federalists" for little ones. But never a word, never an idea that would not have thrown the learned doctor of Virginia into apoplexy.

For his philosophy is very simple. It is that of his teachers; Voltaire, Rousseau, John Locke, or his friend, Tom Paine. The individual is sovereign, master in the fields of morals, religion, all others. A sovereign, he sets up and employs Government as a servant, not a master, to insure that no other individual sovereign may encroach upon his realm. Hence "the least government is the best government."

Under that philosophy, no man may say to another "you must abandon your religion and become Protestant or give up your other right of holding office in this country which you have helped to establish, of having a truce in the direction of your servant." For then Government will become master. None may say: "We have decided to make you good. You may, at no time, take a drink of anything stronger than one and one-half percentum--no, not even if you are ill. You must not eat meat in Lent." For that also is to make Government master and to destroy sovereignty by invalidating choice.

No, Jefferson understood perfectly what he was about when he fashioned his religious liberty clauses, when he made "religion" generic, barring all, Protestant, Catholic, Christian, Jew, Mohammedan, whatnot from Government. Well he knew the differences that must inevitably arise over what constitutes morals, a true religion. So he would have barred it.

But Jeffersonism is not the doctrine of laissez-faire. It does recognize that the servant is as essential to the master as the master to the servant. It does recognize that all other sovereigns have rights which must be protected. It understands, for instance, that water power of right belongs to all men, that society is the sine quod non of its development and use. It contemplates the doctrine that wealth may not be held without social responsibility, cannot last without the spirit of noblesse oblige. It comprehends the idea that the individual might not hope for more than a cave without society, just as society cannot exist without the individual. Under it one may abolish the saloon. Under it liquor traffic may be regulated. But under it one cannot set out to make people "moral". It recognizes no right of a minority or a majority to play the tyrant. Rather it seeks to see that Government is, as nearly as possible, the servant of all people, a tool for which they carry out the sum of their wishes in their mundane relationships. That, in actual fact, always calls for compromise between opinions. And that is the great reason why government may not become an instrument of morality. Men will not and, in honesty, cannot, compromise on what they believe to be moral. Men can and do compromise on the best way to live together peacefully.

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