Baltimore Evening Sun (25 January 1912): 6.


Twenty-five thousand dollars for the Ward Heelers’ Committee—but not a darn cent for typhoid!

For Vice-President of the United States: The Hon. James H. Preston, of Maryland. The only real democrat left in the world.

Editorial note in the current issue of the Baltimoreische Blaetter, the barber-shop monthly of the Hononary Pallbearers:

This issue of Baltimore, to some of its readers, will no doubt seem as “dry as dust”—as was the philosophy of the seventeenth century. It, to some, may seem tiresome and the reports and aricles long. These may not be entertaining and will not serve the purpose of whiling away the leisure hour.

Too modest, good Tom. The murder of the English language is never tiresome and never, never dry. Of all the common sports, indeed, it leads in fascination and has no peer for juiciness.

Well, well, why all this ill-natured row about the suffragettes’ punch? Doesn’t the right to vote obviously carry with it the right to dis[...]viously and consume those elixirs which inspire and inflame the voter? What would become of democracy if alcohol were abolished? How could the average voter make up his mind if there were no spirits in his arteries to stimulate and vivify his blood?

The essential thing about democracy, as every student of social psychology must be well aware, is its dependence upon emotion. In any effort to convince people in the mass, as opposed to people individually or in small groups, it is useless to employ arguments, reasons, logic. Too many definitions of truth are current and they vary too widely. The proposition which seems self-evident to a man, let us say, of university training seems hopelessly ridiculous to a man of barroom training, and vice versa. In the United States alone fully 500 different and antagonistic brands of epistemology are constantly on tap.

But when we come to emotion a far greater uniformity at once appears. Emotions are survivals from the infancy of the race. They are so elemental that man shares most of them with the higher animals, and a number of them with even the lower animals. And because they are thus of extremely simple and primitive character they show a large degree of universality. Two men may think in widely divergent ways, but they usually hate and love in exactly the same way. Let the band play “Dixie” and the doctor of divinity and the ward heeler will both stamp their feet. “The colonel’s lady and Judy O’Grady are sisters under their skins.”

Therefore it happens that, under a democracy, the efforts of prophets and rabble-rousers are directed to the emotions of the people primarily, and to their intelligence only secondarily. The strength of Colonel Roosevelt, for example, lies almost entirely in his insidious appeal to popular emotions. Considered intellectually he is open to numerous and serious objections—but when he puts on his cowboy’s hat and polka-dot neckcloth and climbs upon his prancing cayuse not one man out of a hundred stops to consider him intellectually. And so he has a manifest advantage over such men as Mr. Taft, who appeal to the emotions only rarely, though they show a vastly superior logical sense.

Here in Baltimore we have another and even more striking example in the Hon. the super-Mahon. Examined in cold blood, he seems a very shallow and ridiculous fellow—but he is clever enough to avoid any such examination in cold blood, at least by the masses of the people. He accomplishes that avoidance by the simple process of appealing constantly to popular emotions. One day he arouses that emotional hatred of learning which ever lies dormant in all ignorant men—which means in 95 per cent. of all voters. Some other day he bounces into the ring in a martyr’s sheet of fire—and so arouses the powerful emotion of sympathy. To the student of social psychology, his doings are ever interesting. He is probably the most accomplished manipulator of popular passion and prejudice this town has ever seen.

But what has all this to do with alcohol? The answer is simple enough. Alcohol, in civilization, is the chief guardian and fosterer of primitive emotion. It acts by dulling and crippling the higher intellectual centres. A perfectly sober man thinks before he yells, but a drunken man yells first. Each successive drink strips off, one may say, a skin of logic, until finally the eternal skeleton of emotion stands bare. Give him drinks enough, and the most intelligent man in the world will eventually think exactly like a farm hand. That is to say, he will not think at all, but will yield frankly to the emotions inherited from his anthropoid forebears.

Thus it is silly to denounce a political party for employing, during an active campaign, the one political agent most effective under a democracy. I do not say that the suffragettes distributed alcohol with any conscious purpose of befuddling their hearers. On the contrary, I do not believe they did, for they specifically deny it. But what I do say is that they showed, though wholly unconsciously, an alert and accurate political sense. If women are to have the ballot—and I believe firmly that they will get it before 10 years have passed—then it is certainly comforting to discover that they are not mere idle theorists, but. psychologists with a clear appreciation of the essential dependence of democracy upon emotion, and of the essential dependence of emotional escapement, in civilized communities, upon the ingestion of that subtle combination of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen which goes under the various names of ethyl alcohol, spirits and booze.

After all, you can’t hardly say that what them stuffers done was no worse than what everybody else has did at some time or other, and nothing new never come out about it.

Astounding snarl of verbiage from the current issue of the Baltimoreische Blaetter:

The object and service of such tend to betterment, for which every human and communities of humans should and o, as a general thing, strive for.

Respectfully referred to the Teachers’ “Literary” Club for preservation in its cabinet of literary curiosities.

An anti-vivisectionist is one who gags at a guinea pig and swalows a baby. Getting stale, but still good for a few more rounds.

A quart of lima beans for the name and address of anyone who believes that the Hon. Jake Hook is on the level in his war upon niggero clerks.