Baltimore Evening Sun (9 March 1914): 6.


The changing sports of the great American people:

1894. 1914.
Horse-racing The woman hunt
Ping-pong Revivals
Poker Informing
Muckraking The tango

A DAILY THOUGHT. You never hear of a man marrying a women to reform her.—The Rev. Billy Sunday. D. D.

If I had a son, which God forbid, I should breed him up to the new science of “honest” politics, perhaps the most lucrative of all the grafts now open to an American young man. Time was when reform was a sad and laborious business, with no usufructs for its practitioner. Here in Maryland, for example, the late Severn Teackle Wallis got nothing for his long battle against the machine, not even a job. On the contrary, it was a heavy expense to him, and had he not been a man of easy means he would have been forced to abandon it. But today there is a different tale to tell. It has become more profitable to trail with the reformers than to trail with the machine. The majority of jobs go to those who look “forward” and think “right.” The result is that thousands of professional politicians jump aboard the bandwagon and yell for the uplift, and sing every new hymn that is lined out.

The halls of Congress are now full of such ready and vociferous converts. One can scarcely think of a peruna that is not eloquently advocated there, and by formidable squads of Munyons. The lower house is alive with advocates of prohibition, the recall, woman suffrage, the initiative and referendum, the single tax, the minimum wage, the short ballot, the direct primary and all the other sublime inventions for making the world perfect overnight. And even in the Senate the new race of uplifters is gradually crowding out the old race of statesmen. A strong party there is made up of vice crusaders; another party is hot for medical freedom—and influential enough to block all new health legislation.

We of Maryland have seen the process of conversion under our very eyes. When a new peruna is brought forward, either by the newspapers or by professional perunists, the politicians first laugh at it, then try to dump it, then sniff of it, then taste it, and then swallow it at one gigantic gulp. The Democrats have thus got down the direct primary and the new freedom, whatever that may mean; the Republicans have flooded their arteries with woman suffrage, and individuals of both parties, hot for jobs, have managed to stomach even worst doses—local option, vice crusading, the single tax, the initiative and referendum, the recall. The Eastern Shore swarms with job-seekers who have been converted to prohibition in order to facilitate their business. And here in Baltimore there are politicians who have actually taken to penology, comstockery and the Men and Religion Forward Movement.

The advantage of such eager leaping to the mourner’s bench is that it purges the leaper of all sin, that it changes the presumptions against him into presumptions in his favor, that it makes virtuous and glorious his hot yearning for a job. We have a shining example in a statesman now adorning high office among us. For years and years, this statesman kept body and soul together as a professional job-holder. He went from job to job, each new one more lucrative than those before it. And he achieved that progress by playing politics as it was then played. Any hint that he was a reformer, any suggestion that he loved the uplift, would have scattered his following and astounded the public in general. But now he swings with the new current. He has downed a dozen perunas and has laid in sample bottles of a dozen more. Once a politician of the most “practical” sort, he has gradually become an ardent reformer, a forward-looker, a right-thinker—with several prudent reservations. And in that new character he holds the best job of his career.

Have the American people a sense of humor? They like to think that they have, but all the evidence is against it. The more one studies them, the more one marvels at their infantile credulity, their infinite thirst for buncombe, their almost fabulous capacity for mistaking mere burbling and pretense for sense. Think how seriously they have taken prohibition, trust-busting, Roosevelt, Billy Sunday! Think how incessantly they are fooled by a more change of coats! Think how they turn infallibly to vapid and imbecile reasons for their acts, even when sound reasons exist—for example, in the matters of tariff reform, equal suffrage and the battle against trading in women! No wonder the professional job-seeker turns reformer and breaks into tears! No wonder the uplift makes so many astonishing converts!

That the so-called uplift has nothing permanently to gain by woman suffrage has been demonstrated again in Seattle, Wash., where the woman voters have just helped to re-elect the Hon. Hiram C. Gill to the Mayoralty. The Hon. Mr. Gill was Mayor in 1910, when woman suffrage went into effect in the State of Washington, and the successful suffragettes at once proceeded to display their new-found power by recalling him, But that triumph was due solely to the fact that most of the normal women of Seattle did not vote. Since then these normal women have got into the habit of going to the polls, and now they have furnished one more proof that their votes are always cast against the crazy jehads and perunas of the suffragettes.

The case of the Hon. Mr. Gill is very striking, for the attack upon him was purely suffragettish in quality. He was accused of “protecting” vice, of encouraging the “white slave” trade, and of engaging in all the other dark crimes that baffled old maids ascribe to men. When he was recalled in 1911, and his Chief of Police was railroaded to prison, the business was hailed in all the uplift magazines as an affecting victory for the New Morality. But now the women voters of Seattle have put him back into office. The State of Washington has passed safely through the stage of suffragette domination and sexual obsession. As always happens when woman suffrage goes into effect, the wild women have been quickly and effectively squelched by the sane women. Once more it has been proved that civilization has nothing to fear from the woman voter.

Let us grant a free pardon to the ex-Sheriffs! The fight they put up was a good one, and it was a shock to see the referee count them out. Let them take half of the gate, and go on their way rejoicing. They are tough boys, and they deserve to be encouraged.–Adv.