Tampa Tribune/February 25, 1949
The people of the United States have lived under partial Fascism long enough now to have made up our minds whether we like it or whether we want to go back to the republican system defined in our Constitution or go on to real, total Fascism.
I think most Americans like it. Those of us who don’t like it are afraid to go back to our old constitutional form of government because we are now “geared” to Fascism and might strip our gears if we tried to mesh into the Constitution again. We are “geared” to a system of forms and panels and boards, of hearings, appeals and decrees that would be just insanity to some wise, honest American who had died, say, 40 years ago.
Those who like Fascism most, as far as we have gone with our sampling, would hiss the word “Fascist” at anyone who proposed that we drop the pretense and frankly salute and embrace Fascism. Those would be the New Dealers and the present-day, big-city Eastern “progressives” of the Democratic host and all the union bosses. Huey Long is said to have predicted that when Fascism came to the United States it would be disguised as anti-Fascism. He certainly called the turn.
The Supreme Court recently upheld the authority of the Federal Government to continue to control rents on the ground that certain extraordinary wartime powers were still in legal force because we were still at war. Those powers were pure Fascism and we adopted them so that we could freely fight a war against Fascism. Actually, the Constitution is flouted right there because it does not authorize any such extraordinary powers for the Federal Government at any time in any real or fictitious emergency.
Yet we got so used to these extraordinary powers that I was the only one who really batted an eye when Roosevelt got his wife and Harry Hopkins to publish articles threatening to draft all of us, women as well as men, for forced labor at any kind of job wherever any commissar might send us, breaking up families and exposing wives and daughters to coercion and degradation, all under a pretext of “emergency” and “democracy.”
The war stopped more than three years ago, but we still can’t ungear ourselves because the Russians won’t let us end the war and we don’t dare abandon the emergency powers as long as Russia threatens us with another war. We certainly are in a mess.
What Governor Dewey really was trying to say in his Lincoln Day speech in Washington was that, dammit, we have been unable to find men in our politics since 1933 who had the ability and the strength of character to manage the nation within the text and spirit of the Constitution: He knows that as the result of this easiest-way of politics the people have completely lost the habit of living without government help or assurance that the government will be there to help in case of inconvenience, to say nothing of disaster.
Dewey said the overwhelming majority of the people believe that government today has to be more than a cold and impartial umpire. They are wrong there, but the majority have the power to make mistakes. He recalled that the Republican platform promised unemployment insurance, “broader social security generally,” slum clearance, farm price supports and vigorous protection for the rights of labor.
In plainer words, the Republican Party had to promise Fascism to compete with the Democrats. Dewey then admitted that “the same objectives of full employment and social security are claimed as their purpose by both political parties in America, by both the Socialist arid non-Socialist governments of Europe, by the Communist nations of Eastern Europe and were claimed by the Hitler government.”
Absolutely no doubt about it. And this part of his speech just meant that both the Republicans and Democrats had borrowed the dope with which the European systems drugged their people.
Dewey said, “We can’t out-promise the Democrats.” He certainly ought to know. Nobody can. say he didn’t try.
And he was on safe ground when he taunted real Republicans, Senator Taft, for instance, to “go out and try to get elected” on a platform containing none of the bait which he admitted that Hitler and the rest of the European ismaticians used.
If Taft were to stand for election on a straight American, non-Fascist platform, demanding that the people support the government, not vice versa, he wouldn’t get by his primary.
So Dewey is right, but he should have put it to the people that what they are asking for is Fascism and he should have called for a constitutional convention to amend it to that effect or scrap it. Absolutely.
(Source: Newspapers.com, https://www.newspapers.com/image/327611891/)