Election 1940: Thomas Asks Votes on No-War Platform (11-1-40)

The Pittsburgh Press (November 2, 1940)


Milwaukee, Nov. 1 –


Norman Thomas, Socialist candidate for President, said last night that both the Democratic and Republican presidential candidates are members of a “war machine” and asked for votes for the Socialist ticket as protest against war.

Mr. Thomas told a political meeting that America is drifting toward war and dictatorship because of the efforts of a “declining capitalism” to compensate for its domestic failures.

In earlier speeches yesterday, Mr. Thomas charged that the nation is under partial dictatorship, although three still is a possibility of avoiding complete dictatorship and threatening war.

1 Like


Socialist Candidate Here For Speech, Predicts Roosevelt Victory

Everything points toward the United States becoming involved in the war regardless of who is elected President next week, Norman Thomas, who is campaigning for the Presidency for the fourth time on the Socialist ticket, said here today.

Mr. Thomas, in Pittsburgh to speak tonight at Carnegie Hall, predicted that President Roosevelt would be re-elected for a third term. Tonight’s address will be the Socialist candidate’s second in Pittsburgh during the current campaign.

There are two possible motives behind military conscription in this country in peacetime; it means either going to war on the side of England or imperialism in South America, Mr. Thomas asserted in an interview.

Sees No Difference

But the situation would not be materially different with the election of Wendell L. Willkie to the Presidency, Mr. Thomas held. He said there isn’t a “thimbleful” of difference between the Roosevelt and Willkie foreign policies.

The only hope for peace, as far as the United States is concerned, he added, is that both candidates have promised to keep this country out of war and their promises have tended to deepen the public’s conviction that war must be avoided.

The present administration, however, has become dangerously close to becoming involved, Mr. Thomas pointed out. He likened the destroyer “deal” to England’s use of the privateer Alabama on the side of the South in the Civil War.

Almost an 'Act of War’

Thus, he explained, the only thing that prevented the exchange of 50 overage destroyers for bases on English possessions off the Atlantic Coast from having become an “act of war” was that it was not so interpreted by Germany.

Continuing his criticism of both major presidential candidates, Mr. Thomas said Mr. Willkie has tried to make “too many speeches” to be effective and that the address of U.S. Ambassador Joseph Kennedy endorsing President Roosevelt’s candidacy was “a last-minute effort to fool the people” about American security.

Mr. Thomas advocated accomplishing “totalitarian results by democratic means” through government control of money and credits, natural resources and heavy industries.

1 Like