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October 06, 1936 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1936-10-06

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An Opinion On Spain's Civil War
-A Student Disagrees With The Analysis Of Professor Aiton-



-_ '

1936 Member 1937
PusocICded Cb eie Press
Distributors of
Ge6iceC1 Di6est
Published every morning except Monday during the
University year and Summer Session by the Board in
Control of Student Publications.
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for republication of all news dispatches credited to it or
not otherwise credited in this newspaper. All rights of
republication of all other matter herein also reserved.
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Departmental Boards
Publication Department: Elsie A. Pierce, Chairman;
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Reportorial Department: Fred Warner Neal, Chairman;
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Editorial Department: Marshall D. Shulman, Chairman;
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On A Week-End.
THE LIBRARY is deathly quiet. In
dormitories the girls rush through
the halls, puttingon the last touches for weekly
festivities. In some third floor rooms, students
sit reading, hearing laughing couples pass below.
Lights are on in some offices and laboratories on
the campus where faculty men are working late.
It's a week-end night, and Michigan steps out in
a big way.
Beer parlors and dances are crowded. Some
of the taxi-drivers on 24-hour duty aren't getting
much sleep tonight. There's excitement in the
air, like the continuing vibrations of a bell, and
tomorrow's the game. A horde of freshmen
sweeps down the street, shouting and running,
like a cyclone, uprooting signs as it rushes on
the way to the theatres to do something very,
very daring, but a mountainous policeman quells
the spirit with a single glance.
State Street glows with the sickly vermilion of
neon signs. Before a traditional Michigan after-
dark amusement establishment, taxis and cars
stpp, gay festivees troop out and rush in; from
the open door pours out the hammering of a
jazz band and raucous laughter. Inside, the
aisles, the tables, the dance floor are crowded
tight. Smoke and noise, loud and insistent noise.
The B.MO.C.'s are well represented tonight.
They acknowledge greetings with .judicious de-
mocracy. They dance elegantly with girls from
the goodest sororities. Dancing is a bruising ex-
perience. They jiggle up, down, sidewise, tightly
packed, bumping in good spirit. Some have too
much good spirit, from the multitudinous soda
and liquor bottles. Smoke and noise. Girls with
pasted-on smiles about to make themselves
heard. We're having such a gorgeous time, aren't
we? Smoke from nonchalant cigarettes streams
up to the ceiling and descends in a cloud. No
let-up in the tom-toms. The air is stale, ungodly
laughter and the noise of dishes keeps on.
Outside, the noise stops suddenly as the door
closes again. The fresh air is unbelievably clean.
Walking, past dormitory steps where swains are
staging antics, and couples murmuring in the

shadows, all saying the same things. Some very
earnestly romantic; others collegiate extraor-
dinary. The lights flicker. The air is filled
with the tender sounds of parting, and the
swains, to a man, light cigarettes and whistle
down the street, duly gratified.
Feverish activity in the brightly illuminated
publications building as the clock moves toward
the two a.m. deadline. The press rumbles from
downstairs, gathering speed, and smells of good
fresh ink.
Three a.m. The campus is quiet. In the dis-
tance the railroad trains, and every quarter hour
the bells ring. The diagonal is deserted, and the
trees are meditative. The front of Angell Hall is
austere, dimly lighted. Up above, something
about "Religion, morality and education being
necessary . .,
A quiet peace rests over Alumni Hall. The
classical lines constitute a quiet truth, and here
the Wann(1V Aflina a-zn ft

To the Editor:
SUPPOSE it is presumptuous for one who is
not a specialst in history and who has never
been in Spain to take issue with a recently re-
turned observer who is, moreover, a professor of
history, but surely Professor Aiton's observations
on the situation in Spain in Saturday's Daily are
open to question.
Professor Aiton's views on the cause of the
present war are, to me at least, unsatisfactory.
It is a well-known fact that Spain has long been
the scene of civil conflict between the monarchy,
the military machine, the large landowners and
the church, which over and above its spiritual
rule, owned much of the wealth of Spain in the
form of railroads, banks, mines and land, on
the one hand, and the peasants and workers on
the other. The deposition of Alfonso XIII an
the establishment of the constitutional republic
was the work of the peasants and workers al-.
though, as in the case of the Kerensky govern-
ment, the liberal middle class, though not in
complete sympathy with the masses, was in
control of the governmental machinery. Nev-
ertheless, the republic instituted many needed
reforms: agricultural wages were raised, 70,000
peasants were given landholdings, women were
granted the right to vote, over 7,000 schools were
established, state subsidies to the church were
stopped, the army was reorganized, and laws
protecting the rights and welfare of the workers
were passed.
With these measures making greater inroads
on their prerogatives daily, it is no wonder that
the landowners, the industrialists, high church-
men, and monarchist army officers felt them-
selves slowly being pushed out of existence. As
early as 1931, rumors were current in Madrid
that a fascist coup was being planned, but the
government paid no attention. It was known
that the fascist Sotelo was being groomed to head
the government in the event of a counter-revolu-
tionary success. The responsibility for the mili-
tary success of the revolt was placed in the
hands of generals like Mola, former head of the
police spy system under Rivera, and of Franco,
notorious for the slaughter of the Asturias min-
ers, both om whom, like many other reactionary
generals, were permitted to remain in responsible
military positions by a too kindly government.
Even before the outbreak of this year, Gil Robles,
the head of the Catholic party, and an avowed
friend of the Nazis, Portuguese fascists, and
those British imperialists with heavy interests
in Spain, called for actions against the repub-
lican government.
The fascist generals were receiving financial
support and military supplies from three sources:
the church; Germany, Italy, and the right-wing
imperialists through their puppets in the Portu-
guese government; and from Spanish reaction-
aries such as H. Robles, a wealthy financier;
Romanones, one of the largest landholders in
the country; Canbo, who controlled the public
utilities; and March, the tobacco magnate who is
still writing checks for the fascists at their
supply base in Portugal. Months previous to the
murder of Sotelo, rumors were again current in
Madrid that the fascist coup was being prepared,
and the generals and financiers listed above
were named as the responsible leaders but the
government still refused to investigate or take
any decisive action. But the workers, especially
those in the unions, were not so lax and were
quietly arming themselves in anticipation of a
fascist uprising; the murder of Sotelo, though
unexpected by the fascists, merely precipitated
the conflict which would have taken place within
a few months in any case.
In view of these facts, it is somewhat sur-
prising to read that, according to Professor Ai-
ton, the cause of the revolt was due in large part
to Largo Caballero. Professor Aiton asserts that
Caballero united his party to the Third Interna-
tional; I should like to see the evidence for this
statement for, as far as I can determine, Cabal-
lero is not a communist, has disagreed and con-
tinues to do so with many of the points on the
program of the Third International, and, in the
words of Luis Araquistan, the editor of Claridac
the newspaper of Caballero's trade union, holds
the position that "The people are determined to
crush their enemies, the military, aristocratic,
and clerical oligarchies. They will defend only a
democratic republic."
Professor Aiton's assertion that the republic

does not exist seems not to be borne out by the
actual facts; the government was elected by an
overwhelming vote of the Spanish people and
continues to enjoy their support. It is this
democratically elected government which the
rebels are attempting to overthrow.
I have followed the press carefully since the
revolt began but I have seen no notices which
would substantiate Professor Aiton's statement
that the rebels have demonstrated a republican
form of government in the cities under their con-
trol. It is true that the fascists have, as their
associates in Germany and Italy have had to do,
come out with liberal and even leftist statements
about the failure of capitalism. In actual prac-
tice, however, the sole demonstration of their re-
Wayne University branch of the American Stu-
dent Union, Dr. Charles L. Spain, executive vice-
president of the University, has said that "The
University of Michigan has refused them recog-
nition, so evidently they are not thought of very
highly over there."
The University of Michigan, it is true, does not
have an American Student Union chapter, but it
does have the Students' Alliance, which fills the
same function on the campus. The difference in
name was suggested by the University to avoid
confusion between this organization and the
Union. There is no evidence to show that Stu-
dent Alliance members "are not thought of very

publicanism so far has consisted in executing all
the loyalists in the cities they have captured and
in fighting peasants and workers to whom the
sight of Foreign Legionnaires, Moroccan troops,
ex-army officers, landowners' sons and the old
strike-breaking gangs from Rivera's day wear-
ing German helmets and using Italian arms is
not conducive to a belief in the fascists' brand of
Professor Aiton states that a rebel victory will
bring a return to normal. It is not likely how-
ever, that a faction which will literally have to
slaughter its way through a hostile population to
seize power will restore peace and security to
Spain. Perhaps a rebel government will be able
to clamp down such a severe dictatorship that
to the outside world an appearance of normalcy
will seem achieved but the fascist program is of
such a nature that even a people without the
traditions of struggle against oppression which
the Spaniards are proud to lay claim to would
soon revolt. In the New York Times for August
29, there was published an interview with the
rebel leaders at Burgos in the course of which the
following plan of action was outlined. On the
victory of the rebels, the present government
would be ousted, its officials "exterminated,," and
a military dictatorship on the Italian and Ger-
man model set up. Parliament would be, abol-
ished and a plebiscite on the possible return of
Alfonse taken. Close cooperation with Italy ind
Germany "which'have stood by us in the present
civil war" would immediately be established. All
labor organizations would be abolished, the right
to strike would be done away with, and the policy
of giving land to the peasants halted, while con-
fiscated property of all kinds would be returned.
The two areas in Spain most hostile to the fas-
cists, Catalonia and Asturias, would come in for
special punishment: Catalonia would be "wiped
off the map" and Asturias carved up into new
administrative districts. It is a sad commentary
on the republicanism and patriotism attributed
to the fascists by Professor Aiton that they
should calmly propose to massacre their own
countrymen and to destroy a part of their own
native land.
Since the war in Spain is practically a dress
rehearsal for the conflict which appears certain
to rip Europe in two within the next few years,
and since, despite the articles of Newton Baker
and the speeches of President Roosevelt, we are
quite likely to be drawn into another European
war, our indifference to the Spanish situation,
especially on the question of neutrality, is almost
suicidal. I think that the evidence I have brought
together shows that the issue in Spain resolves
itself clearly into democracy versus fascism.
In such a situation it becomes the duty of all
democratic countries to assist a legally consti-
tuted democracy in its struggle against the ad-
vances of dictatorship. But, as usual, the red
herring has been dragged out again and, under
the pretence of saving the world from com-
munism, the two greatest threats to democracy
today, German nazi-ism and Italian fascism,
continue to bulldoze England, France and the
United States into a servile acquiescence of their
aggressions which are now culminated in their
open assistance to the fascists in Spain. While
England and France worry over the technicalities
of neutrality, Germany and Italy continue to
supply arms to Franco and his troops and one of
the few remaining democracies in the world is
threatened with extinction. It is no wonder that
Hitler and Mussolini shout that democracy has
failed; but neither democracy, nor the peoples,
who believe in it, has failed; only those to whom
its operations have been entrusted have failed.
It is perhaps necessary to add that my re-
marks are not to be taken as reflecting any per-
sonal bias against Professor Aiton whatsoever.
Only it seems to me that in times of crisis such
as we are living in it becomes the responsibilit7
of those in important positions to weigh their
words carefully lest they lend unconscious aid
to the reactionaries who in all countries, includ-
ing ours, are preparing the destruction of de-
mocracy. The issue in Spain is so like that
facing us in the United States now and for some
years to come that freedom from prejudice, full
acquaintance with all the facts in a given situa-
tion, and rigorous analysis must characterize
all our thinking. It is toward the development
of such ends that I submit these remarks on
Professor Aiton's observations and I hope they

are accepted on those terms.
If you are a stickler for historical accuracy,
don't see The Gorgeous Hussey. But if you want
an evening of excellent entertainment, see Joan
Crawford as the fictionized counterpart of one
of America's most flamboyantly beautiful po-
litical personalities-Peggy O'Neal.
This is M-G-M's welcome-back production to
Miss Crawford after almost a year's vacation,
and they have done well by her. She is sur-
rounded by a cast which in popularity is the
joy of the company. Robert Taylor as Peggy
O'Neal's first husband is box-office of the first
magnitude; but fortunately for the sake of the
picture his career is ended gloriously in service
to his country on the "Constitution."
Lionel Barrymore as Andrew Jackson is Lionel
Barrymore-but that's what audiences want to
see. Franchot Tone as Peggy's second husband,
John Eaton, is effective in a less important role.
But Melvyn Douglas, as John Randolf, Peggy's
only real love, gives a characterization which

Current Play Contests
THE SUCCESS of Waiting for Lefty
and later Bury the Dead-both
products of contests-has probably
had a lot to do with the popularity
of this method of securing new plays
by organizations which want to dis-
cover and encourage talent or want
to find a special type of play to suit
their particular needs. Interest in
writing has grown steadily at Mich-
igan, largely because of the Hopwood
Awards. Because students writing
plays for the Hopwoods may be in-.
terested in submitting them to other
contests in the meantime, a few cur-
rent ones will be listed here. Others
will be mentioned from time to time
as they come up. In most cases there
are special conditions; a contestant
should write for additional informa-
tion before preparing any material.
MOST IMPOSING is a contest spon-:
sored by the Bureau of New
Plays, Theresa Helburn, director. Ad-
dress: 1270 Sixth Avenue, New York.
Type: Full length plays only.
Prizes: $500 for the best of each'
of the following types:
1. The best play of human rela-
tions, either a comedy or a drama
on a romantic or domestic theme.
2. The best play on a social theme.'
3. The best melodrama.
4. The best farce.
5. The best satiric play.
6. The best character play, mod-
ern or historic.
Also fellowships of $2,500 and $1,-
250 in conjunction with the contest.
Closing date: October 31, 1936.
DON'T BE SCARED by the name of,
this organization: The Educa-
tional Committee of the International
Ladies' Garment Workers' Union. Ad-
dress: Labor Stage, 106 West 39th
Street, New York.
Type: Full length plays dealing
with social conflicts in contemporary
life. The dramas must express the
aspirations of the labor movement
without involving sectarian criticism
of any part of the movement and,
technically must meet the require-
ments of the professional stage.
Prizes: 1st place, $2,000; 2nd place,
Closing date: December 15, 1936.
A CONTEST that has been going
on for some time is conducted
by Stage Magazine. $100 is paid each
month that a manuscript worthy of
publication is found. It was won
this spring by a student on this cam-
pus, John Milton Caldwell, whose
play, The Fraternal Bond was pub-
lished in the June issue of the mag-
Address: Short Play Editor, Stage,
50 East 42nd Street, New York.
Type: "Preference will be shown to
plays which can be acted within 45
minutes, and which are "contempo-
rary in theme."
Play Contest, sponsored jointly
by the 92nd Street Y. M. H. A. and
The New Theatre League. Address:
P. O. Box 300, Grand Central Annex,
New York.
Type: One-act social play dealing
with Jewish life. "The contest is in-
itiated in the hope of encouraging
plays dealing with the Jew in truth-
ful fashion, with his ambitions, ac-
complishments and failures as a hu-
man being. In contrast to the dis-
torted or sentimental characteriza-
tion that the Jew has always received
in the American theatre, the con-
test looks for scripts that reflect the
problems of the Jew in relation to
contemporary life."
Prize: $100 first prize. Production
of the winning script and others
found worthy by the 92nd Street "Y."
GUIDED by religious (or other) mo-
tives the producing firm of Brew-

ster and Hill is looking for plays.
Prize: $1,000 advance royalty.
Type: An "acceptable" full-length
play based on "the idea that there is
a God and that man must be vitally
connected with Him, even if we
haven't yet learned to comprehend
His plans."
THE "alcohol education" groups are
not to be left out of the produc-
tion for propaganda plays.
Allied Youth in cooperation with
the Walter Baker Company. Address:
National Education A s s o c i a t i o n
Building, Washington, D. C. Prizes:
$100, $50, $25. Closing date: Decem-
ber 15, 1936. The Christian Advo-
cate, 740 Rush Street, Chicago, Ill.,
offers nine prizes from $10 to. $208
each but the author surrenders all
royalties. Closing date: December 1,
AND, of course, most important of
all to Michigan students-The
Hopwoods: Two minor awards of
$250 each for sophomores, juniors,
and seniors in each of the four cate-
goriessof 'drama, fiction, poetry, and
the essay; major awards up to $2,000
for seniors and graduates in the same
four categories. Important to re-
member: first, take a composition
course, either semester; second, keep
eligible. Closes: Wednesday, April
2, 1937, 4:30 p.m.
There are two bulletins this year-
a new finely printed folder of gen-
eral information and the regular bul-
letin of complete information for
contestants. You can get them at the
English office.
her back as a young modern-the1

In the simplest possible terms, the7
overshadowing issue in the comingt
national election is whether or not
we shall set up in America, in de-c
fiance of the American tradition andi
in defiance of the plain intent of the)
authority over the economic life of
Constitution as it now stands, a gov-t
ernment with vast and centralizedY
authority over the economic life of1
the nation.
On that issue, the Post-Dispatch,c
believing as it does in an economy oft
free enterprise, under the political
forms of our federal system of gov-i
ernment, cannot support Mr. Roose-c
velt for reelection to the presidency.t
All the other issues of the cam-c
paign are subordinate to or embracedf
in this great issue. In its preemin-
ence and its high importance to the
country it resembles the silver issuet
that divided the Democratic party in1
the heyday of Bryanism. But iti
strikes infinitely deeper than that<
issue. It goes to the roots of the sys-
tem of checks and balances, of ju-i
dicial review to protect the rights of;
the citizens, of the constitutional di-c
vision of powers between the statesc
and the Federal Government-to the
roots, in short, of the system of gov-
ernment created by the Constitution.-
That Constittuion is open to
amendment in the way that it pro-1
vides. It must not be amended byc
subterfuge and indirection. The
Roosevelt administration has at-
tempted so to amend it. In this itc
has done an intolerable thing, forc
which it should be rebuked at the]
polls, as it has already been repeat-
edy rebuked by the Supreme Court.c
The question; to repeat, is whether
we shall continue under the present
constitutional system-a system ofI
which free competition is an integral
and necessary part-or whether weI
shall substitute for it a Federal bu-
reaucracy with the unrestrained pow-1
er to 'impose its flats upon the daily1
affairs of the citizen. Such a bu-
reaucracy not only destroys economic
fredeom, but must in the end, if it is
to succeed, destroy political freedom.
** *
While opposing the reelection of'
Mr. Roosevelt, we give him full creditI
for the courage he displayed in the
dark days of March, 1933; full credit
for highminded and patriotic en-'
deavor to improve the lot of the com-
mon man. We have approved and'
continue to approve a substantial'
part of his program. We believe that
social gains have been made that
should be consolidated and carried
on-that will, we are convinced, be'
carried on, such is the compelling
force of events, by whatever admin-'
istration may be voted into power'
next November. We do not subscribe'
to the vituperative criticism which
has been heaped upon the President,'
though we believe that much of this
is the result of his own too frequent
imputing of unworthy motives to his'
But the evils inherent in the cen-
tral philosophy which guides the'
Roosevelt administration outweigh its
good achievements. These evils are
expressed specifically in the waste
and extravagance of the administra-
tion; in the hasty improvisation of
measures to meet a real or fancied
emergency and the subsequent at-
tempts to make them permanent; in
the building up at Washington of a
government not of laws but of men,
men working often at cross-purposes,
to the unsettlement of the whole na-
tional economy and the confusion of
the public mind; in administrative in-
efficiency, so that even worthy
measures are in danger of being dis-
credited; in the growth of the spoils

Against Mr. Roosevelt
-The St. Louis Post-Dispatch Quits The New Deal-

In the words of Mr. Roosevelt to
Congress in January of this year:
"We have built up new instruments
of public power. In the hands of a
people's government, this power is
wholesome and proper." Mr. Roose-
velt asks the country'to write him, as
the head of this "people's govern-
ment" with its "new instruments of
public power,' a blank check for the
future. That was the central theme
of his eloquent address in accepting
the, nomination at Philadelphia.
We base our opposition to Mr.
Roosevelt not so much on the errors
of his administration as on the direc-
ion, or drift, of the philosophy that
controls it. We believe that the re-
election of Mr. Roosevelt would be
construed by him as a mandate to go
forward on the road he has chosen;
that even if it were not so construed,
he would be driven forward on that
road by certain powerful forces that
are supporting him for reelection.
We can only judge the future by
the past. What does the record
show? NRA, with its control over
commerce and industry ramifying
down to the New Jersey pants presser,
was put through Congress as an
emergency measure. Its life was lim-
ited by the Recovery Act to two years.
Yet at the time the Supreme Court
killed it-after it had been con-
demned in the court of public opin-
ions-the administration was press-
ing for its continuance. The Presi-
dent has never accepted as final the
decision of the Supreme Court in the
NRA case, notwithstanding it was
rendered by unanimous vote, the so-
called liberals of the court concurring
fully with the so-called conservatives.
The death of NRA was deplored by
the President in the famous "horse
and buggy" interview. Again his at-
titude was made clear in his support
of the Guffey-Snyder Act-later also
to be killed by the court-which pro-
posed to create, in effect, a little NRA
for the coal industry. So devoted was
he to the Guffey Act that he wrote to
a congressional committee expressing
the hope that it would "not permit
doubts as to constitutionality, how-
ever reasonable, to block the sug-
gested legislation." The President
has repeatedly given evidence that he
would like a new interpretation of the
commerce clause to permit the Fed-
eral Government to set up controls
over industry which are now forbid-
* * *
The drift or direction of the
Roosevelt policies is clear. The direc-
tion is toward a Washington bu-
reaucracy with control over industry
and agriculture; toward continuation
of governmental interference in the
disputes between employer and em-
ploye, interference that must in the
end cripple the right of the employe
to use his full economic power against
the employer; toward continuation
of wasteful methods of relief; toward
continued efforts to get around the
Constitution; toward continuation or
enlargement of the present army of
824,000 Federal employes.
The drift is toward high and high-
er spending. It cannot be otherwise
under policies which spawn subsid-
ized groups with insatiable demands
upon the treasury and the will to en-
force their demands by political ac-
In advocating the defeat of Mr.
Roosevelt, the Post-Dispatch does not
shut its eyes to the evils of the Old
Guardism repdiated by the voters in
1932. There must be no return to
the conditions that produced such
evils as the Teapot Dome scandal, the
unconscionable Hawley-Smoot tariff,
the speculative excesses of the Cool-
idge "New Era," the wholesale de-
frauding of investors, the control and
abuse of the national credit by Wall
What of Gov. Landon? We are
aware of the apprehension that his
election would mean the political en-
thronement of special privilege. We

recall on the other hand the pro-
gressive support that brought about.
his nomination and the commitments,
of his Portland speech to the preser-
vation of the free-enterprise system,
subject to strict regulation to pre-
vent abuses. On that fundamental
issue he has spoken in terms that
command respect.
As an independent newspaper,
committed to neither the Democratic
nor the Republican party, the Post-
Dispatch holds itself free to criticise
the views and acts of Governor Lan-
don, both as candidate and as Presi-
dent, if he should be elected. It will
continue to advocate measures that
it believes to be for the best interests
of the country, and to oppose mea-
sures that it believes to be hurtful.
We believe that the welfare of the
country, under any circumstances,
demands the election of Congressmen
who can be depended upon to ex-
amine every proposed measure with
the most scrupulous care; to support
no measure, however well-inten-
tioned or plausibly urged, at the mere
behest of the Executive; to resist all
efforts by the Executive to invade the
rights of Congress or the people. Mr.
Roosevelt's reaching out for "new
instruments of public power," to-
gether with the unquestionably large
chance that he will succeed himpself,

system and its use in
justified by any prior+
the practical needs of
ties; in the mounting
and the lightness with
garded; in the cavalier
administration toward

a manner not
conception of
political par-
national debt
which it is re-
attitude of the
the restraints

imposed by the Constitution; in the
weak-kneed surrender of Congress to!
the demands of the Executive.
All these things are being exploit-
ed, and properly so, as issues in thej
campaign; but the dominant, the all-
embracing issue, as we have said, is,
created by the steady "march of Fed-
eral empire" away from the economic,
is toward a bureaucracy of central-
and political system on which the
country has been built. The march
ized powers undreamed of not alone
by the founders of the nation but
even by the makers of the Democratic
platform of 1932, to which the Presi-
dent subscribed "100 per cent." The
party whose livery the President
wears is not the Democratic party as
it existed down to the present admin-
istration. That fact in itself does not
necessarily damn the new doctrines,
but it gives a hollow ring to the call
for support of Mr. Roosevelt on the
ground, of old party loyalties. Mr.
Roosevelt cannot be sincerely sup-
ported save as the exponent of a
philosophy of government at war
with the basic concepts of the Dem-
ocratic party.
* * *
The party today, under Mr. Roose-
velt, burns its incense before strange
The rights of the states? Away
with them! They belong to the
horse-and-buggy era.
The Constitution? It is something
to- hp ont f ~arr%,",

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