The Charlotte News
Thursday, August 1, 1940
Site Ed. Note: We seek the truth that we--and perhaps thee--may follow it. Not Dark Yet. (Keep the Change, Bob)
Let's play Concentration...
Which, However, a Lot of People Also Shared
To our desk regularly come--for a consideration--the releases of Editorial Research Reports, 1013 Thirteenth Street, N. W. Washington, D.C.--an outfit devoted to the job of making the lives of editorial writers somewhat more bearable by digging up information for them on the questions and the personalities of the times. Twice a year all the reports are bound into a volume. The volume for the first half of 1940 has just arrived on our desk.
Glancing through it, we come upon a report, issued in April of this year, on the Republican Candidates for the Presidential Nomination.
Here is what we find:
A man named Thomas E. Dewey gets five pages of exposition. What ever became of him has now escaped us.
Another man named Arthur Vandenberg gets three pages. And still another named Robert Taft gets as much as the aforesaid Mr. Dewey. Both gentlemen, as we recall it, are still occasionally heard of as members of the Senate.
As for possible compromise candidates, the report mentioned Senator McNary of Oregon, Senator Capper of Kansas, Governors Bricker and James of Ohio and Pennsylvania, Representative Short of Missouri, Frank Gannett, Mayor LaGuardia of New York, Hanford McNider, and the Honorable Ham Fish.
And then as a final thought it added:
"Another business man mentioned as a possible dark horse is Wendell L. Willkie, public-utility executive and one of the leading opponents of TVA and the Administration's holding-company legislation."
Apparently, even editorial research men can't always see that shadow coming events are supposed to cast before them.
Pot and Kettle
One Brutal Gang Sets Out To Examine Another
The New Jersey realm (sic) of the Ku Klux Klan has rented the German-American Bund Camp Nordland, near Andover for the purpose of holding an all-day meeting there Sunday, Aug. 18. The purpose of the sessions, says the Rev. Edwin H. Young of Nutley, grand giant of the realm, is "testing the Americanism of the Bund."
Which seems to be a case of setting a thief to catch a thief.
The Ku Ku outfit is very loud in its professions of Americanism. So is the Bund. Merely both outfits insist on making their own definition of what constitutes Americanism.
The Bund definition has it that true Americanism consists of hatred of Jews, in recognizing that all other blood lines are inferior to German blood, that it is the proper business of Germans to rule in this country, in bowing down to Hitler as the prophet of the new order, in which freedom of speech and thought will be mercilessly extinguished in concentration camps.
The Klan has it that Americanism consists of hatred of Negroes, Jews, and aliens--in recognizing that all other blood lines are inferior to Anglo-Saxon blood, even though it is enclosed in the body of the trashiest white trash, in suppressing Negroes, Jews, and aliens by brutal and illegal violence and in contempt for the rights guaranteed by the Bill of Rights.
The sole difference that we can see is that the Klan wants to set up barbarism by purely native talent, while the Bund wants to have it done by the master minds at Berlin.
Somehow, we don't believe much that is illuminating is going to come out of that session at Nordland, save a new demonstration that the Klan and the Bund are cut from the same cloth.
Cock and Bull
Lack of Gasoline Cannot Greatly Cripple France
The stories coming out of Geneva about the desperate plight in which the Petain Government of what is still called France finds itself because of the shortage of gasoline, are an excellent example of this sort of thing to which we are going to be subjected in flood. It is a pretty safe bet that the ultimate source behind them is Berlin, which wants to persuade us to demand that Britain raise her blockade out of "humanity."
Nobody who has ever been in France will find credible the report that food products being manufactured in the outskirts of Lyon cannot even be transported to the shops in the city because of the great shortage of gasoline to drive motor vehicles. France is less dependent on oil than any of the other great or lately great western countries. It has, indeed, gone into pretty heavily for oil-driven locomotives in the last few years. But the majority of its trains are still driven by coal, of which it has adequate supplies from the mines in the central massif region.
As for transportation by road: It is only in the last several years that any great part of it has been done by motor vehicles. France has plenty of horse-drawn vehicles to take care of her pressing needs both for local delivery and cross-country hauls.
While Congress Squabbles The Enemy Is Forgotten
Secretary Stimson's warning to Congress yesterday was exceedingly timely. The assumption that Britain is going to save us the trouble of having to settle with Adolf Hitler ourselves is one of the most dangerous pieces of wish-thinking which has ever seized the American people.
The cold fact is that the odds are against it. A miracle may happen, but anybody who wants to risk the fate of this nation on the chance is proposing a mad gamble.
Nevertheless, complacency is plainly all over the place. And Congress has eagerly seized on it to begin playing politics right and left.
Tuesday the Army admitted that it had had to scale down its orders for airplanes because the airplane manufacturers were balking at everything proposed by the Knudsen Committee. Excuse given by the manufacturers is furnished by the action of Congress. Knudsen wants to allow the manufacturers income tax exemptions sufficient to charge off within five years the cost of building new factories. That requires Congressional action. But Congress shies away from the action because in election-year, it might be charged that the fat cats are being enabled to profiteer.
An even bigger excuse is afforded by something else. The manufacturers say they want to be sure of being paid. That means the enactment, they say, of a defense tax program. But Congress dodges that now as it would dodge the devil.
Ultimately, the manufacturers have the excuse that with all the bitterness now on tap, it is quite possible that, in case administrations are changed a Republican Congress may take the bit in its teeth and repudiate everything which has been done, thus leaving them with the bag to hold. On the other hand there may also be something in the suspicion that they are not satisfied with the profits offered them and hope to make a better deal by holding out until after election.
Meanwhile politics rules the roost in another matter--the draft bill. It is held up in the Senate Military Committee mainly by Republican members, led by Styles Bridges, one of the most rabid partisans ever to sit on Capitol Hill. Purpose is to force Mr. Roosevelt to come out flatly for the draft. Idea behind that is then to rush to the country with the charge that he is a warmonger who probably needs to get us into war before November in order to win the election--that he is certainly deliberately whipping up hysteria by making it appear that we are in danger when in fact we are in none. It is a snide and contemptible move and Mr. Willkie should energetically repudiate it.
Nor is this all. General Marshall and the General Staff have unanimously asked that the upper draft limit be placed at 45 years. The reason for this is that men get to be good mechanics only after many years of practice, and that good mechanics are the prime need of the modern army. But yesterday the Congress, made up of civilians who know nothing about the needs of armies, chose to cut the upper limit to 31 years.
Highly skilled mechanics make good money. If they went into the army they'd have to be content with less. And--they belong to powerful unions. Some of the men, at least, might be willing just the same. But union leaders who get a cut from their civilian pay wouldn't be. The result might be bad for Congressmen at the polls in November.
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