APRIL 5, 1946
NEW YORK, Thursday—I see by the papers that Robert Hannegan, Democratic national chairman, has been denounced by a Congressional group of Southern Democrats because of a sentence in an article printed in The Democratic Digest, an official party publication. The administration opposed the Case strike-control bill, and this group of Democrats proceeded to vote for it, but when a party publication takes them to task for opposing their own administration, they turn around and complain. What their complaint amounts to is that being irregular works only one way! Now, I am all for teamwork, but it seems to me that the people who got off the team here were these gentlemen who voted against an administration bill.
One part of the newspaper account stated that Representative John E. Rankin of Mississippi told reporters: "I denounced the CIO-PAC as a Communist-front organization that is now out trying to get control of the Democratic party. It is rumored that President Truman won't run for the presidency again. If that be true, Governor Tuck of Virginia is far out in front."
Just what makes the CIO-PAC a Communist organization? Among the members of the various workers' groups, there are Communists. I happen to think that, in the United States, people who belong to the Communist party should not be officials or leaders in any group which does not openly avow itself to be a Communist-controlled organization. There are many organizations, however, that are overwhelmingly democratic in feeling and in action but within which there are some Communist members. This is the case where the CIO-PAC is concerned.
I do not think they are out to control either one of our major political parties. However, since organized labor is a large and increasing part of almost every constituency in the United States, it will be increasingly true that their organizations will carry weight in both political parties and that candidates will seek their support, eventually even in such states as Mississippi.
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The last part of Mr. Rankin's remarks seems to me rather irrelevant, since we are not now preparing for the convention to nominate a presidential candidate. Instead, our next elections will be concerned with Congress. Chairman Hannegan, of course, is hoping to elect as many Democratic Congressmen as possible and he is following the wise practice of trying to build up his organization into a functioning machine. It might be well for the group whom the Southern Democrats appointed as "a committee on harmony and cooperation" to look beyond their own membership in the South and realize that a successful political party has to carry a majority throughout the country.
We are the leading democracy in the world and what we do is of great importance at the present time, because the whole world is watching us. The two strongest nations in the world today are probably the United States and Russia. They must cooperate on the world stage, but there are bound to be constant comparisons of their two systems, both political and economic. If the Southern members of the Democratic party will realize this, they will try to make the party meet the needs of the majority of the people and forget as many sectional differences as possible.