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John F. Petrone

Senator Taylor – Liberal, First Class

(15 March 1948)

From The Militant, Vol. XII No. 11, 15 March 1948, p. 4.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’ Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

A note of uneasiness mixed with crankiness was evident in the Communist Party press after Henry Wallace and Glen Taylor issued their statements on this recent Stalinist coup in Czechoslovakia. Wallace and Taylor Didn’t Think It Through, complains Joseph Starobin in the March 1 Daily Worker, chiding Taylor because he said. “I imagine it was the result of pressure by the Russians.” Wallace said the Czech events were “unfortunate” and could have been prevented by a different U.S. foreign policy. Milton Howard, in the March 7 Worker, keeps asking him how was it unfortunate, doesn’t he realize it was the best possible thing that could have happened under the circumstances?

The Stalinists are of course still whooping it up for Wallace and Taylor, because after all they did try to condone the Stalinist coup. But even this little incident relating to foreign policy indicates that the CP attachment for its beloved “progressive standard bearers” is not going to be a wholly idyllic love affair, and that it is not likely to be any more permanent than their previous entanglements with Roosevelt and Truman.

This incident dealt with foreign policy, where the Stalinists felt they had to demur publicly. But there was another incident around the same time, relating more to domestic policy, and although I searched the Daily Worker very carefully for several days thereafter, they never had a word to say on it. It’s worth discussing.

On Feb. 29 Taylor spoke over the radio in New York City and said: “I’m against Communists occupying positions in government where they might possibly turn secret information over to the Russians after what happened in Canada.”. But, he added, “it is a different thing to kick them out of the Labor Department. They can be as good public servants there as anybody.”

That certainly throws a new light on the whole question of the “red purge” which the administration has been carrying on for more than a year. Moreover, it shows what a tremendous distinction there is between a reactionary like Truman and a “shining young knight” from the West like Taylor.

Truman, you see, wants to drive the Stalinists out of any and every government job there is. That makes him a witch hunter. Taylor thinks Truman is going too. far. He thinks it’s OK to purge them out of some government jobs – say, in the State Department. But he thinks it would be smart to employ them in less important jobs, such as in the Labor Department, where they could be useful in compiling statistics and in persuading unions not to go on strike. That makes Taylor a liberal, first class.

Do you see the fundamental difference? If you do, maybe you’ll want to join with the members of the Communist Party in supporting the Wallace-Taylor ticket, ring doorbells for them, get petitions signed for them, donate money so that they can spread more such “progressive propagandas” etc. If you do, here are a couple of slogans you may find useful: “Vote for Wallace and Taylor – They Stand For Only a 50% Purge.” “Civil Liberties Must Be Maintained – In the Labor Department.”

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