Spartanburg Herald/November 1, 1940
New York, Oct. 31—The Democratic national committee has been trying to expunge the record of President Roosevelt’s tolerance of Communists and their activities by citing the fact, in his second administration, Earl Browder was convicted of violating the passport law. I think it was unwise of the boys to do this, but now that they have opened the door let us see what the wind blows in.
The truth is that the evidence against Browder was turned up by the Dies committee, which had persisted in its work despite acts of political sabotage by President Roosevelt himself, by Mrs. Roosevelt, and the New Deal’s Washington newspaper claque. Mr. Roosevelt took it upon himself to attempt to discredit this agency of Congress when its revelations embarrassed soe of his political supporters, and Mrs. Roosevelt, with corny political ostentation, showed up at the sessions of the committee at a time when the American Youth congress was under inquiry and sat there knitting, perhaps a red stitch now and again, to demonstrate publicly her sympathy with an organization whose Muscovite character was being disclosed day by day.
Mrs. Roosevelt also invited a number of the young things to lunch at the White House, and her entire conduct obviously was intended to rebuke the Dies committee for daring to hear evidence that her favorite youth movement was a Communist Trojan horse—or, let us say, foal.
Much evidence of Communist domination was revealed, and J.B. Matthews, the backslid bolo who was both witness and investigator for the committee, wrote, out of his own long and intimate experience as a fellow-traveler, that the Young Communist league, in concert with left-wing Socialists, captured the congress in its infancy.
As to the character of the Young Communist league, the dominant influence in the youth congress, Ben Gitlow, another backslider who formerly was the head man of the Communist movement in the United States, wrote in his book, “I Confess”: “If a young girl insisted on maintaining her chastity she was frowned upon as a bourgeois. Many of the young Communists considered the giving up of one’s chastity as a mark of distinction. The orgies and debaucheries among the youth were spoken about in whispers, never seriously discussed and considered. Many of them turned out to be really tragic figures—intellectually infantile; others, cynically worldly and senile.”
These reminders will be promptly denounced as a personalized smear of Mr. Roosevelt, whom the Democratic national committee now openly compares with Abe Lincoln, but the fact is, nevertheless, that the Fauntleroy railsplitter, as Mr. Ickes might call him if he were vituperating on this side of the argument, actually did try to kill off the Dies committee when its revelations were going against the Communists.
Mrs. Roosevelt’s part in the case also is a matter of recent memory, and Representative Dies once openly protested that individuals in the New Deal press delegation not only distorted descriptions and accounts of the hearings but pursed their lips and blew loud, lewd notes at witnesses as they gave evidence against various cells, factions and individuals.
Not only that but for years, or approximately until the time that Stalin openly joined Hitler against civilization, the sympathy of this administration was distinctly with Communists and others who denounced and damned the capitalistic, or American, system of economy, and government dictatorship as such, was not opposed.
Only the fascist and Nazi dictatorships were condemned, and those who had the fortitude to insist that there was no important difference between Stalin, on one hand, and Hitler, on the other, caught hell from the left. The administration did not openly take part in this phase of the play, but those who did debate the persons who could see no difference were pals and house pets of the administration.
And Mrs. Roosevelt, Ickes and Robert Jackson evidenced a taunting and provocative preference for organizations which were either openly Communistic or known to be dominated by Moscow, such as the Lawyers’ Guild, the Workers’ Alliance, the Newspaper Guild and the League for Peace and Democracy—and, of course, the Youth Congress.
The individual himself apparently is unimportant, but it has been interesting to observe the dogged resourcefulness of the administration in finding job after job, all these years, for Paul Sifton, who wrote for the official publication of a Communist transmission belt a memorable damnation of the “whole capitalist shell game,” and in retaining until very recently Dr. David Saposs, the chief economist of the Communistic labor relations board, who wrote that “if political action fails, then the workers must unhesitatingly resort to organized force.”
So notwithstanding the conviction of Browder in an action forced on the administration by Martin Dies against strong White House opposition, the record of the New Deal on Communists and Communism is not one that the Democratic national committee can safely boast of.
(Source: Google News, https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=SFOYbPikdlgC&dat=19401101&printsec=frontpage&hl=en)