Roanoke Rapids Daily Herald/September 29, 1948
Governor Dewey’s method of handling the domestic communists has the splendid merit of having been proposed a long time ago in these letters. Therefore my endorsement is freely given.
Mr. Dewey shows a fine grasp of the situation and all that he left me to wish was that he had taken occasion to hearten those depressed American citizens in Hollywood who stuck their heads up and got them knocked off. The mere fact that the moving picture industry is rich does not relieve him of the public duty of holding it up to notoriety as a sly conniver with the enemy. However, I realize that, as he is said to have said, the first thing in politics is to get elected and that if he had let fly just at that point he might have joggled an election which is as good as won.
Nevertheless, he must see to it that, when he cleans the Muscovites out of our society, politics and culture, the good Americans who went down fighting for the American way in Hollywood are remembered and repaired. Some of them took their chances twice in hearings, first by the old Dies committee and later by the Thomas Committee on Un-American Activities. These committees assured them that they would have nothing to fear if they should tell the country what the Bolsheviki had been up to. Having no more knowledge of the actual workings of Congress than the producers of “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” and “State of the Union,” the patriots came out of the cellars and told. Like the underground martyrs of Warsaw who were betrayed by the Red Army into rising against the Nazis and then left alone to be slaughtered, these American writers, actors, advertising men and producers were abandoned but for no reason except rattle-brained confusion. The Dies committee ran off chasing some red lecturer or furrier and forgot its promises.
After a great uproar in Washington last winter, the Thomas committee started some absent minded prosecutions of a few inferior Hollywood Bolsheviki, but forgot to protect its witnesses. Within a few weeks one of the suspects was declaring openly in meeting that the heat would soon be off and that the treason euphemistically called art could be resumed. He was so right that only recently he bobbed up as a roadblock across the career of one of the most valiant Catholic fighters against the conspiracy. That kind of treatment gets noised around and deters others from giving testimony.
Now Governor Dewey proposes that “If they break our laws against treason they’ll get traitor treatment,” and that “If our laws aren’t adequate we’ll get ones (OUCH) which are.”
That means that anyone who joins the Communist party declares his alliance with an alien organization devoted to overthrow by “force and violence.” In time of war with Soviet Russia that would be treason and the penalty is death. In other words, we should shoot Communists without regard for their personal friendship with Eleanor the Great or anyone else.
Our present laws aren’t “adequate” because they do not deal with treason done in a “cold war.” We recognized the Russian campaign against our country as a “cold war” about a year ago and it has steadily grown worse. Meanwhile, thousands of traitors are protected only because our laws were written long before cold war had been invented. The new law would just modernize our legal defense. That should be simple, but, simple or not, it has got to be done. If the Constitution is so brittle that we can’t bend it to our vital necessity here, we won’t be able to defend it. It will protect our enemies and frustrate us.
Then Mr. Dewey said, “If they (Communists) engaged in sabatoge or break any other laws we’ll jail them.”
It was here that he said we would get adequate laws, but I moved that phrase up against the treason proposition to emphasize his intent that we put Communists to the firing squad.
(Source: Google News)