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Shirley Lawrence

Lindbergh, Fascist Hope, Has New Line

(13 August 1945)

From Labor Action, Vol. IX No. 33, 13 August1945, p. 4.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

The great white hope of, native American fascism, Charles Augustus Lindbergh, has reappeared in the political limelight. This concurs with the resurgence of the. Nationalist and America First fascist groups in the United States.

Post-war periods are always times of unrest and dissatisfaction. The capitalists are no longer willing to organize the economy for vast production in peace-time, so that there will be jobs for all – as they did for a destructive war. Cut-backs, lay-offs and unemployment are now the order of the day. Reactionary groups will try to pit returning veterans against the workers, whose“crime” is that they valiantly fought to maintain the gains of labor despite war-time restrictions, such as the wage freeze and the no-strike pledge while the capitalists were amassing huge profits. This is a cross-section of the transitional period of reconversion, where discontent and prejudice are sharpened.

Taking his cue for such a period of stress, Lindbergh, like all good fascists, is now laying down a new Nationalist line – that of “interventionism” – a far cry from his pre-war“isolationism.” On July 26, 1945, Lindbergh was quoted by the Chicago Tribune as having said at a luncheon with Colonel Robert McCormick and other Tribune executives (McCormick has specifically praised the Nationalist Party of Sen. Reynolds in his paper):

“... never has truth been so low. The ideals of justice and tolerance virtually have vanished from a continent, freedom of speech and action is suppressed over a large portion of the world, especially the so-called liberated nations, many of whom have simply changed the Nazi form of dictatorship for the Communist form.”

Lindbergh has never cared for the truth, nor does he in this instance. He utilizes the old red-baiting formula to pass over the militancy of the Resistance Movement in Europe now fighting for national independence. The British elections also recently reaffirmed the fact that the left will be the dominating power in Europe.

Lindbergh’s “New Line”

Lindbergh now wants to save civilization and Europe from itself:

“To make ourselves independent of Europe’s welfare is impossible. The civilization which is falling to pieces in Europe is our civilization. We are hound to. our civilization as a man is bound to his family. We cannot retire now and leave Europe to the destructive forces which it (the war) has let loose. Honor, self-respect, and our own national interests prevent doing that.”

This is a curious transposition, for on May 19, 1940, he said in a speech at Washington:

“We are in danger of war today not because European people have attempted to interfere with the internal affairs of America hut because American people have attempted to interfere with the internal affairs of Europe.”

“Isolationism” is a mild term to describe Lindbergh’s thinking before the war, when he loosely followed the Fascist pattern in his anti-Semitic, anti-foreign-born, and pro-Nazi speeches, along with the America First Committee (permeated by Father Coughlin and his followers), and its satellites among the isolationist Senators.

In a speech at Des Moines on September 11, 1941, Lindbergh cast aside all veils of pretense and in the pattern set by Hitler, sought to make the Jews a public national, issue in the United States.“Hero” Lindbergh attacked the Jews as being one of the“three most important groups who have been agitating for and pressing this country towards war” – the other two groups being the British and the Roosevelt Administration. He benevolently offered this advice: “The Jews should suppress their natural opinion.” “The Jewish groups in this country should be opposed to war for they will be the first to feel its consequences.”The implication was that the Jews would be blamed for the war if it came, and would be persecuted because of it when opposition arose. If this was not a threat, it was the next thing to it.

Lindbergh, a Fascist Demagogue

Next to blaming the Jews for a war, the most effective anti-Jewish talk is to accuse them of having more than their share of wealth and influence. “Their greatest danger to this country lies in their large ownership and influence in our motion pictures, our press, our radio, our government.” Senator Nye, his brother-in-arms at the time, in this fascist crusade to terrorize and blackmail millions of foreign-born Americans into supporting the Isolationists, also said:“I wish that those who would be its victims would sense the possibilities.”

Goebbels could not have done better. By invoking the powerful force of unreason and religious hatred, Lindbergh invited all the separate hate-groups in this country to combine in a common hatred of the Jews. This is the precise language of the Nazis. One of the earliest of the Nazi slogans, was, that the Jews owned and controlled press, radio and government. The Nazis used the “stab in the back” slogan. The Jews, they said, had stabbed Germany in the back and lost the war for the Germans. Lindbergh’s variation was that “the Jews are getting us into the war.” But the pattern was the same.

There is no conflict between Lindbergh’s “isolationism”of America First days, and his “interventionism” of the present. Lindbergh, then and now, conclusively proves by his utterances, actions and connections, that he is pro-fascist and reactionary, and that in this, he is supported by big business interests. Keeping America out of the war, anti-Semitism, and a theory of racial superiority were convenient components of his‘‘isolationist” period. Today, “interventionism”serves his purposes best. Lindbergh wishes to foment a war against the upsurge of the masses all over Europe. He fears the specter of socialism and revolution. He is no doubt aware of labor unrest in this country as well, and dreads the rise of a conscious, independent political organization of the working classes in this country. He wants all who fear labor’s strength to join with him.

Danger of Underestimation

It is important to understand what is happening. Lindbergh’s recent remarks in Chicago lay down a new line for the Nationalists and pro-fascists in America, and they again present Lindbergh as a candidate for active political leadership. Lindbergh, the super-hereof the 20’s, is the most scintillating person in the native American fascist movement. He is indeed most likely to succeed.

To combat the growth and influence of the freedom-hating and reactionary fascists, all anti-fascists must combine in a common anti-fascist united front. In Los Angeles, such a united front protest meeting was held at the same time Smith spoke at an American First rally. It was widely attended.

Such protest meetings are necessary and effective, but not basic enough. The root of fascism is the economic chaos of capitalist economy, which feeds on wars, depressions, poverty, unemployment, hunger, bad housing, race hatreds. We anti-fascists must therefore go further, and organize consciously, our own independent political labor organization so that the great power of labor will be organized and invincible.

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