Letter 067, pg. 2
the advantage of our cause.
2. Page 12 of booklet: Defense should not be placed as the first aim of a business men’s organization. It sounds false. If a prospective member is interested chiefly and primarily in defense—he will go to the U.S.O. or some such place.
3. Page 12. If an amateur like me may be permitted to be very emphatic about anything—I shall be so about the point of “labor’s rights” and “collective bargaining” being placed as one of the three sole, cardinal aims of a business men’s organization. Why, in the name of heaven, must we do that? Can’t we be considered respectable in defending our own rights and concerns without having to proclaim ourselves as champions of labor’s rights? For that noble purpose there’s the C.I.O. It is doing quite well. And I don’t see any declarations about protecting the rights of business men in its pamphlets. If that point was introduced into the booklet only as a sort of protection to cover the second part of the same paragraph—about “abolishing racketeering from labor unions”—it doesn’t work. It merely sounds like Willkie’s Elwood speech—and you know what that cost us. The whole subject of business men’s attitude towards labor is much too delicate. It is better not to touch it—unless we can devote to it pages and pages of full, clear-cut statement. A pious generality destroys the confidence of both labor and business men.
4. I think the printed booklet is too short. When we over-cut and over-simplify, we cannot help but be reduced to generalities. In this case, I think it is simply poor business practice. It looks as if we are trying to sell a pig in a poke. We say that we object to certain propaganda and we offer people to buy our counter-propaganda, but we never give a concrete indication of the nature of either. We say in effect that we’ll sell you “a product”—come and pay for it without asking what it is. After all, when a business man advertises an important commercial product, he puts out a long, beautiful, detailed prospectus—with fancy text and photographs. Shouldn’t ideas be sold in the same way? We must remember that people who are in a position to contribute money to our cause are still terribly bitter about the millions they poured into the Willkie campaign and the miserable results they got. I know that from the people who were connected with the Willkie Clubs. They all feel stung. Willkie, too, promised anti-government propaganda—and look at him now. That is why any mild, compromising generality reminds people too much of the barefoot boy from Indiana. Unless we can be strong, clear, positive, militant—as