The Charlotte News
THURSDAY, APRIL 24, 1941
(Site editor's Note: This article was
obviously hastily and angrily written by Cash and does not have
the suave use of language characteristic of his writing, even
that more time-pressed writing for the News.
One can see in the occasional run-on sentences and the tangled
penultimate sentence of the article the evidence here of Cash's
renowned tirades against Nazis and Nazi sympathizers. He had been
known to throw down an article and picture of Hitler and stomp on
it in visceral displays in the newsroom at the paper. . On their
way to Mexico, according to Mary, he did something very much like
this in New Orleans a month after writing this article. He
maintained the equivalent feeling for "America Firsters";
Cash despised as traitors those like Lindbergh and proves it here.
He is obviously referring to the Lindberghs and those like them,
such as John Foster Dulles, when he states a mere five weeks
later in his Texas Commencement Address that there are "men
and women in the United States" who feel that
totalitarianism is "The Wave of the Future", "an
irresistible wave". (Ann Morrow Lindbergh, Lindbergh's wife,
had written in her highly visible 1940 book, The Wave
of the Future, and in newspaper op-ed pieces, the
precise thought that Nazi totalitarianism was such an
irresistible wave of the future which would stabilize the
economies of Europe, act as a bulwark against Soviet imperialism,
and thus eventually bring about peace and prosperity. Most likely
Ms. Lindbergh was merely echoing what those such as newspaper
magnate, William Randolph Hearst, and already prominent New York
attorney John Foster Dulles, later first principal proponent and
architect of the United Nations Charter and Secretary of State
under Eisenhower, had been going about the country saying in
exactly the same words since 1939 and earlier.) Many apologist
historians who would rather think exclusively of Lindbergh in the
facile tabloid view as the aviation hero who flew the Atlantic
only to become the victim of a tragic kidnapping and murder of
his infant child, dismiss Lindbergh's early War politics of the
time as an aberration. Lindbergh, after increasing denunciation
at home, including official denunciation by the armed forces, did
finally renounce these views held prior to December 7, 1941, and,
like most former America Firsters and Band members, joined the
cause against Hitler and Tojo. Lindbergh served honorably in the
Air Force in World War II and was decorated for his efforts. But
lest we forget that sometimes ill-informed people, out of their
own remarkable vanity and desire for power, abuse their fame and
fortune gained through "heroics" rather than substance
and thereby lead others down the primrose path to strange, dark
and wrong-headed ideas, it is worthwhile by example to understand
how twisted the logic of many Americans, prime among whom for
their visibility were the Lindberghs, had become vis a vis the
Axis even as late as 1941 and how, in the misappropriated name of
pacifism, they were still willing to follow the already-proven
misguided example of Neville Chamberlain who tried to appease
Hitler in 1938 with his infamous Munich Pact, coupled with his
"Peace in Our Time" statement, only to see Hitler
invade Czechoslovakia and Poland within a year and invade France
and send V-2's into the heart of London within another year. Thus,
though with 20-20 hindsight the truth of the time appears
painfully obvious, through this angry article shines much wisdom
which by no means everyone had the foresight of Cash to see at
that time. Polls of the time still showed the country vastly
divided over entering the War with some 40% or more still
favoring isolationist policy. Roosevelt had run for his third
term six months earlier promising he would not commit American
boys to the fighting. Even following the strong Panzer advance of
the German army into Russia on June 22, the furious debate in
Congress which followed over whether or not then to enter was
stultified by the loud voices of continued isolationism. And that
is precisely why it took a direct attack on an American
installation to bring the country and its elected representatives
together to the point that it was without question politically
acceptable for America to enter the War on Monday, December 8.)
A Formula For Unity
Mr. Lindbergh Cooly Proposes That Minority Has Right To Make Policy and That Britain Must Be Betrayed
Last night in New York Charles A. Lindbergh, speaking for the America First Committee, charged that the aid-Britain people in this country are "the real defeatists, for their policy has led to the defeat of every country that followed their advice." And went on:
"I say it is the interventionist (the name by which the American First Committee, so-called, regularly designates all proponents of any aid to Britain), in America, as in England and France, who gives comfort to the enemy. There is no better way to give comfort to an enemy than to divide the people of a nation over the issue of a foreign war."
That logic will perhaps startle you. It is the prime assumption of democracy that in matters where a decision must be taken one way or the other it is the majority which has the right to make the decision, and that it is the business of the minority to close rank behind it--continuing loyal opposition if it likes and the peril to the nation is not too immediate and pressing but not attempting to hamstring the decision, sturdily maintaining basic unity.
Now it happens that the overwhelming majority of the American people have settled on a foreign policy--that one represented by the Administration. They have judged, contrary to the contention of Lindbergh, that the "foreign war" involves our destiny to the hilt. They believe that Charles A. Lindbergh is making black be white when he says that the policy of the United States is the same as that which has put so many nations under the iron heel of the Nazi slave system. They believe that England is where she is, that all these nations have gone down precisely because they adopted the appeasement policy Lindbergh now urges and refused to stand together against the common enemy. And so they have enacted the Lend-Lease Bill.
Charles A. Lindbergh denies that the policy is really that of the majority of the people. But that is only a dogmatic utterance as easily disproved is his trash proclamations about military and naval matters concerning which he knows precisely nothing. All the public opinion polls show that it is the policy of the vast majority, as does the vote of Congress--a perfect barometer.
What Lindbergh really demands, therefore, is that in order to have "unity" the majority must bow to the will of the minority and accept appeasement.
That is an astonishing doctrine, but it is not new in the world. You will find it precisely enunciated in "Mein Kampf." And Adolf Hitler's power today rests upon its application by force. The Nazis, it must not be forgotten, never won a majority of the German vote in any free election.
Let no one doubt, either, that what Lindbergh proposes now is exactly described as appeasement. He explicitly lays down the dogma, set forth previously in his wife's book, that none of the nations should have fought Hitler, that all should have tamely submitted to The Wave of the Future. Then he goes on cooly to propose that, having committed ourselves to aid Britain, we shall try to pacify Adolf Hitler's rage against us by the greatest act of treachery on record in the annals of humanity--that we shall abandon Britain and try to force her to surrender to Hitler out of hand in a so-called negotiated peace.
It is the maddest proposal ever made by a presumably sane American to Americans. It would leave us isolated beyond the wildest dream of the wildest isolationist, hated as no nation has ever been hated, hated most bitterly of' all by the people of the British Empire. Thus abandoned, there would be no course left open to England but to seek the best possible terms for herself and those terms could be got most easily just by handing over her sea and air fleets, intact, to Hitler. What Charles A. Lindbergh really proposes is that we commit suicide--that we make a move which will inevitably confront us with overwhelming sea and air power in the Atlantic, with Japan's navy and air power confronting us in the Pacific.
He denies that he agrees with his wife and wants us to submit quietly to The Wave of the Future for this country. But that is what he urges still relentlessly adds up to. And as Herbert Agar has pointed out, in times of greatest peril it is nonsense to say that we must not question motives.
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