A Practical Liberal?
Landon's actions during the latter part of 1937 disturbed many Republicans. His support of Roosevelt on the Panay and Ludlow questions and his refusal actively to support the Republican program committee led many to conclude that his positions were divisive of the party's strength. Some Republicans even charged that he might desert the party for a place in Roosevelt's cabinet. Landon scoffed at the idea of a position in Roosevelt's cabinet, which he said he would not accept. As for the program committee, Landon still viewed it, despite its membership, as an attempted tour de force against the liberals and the younger leaders of the party.1 Moreover, he used his aloofness to forestall the party from writing a mid-term platform, an action that would be "the height of stupidity" because it could help unite the Democrats behind the President.
As Landon saw it, the chief issue before the country was the fight for power between "the spirit of the Anglo-Saxon people" and those "whose racial heritage and background is not the village moot, but who only admire power, ruthless power, and the nerve to wield it." Although this was a jot of racism that occasionally cropped up in his letters in the mid-1930s, it was well-meant. Landon's wish was that____________________