Baltimore Evening Sun (29 August 1913): 6.
So far, not a word from the Hon. Charles J. Bonaparte about the fake raids of March 15, and not a word about the Hon. Eugene Levering’s astounding proclamation of March 4. The Hon. Mr. Bonaparte has hitherto favored the grand jury with his view of its public duties. Now let the jurymen favor the Hon. Mr. Bonaparte with their view of his duties—as a responsible officer of the Society for the Suppression of Vice. The kindest thing that may be said of that society is that it has been ludicrously and outrageously mismanaged. To what extent is Vice President Bonaparte responsible for that mismanagement? On what ground does he presume to teach other men how to suck moral eggs when he has made such a mess of the business himself?
A DAILY THOUGHT. Honesty is the best policy, but he who is honest for that reason is not an honest man.—Archbishop Whately.
Some time ago, in this place, I showed that the vice statistics supplied to the Hon. John D. Rockkfeller, Jr., by his eager “experts” made 1 woman in every 12 in New York city a prostitute. A far more elaborate and convincing reductio ad absurdum of the same and other such donkeyish figures, by a man thoroughly equipped for the business, is to be found in the July number of the American Journal of Public Health, pages 661-676. The author is Dr. John S. Fulton, secretary of the State Board of Health. His brilliant attack leaves the vice crusaders and sex hygienists without a leg to stand on. He proves that their figures are inaccurate, dishonest and idiotic, and that the conclusions they draw therefrom are ridiculous. And he achieves the proving with so much humor, so much sagacity and so many graces of style that I, for one, have found it an unmixed delight. Few medical men know how to write: the average medical article would disgrace a high-school boy, or even his grammar teacher. But Dr. Fulton, like Dr. Osler, is one of the shining exceptions.
I won’t attempt a summary of his article: my advice is that you send a quarter to the Journal office, at 289 Fourth avenue, New York, and so read it for yourself. In brief, he attacks the fashionable figures as to the extent of prostitution, as to its cost to the community, and as to the incidence of so-called social disease. And having disposed of all this pious garbage, he pays his respects to the consecrated pornographers who spit it in the faces of women and children, first rolling it on their tongues. The air is now full of that villainous smut, that filthy hail of lies. Women are taught to belleve that no man has any decency or honor, that their husbands are diseased and degraded, that their sons are hogs and scoundrels. It is refreshing to see a man of Dr. Fulton’s position and authority raise his voice against that debauch of obscene libel, and to behold how the dirty hobgoblins fall before him.
The Suffrage News! The Suffrage News! It never wheedles, never coos! In clarion tones it shouts its views, and dishes up its bitter brews! Each week some sinner gets his dues! The Suffrage News! The Suffrage News!
Another challenge from dear old Anderson—the tenth, at least, in the last sad half year! This time he wants me to meet him in a public bawling match at the Lyric. When in trouble, drag a herring across the trail, becloud the issue, send a challenge! Alas, the people of Baltimore know all about these challenges of the Hon. Mr. Anderson. They know how he challenged the Hon. Lloyd Wilkinson, and then took ingloriously to the woods. They know how he dodged and shifted when I once did some challenging—for instance, when I challonged him to produce a single ecclesiastic who would defend his attempted seduction of the whole hierarchy. And they know his habits in debate—how he has constantly met any clear and specific evidence as to the failure of prohibition in Maine and Georgia with idle quotations from the harangues of prohibition rabble-rousers and noisy denials by fifth-rate politicians.
Born virtuous, the Hon, Mr. Anderson has been poisoned and corrupted by bad associations. He adopts the sinister chicaneries of the bogus archangels who crowd about him. He loses the frankness that must have been his heritage, unless all the laws of physiognomy lie. In brief, he reaches the lamentable estate of one who has kissed morality good-by. Therefore, I decline his quackish and preposterous challenges on the one hand, entirely without apologies, and on the other hand I laugh at his ensuing accusations. The hon. gent. tries to blow me up with his superior lungs; I resist and baffle him with my superior virtue, my superior repute, my superior standing as a punctilious and respectable man.
But if I thus decline to meet him in the ordeal by bellowing, if I refuse to clown with him on a public stage, I by no means seek to dodge or evade his fire. Whenever he comes forward with an intelligible argument for prohibition, I shall endeavor to point out its knotholes and sprains. Whenever he turns from the vapid bosh of the Hon. Red Stubbs to the evidence of well-intending witnesses, I shall endeavor to examine that evidence in the light of sound logic. And whenever, in the course of his campaigning and intriguing, he oversteps the moral bounds which hedge in the acts of virtuous men, I shall feel in duty bound to call his attention to it, not in anger, not in gloating, but in a sincere effort to restore him to a reasonable respectability.
All these things will be done in this place, or, if the hon. gent. prefers, in the columns of the American Issue. And he will have the privilege, as always in the past, to answer me as he chooses, with sense or with nonsense. He will have the first say, the last say and the middle say. He will have the right, as heretofore, to reply to facts with mere rhetoric, to dodge all plain issues, to manufacture and sophisticate evidence, to make and press his claim to divine guidance, to denounce all men who diverge from him as scoundrels and sots, to whoop from pulpits or stumps, to shake down the Sunday-schools, to seek and obtain the aid of all the mountebanks out of Bedlam, to launch a saving challenge whenever he gets into a tight corner. I allow him all of these privileges for a plain reason: I have confidence that the people of Maryland will be able to distinguish accurately between what is true and what is mere vociferous, the eternal facts of life and the pharasaical rumble-bumble of the Anti-Saloon League.
Read the Maryland Suffrage News! All the best features of the War Cry and the Lookout Sheet! A dollar a year.—Adv.