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Letters, Dec. 4, 1944

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TIME

Kronikken

Sirs:

The exact information, enlightenment and joy we derive from reading your excellent magazine make us look forward to each new issue of TIME with eagerness and expectancy. Your articles on war and world politics are of utmost value to us in giving the readers of the Norwegian underground press a wider picture of the world as it is today and will be tomorrow. Many of your articles are wholly or partly translated and printed by our underground papers, and as an example of this we send you enclosed a late edition of our weekly Kronikken.

Here you will find that we have partly used your article on General Brereton’s airborne army (TIME, Aug. 21). You must excuse us if we have infringed your printing rights and our sending this letter in carbon copy. As you will understand, we have to avoid the imprint of letters of this kind on our typewriter ribbons. Four years of fighting the Gestapo have taught us to be careful. Our press and readers thank you for all the good stuff you have given us, and we would like you to bring this greeting to your readers in the free world.

THE EDITORS OF KRONIKKEN Oslo, Norway

¶ Kronikken is welcome and more than welcome to “all the good stuff” it chooses to reprint from TIME.—ED.

The Election

Sirs :

The people of the U.S. have elected Franklin D. Roosevelt to be their President during the next four years, and history will record that the voters of America made a wise choice. Mr. Dewey started off with fine prospects but proceeded to talk himself out of any chance of winning. Mr. Roosevelt’s success in winning elections is no mystery. He just sits back and lets the Republican candidate defeat himself. . . .

ISIDORE L. CARON Sandwich, Mass.

Sirs:

The Election Issue of TIME (Nov. 13) has just arrived, and I, being a firm believer in Mr. Dewey and one among the 21-some million who believed he should have been in the White House next year, am a bit piqued that you are such a reactionary paper that you cannot print any of the news on Dewey’s reaction to this campaign before and after.

He did not want this nomination in the first place . . . but once nominated he had to accept. That Mr. Dewey put up a good fight, an efficient fight, and an honest fight cannot be denied by any one, and his salesmanship in the subject he was selling was indomitable. . . .

You do not emphasize Mr. Dewey’s extreme good sportsmanship upon losing in comparison with the G.O.P. nominee of ’40, who although a fine man in every respect, did not pull out of defeat with the cheerful acceptance of the inevitable as has Mr. Dewey. . . .

QUECY W. BALDIGNER Mt. Rainier, Md.

Sirs:

I’ve been a registered Republican since I became old enough to vote for Mr. Hoover against Al Smith in 1928. This last election caused my feelings to run the course from interest to astonishment to disgust; but it was not until yesterday that they reached real anger. My absolute disgust for the Republican campaign sent me running to the polls to vote with pride for President Roosevelt.

All day yesterday the newspapers and radio drooled of the good sportsmanship and honest desire to unite on the part of the opposition. All day we were told that the Republicans had “fought a good fight” and could rest now in the knowledge of a task well done. . . .

You know and I know that it was not “a good fight.” We know that it stank. We know that every possible chance was used by the speakers of the Republican Party to hit below the belt, to frighten the people by half-truths and pure lies. . . . What uniting is done, and the elections show that it will be done, will be in spite of the part the Republican “thinkers” have played, not because of it. …

And now we are supposed to forget. I hope not. And don’t try to frighten us with the idea that all is lost unless we do forget and forgive, and work as one. We’ll work as one, dragging the Roosevelt-haters with us, to a better world. But the Republican Party and the press had better wake up. I want to vote Republican again some day, but not until they start the ball rolling toward a real understanding of the real people.

DAPHNE F. JOY Oxnard, Calif.

Sirs:

On Oct. 26 Mr. Henry Wallace predicted that Mr. Roosevelt would win by a popular majority of three million votes and would carry three-fourths of the states. Say what one will about a visionary, at least he has vision. Of course someone occasionally fills an inside royal straight flush; the fact remains, the crackpot won the jackpot.

SAMUEL C. CHEW Bryn Mawr, Pa.

Sirs:

I don’t think anyone should minimize TIME’S own “prediction” of the outcome of the 1944 Presidential election. You seem to have hit it on the head. On the cover of TIME for Oct. 23, 1944 you carry a picture of Thomas Dewey and in the background you have three small replicas of the White House flying away from him. . . .

JOSEPH LEIB Arlington, Va.

Sirs:

A plague on this naive oh-ing and ah-ing about the democratic marvel of holding a national election in the midst of a war. At its best it is as suspicious as boasting about the virtue of one’s wife. At its worst it implies that the Administration magnanimously granted a privilege when it permitted citizens to go to the polls.

The mere fact that we held a national election in the midst of a war is no proof of democracy’s survival. That will be determined next year or next decade by the end result of that election.

C. M. ADAMS Milford, O.

Eighteen

Sirs:

You state (Nov. 6) that the Navy has a total of seventeen (17) four-star admirals. At present I can think of only seven: King, Leahy, Nimitz, Halsey, Ingersoll, Stark and Spruance. Is it I, or your researcher, who is in error?

KENNETH C. ALLEN Lieutenant, U.S.N.R. New Orleans

¶ You, Lieutenant. The other ten: Admirals William H. Standley, Thomas C. Hart, Joseph M. Reeves, Harry E. Yarnell, Arthur J. Hepburn, Orin G. Murfin, Edward C. Kalbfus, Claude C. Bloch, James O. Richardson, Charles P. Snyder—plus one, Jonas H. Ingram, whose promotion has now been announced (TIME, Nov. 20).—ED.

“China’s Sorrow”

Sirs:

As a Chinese, may I hasten to express my sincere appreciation for your article on China in TIME (Nov. 13) . It takes courage and a tough mind to drive home against the current trend of confusion some of the issues involved in the Chinese situation. I am sure every Chinese feels indebted to you for this excellent piece of reporting that will certainly help the public see the entire picture from all sides.

To most Chinese who think not in partisan terms, the internal deadlock that persists in China today presents a dilemma. They are seriously aware of the shortcomings and weaknesses of their present Government: its wide spread corruption, its lack of initiative, and its reluctance to change of its own accord; its tendency to look back into China’s past glory for consolation, and its general mental attitude that may be an unfortunate reflection, of China’s physical blockade. On the other hand they are the last persons to have any illusion of the Communists being angels of democracy, as many of China’s critics would like us to believe. No thinking person would accept the supposition that any Communist regime could be less totalitarian than any other form of government.

It is a hard choice to make, admittedly. Yet there must be a logical interpretation of the fact that, after 20 years of hard struggle, the Communist Party still remains a small minority, having failed to convince most of the Chinese people that its doctrine and techniques represent a satisfactory instrumentality to the salvation of China. . . .

Kuomintang cannot, however, expect to continue in its ruling position for long without intelligently facing the irresistible force of history and acting accordingly with a boldness that has been lacking in recent years. It has fallen dangerously behind the times and the objectives of Dr. Sun Yatsen. Let’s hope it is not yet too late to catch up. Real friends of China can do a great deal in this respect, especially in view of the fact that Kuomintang is intrinsically more disposed toward cooperation with Western democracies, a point that has been overlooked somehow by China’s critics in recent times.

HSU CHI PING

Los Angeles

Sirs:

ARTICHOKES (DOMESTIC—NOT WILD ONES) TO TIME EDITORS FOR TRUTHFUL, IMPARTIAL REPORTING “CHINA’S SORROW.”

(REV.) CHARLES MEEUS Cincinnati

Sirs:

If a person who had no previous knowledge of the current crisis in China were to read this week’s issue of TIME he would get just as biased and inaccurate a picture as he would from Agnes Smedley’s Battle Hymn of China. Since when have two wrongs made a right?

Let us concede (which I do) that Washington is to blame. Let us concede (which I do not) that the Chinese Communists are the terrible villains you make them out to be. That still leaves Chungking, which you try to absolve. You intimate that it is totalitarian to save democracy in China—in contradistinction to the Yenan regime which is totalitarian in order to remain so. …

In the last two years I have got to know a group of Chinese fairly well. Some were businessmen, some were teachers, some were students. Without exception, those who were concerned for the welfare of the masses were anti-Kuomintang. That is not to say that they were Communists, for they were not. But they saw that the Kuomintang’s allegiance to the San Min Chu I was mere lip service. From them I learned that the best way to fight the Communists was by basic, radical economic, social and political reform. Here is what you left out of your article, although Teddy White has been hammering away at the idea for a long time. . . .

ONE WHO LOVES CHINA Ithaca, N.Y.

Sirs:

The about-face in the propaganda line with regard to China, coincident with the recall of General Stilwell, is as indecent as that of the Communist line in this country at the time of Germany’s attack on Russia. For years we have been fed the story of Chiang Kai-shek’s wonderful accomplishment of uniting the Chinese people and of holding off the Japs, which is now being belittled. Our correspondents complain of the censorship and not being allowed to visit the Chinese front. Are they any more restricted than in Russia, from whose fronts even our military observers are barred? It is remarkable that Chiang has been able to keep so many of the war lords on one side through seven years of war, without arms, medical supplies, shoes or at times even food for his men. Except for our Fourteenth Air Force, and more recently the Twentieth, he has had no air cover nor anything to combat the Japanese motorized forces, tanks and artillery. Never has an army done so much with so little. . . .

C. B. MOORES San Francisco

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