The Charlotte News

Tuesday, February 4, 1941



Site Ed. Note: Wendell Willkie, Cash leaves out in "Mad Tactics", was until 1940 a Democrat, albeit one opposed to the New Deal. And of course, the next successful Republican candidate, Ike Eisenhower, also was a Democrat before switching in 1952. In fact, Truman had recruited Eisenhower to be the Democratic nominee in 1948 in Truman's stead.

And so was Ronald Reagan a Democrat during the New Deal.

In fact, other than Alf Landon, Willkie and Dewey, can we find until the 1950's one person who actually claimed to have been a Republican after the debacle of Herbert Hoover? Odd that was, since the country, save the South, had voted overwhelmingly Republican from 1860 onward until Roosevelt, Grover Cleveland and Woodrow Wilson having been the exceptions to prove the rule.

Laval Wins

Petain Plainly Gets Ready To Bow to Nazi Pressure

Old Marshal Petain is pretty obviously faced with the necessity of having to make a final decision about "collaboration" with the Nazis, and there seems to be little doubt as to the course he is going to take.

What Germany wants is the right to use French bases in Africa, and as a minimum the absolute guarantee that Weygand's army in North Africa won't be used against the Axis. Maximum demands are the use of Weygand's army to stop the British and save the Italians, and the active employment of the French navy for the Axis in the Mediterranean.

The assurance that Weygand will not join the fight against the Axis in Africa has already been given by Weygand himself--who certainly did not speak without having the signal from his chief in Vichy.

And now it is admitted that Pierre Laval is to be brought back into the Cabinet. That constitutes a major defeat for Petain's effort to keep the Nazis from getting full control of the Vichy Government. It was because Laval was bent on giving the Germans everything they asked for that he dismissed him in the first place. Now Laval is insisting that he must have absolute control of Franco-German relations when he returns and that there must be no division in the Government over the arrangements he enters into with the Nazis.

What that really adds up to is that Laval is going to be the head of the Government, with Petain merely serving as the figurehead to keep the French people quiet.

Mad Tactics

Republicans Are Playing With Life of Their Party

Republican leaders should take a good long look at the history of the Whig Party, which was the predecessor of the GOP. It refused to face the issue of slavery one way or the other, tried straddling the fence and playing politics with the question--and as a result died.

Many people thought the Republican Party was permanently washed up after the terrible beatings it took in 1932 and 1936. And when its convention opened at Philadelphia last Summer there was every sign that they were right. It looked as though the party were going to nominate a reactionary who would have no more chance of election than a Chinaman.

Then a miracle happened and they nominated Wendell Willkie. In November he lost but he rolled up the greatest vote ever given a Republican candidate, the greatest vote ever given any American save Franklin Roosevelt.

Afterward Wendell Willkie proved that he was really a man of Presidential stature by resolutely preferring his country to his party--by coming out openly and fully for the granting to the President powers that nearly everybody knows to be necessary to the safety of the nation.

The Republican Party has spurned that cue. Every Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee accepted the leadership of Ham Fish, voted against the Lease-Lend Bill--made a partisan issue of what had no business being dealt with as a partisan issue.

Worse, leading Republicans are now denouncing Willkie, and plans are under way to repudiate him as the party head.

They are carrying their party straight to disaster. They may follow the leadership of dubious reactionaries like Ham Fish, the nation won't. They won't destroy Willkie, they may well destroy the Republican Party.

Sailing Ship

The Romance She Brings Back Is a Bit Wrinkled

The alert Associated Press reports eagerly that the war has brought the sailing ship back to Boston Harbor, the implication being, as we get it, that the romance of sail is once more real.

So it may be if you see the ship standing up stately against the morning sun as she bears in past the lights or if you sight her half-hull down upon the Atlantic. Seen at a little distance any great sailing ship remains one of the fairest sights of the world--lovely as only a very rare woman is lovely.

But do not look at her name too sharply or sniff her too closely, or all the AP's romance will fly away with the winds. She is a square-rigged bark, and so a little broad in the beam. And her name, alas, is the Abraham Rydberg, which is obviously a name for a tugboat or a barge, not a lady of the sea. Worse, and though she is bound from a romantic-sounding Santos, Brazil, her cargo--God forgive us all--is plain fertilizer!

The sailing ships that swarmed the harbor of Boston in the days of the China Trade were another thing than that. They were full-rigged, slender in the waste like any proper belle of the time, and they flew so fast through the water that the sound of the wind in their riggings was like a great symphonic orchestra. Their names were names like the Cutty Sark, the Golden Arrow, and the Flying Cloud.

And more, they belonged to the age or tradition of sailing ships when things that smelled bad were not the things that men thought worthwhile transporting over dangerous seas--to the tradition of spices from the Indies and gold in galleons to the Americas. Spices from the Indies they actually brought, and tea from China and coffee from Java and Arabia and camphor, and teakwood and sandalwood: these were the things that gave them character and in which the bad smells they did actually carry were forgotten.

Romance, AP? Perhaps, but only the romance of an old, old woman asleep in the sun, who is not herself a very great belle but who represents the last line of once brilliant queens.


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