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WETS NOW SAY PROHIBITION NOT THE ISSUE
Some two weeks ago before the close of the campaign it became ap parent that the wet newspapers, evidently sensing the outcome, began build ing up an alibi for the wet’s defeat in this prohibition referendum. Accord ing to their announcements other issues took precedent over this issue which their champion had made the dominate one. But it will be difficult to convince the voters of this nation or to convince the countries over-seas which were watching this election as they never watched a previous presi dential election that the result is not a direct emphatic mandate of the voters for the retention and strict enforcement of the prohibition policy. It may be true and probably is true that the organized forces seeking to bring back liquor to the United States will refuse to recognize this election as a referendum on prohibition. If they do refuse so to recognize it this will be in complete accord with their practice during the entire history of tem perance reform. PROOF THAT THIS ELECTION IS A PROHIBITION REFERENDUM A consideration of certain well-known facts will convince any fair minded person that it is a vain effort for certain wet leaders to attempt to establish an alibi for this overwhelming defeat in this nation-wide referen dum on this issue. First, as stated above, the candidate himself was the personification of the liquor traffic. To the average man or woman the mere mention of his name suggested the liquor traffic. . Second, his campaign manager, John J. Raskob, Republican, is Vice President of the Association Against the Prohibition Amendment, an or ganization fighting to overthrow prohibition. Accordng to Mr. Raskob’s own statement, he was glad to accept the managership of Smith’s campaign in order to help Smith “rid this country of the damnable affliction of prohi bition.” That was the chief motive that actuated John J. Raskob to tempo rarily sever connections with the largest automobile concern in the world and with the political party to which he belonged in order to devote his full time to the management of Mr. Smith’s campaign. Third, the tremendous vote of the women. Never since the Nineteenth Amendment became operative have so many mothers, wives, sisters and sweethearts marched to the polls as they did last Tuesday. Never did the womanhood of America so unite to accomplish one purpose as they did dur ing this campaign. They recognized the issue which Governor Smith had made; they recognized that in Herbert Hoover they had a champion of the home and they recognized that in Governor Smith the wets had a champion of the liquor traffic, the greatest enemy of the home. Fourth, the unprecedented manner in which southern Democrats slashed into normally Democratic majorities. No amount of argument could convince the dry voters of Virginia, the Old Dominion state, that prohi bition was not the leading issue and that A1 Smith had not made the elec tion a national referendum on that issue. Can any one reasonably doubt what moved Virginians to repudiate Governor Smith? And the same situation prevailed in Florida and Oklahoma, North Carolina and Tennessee and in Texas and also in the other southern states where the overwhelming normal Democratic majorities were reduced almost to the breaking point. BIGGEST VOTE IN HISTORY Fifth, the tremendous increase vote as a whole. Never before in the history of this nation has there been such a marked increase in registration and never before has so large a percentage of those registered voted. It was not Governor Smith’s farm relief ideas nor his re-organization of Gov ernment in Washington, nor his tariff ideas that brought out this increased vote. It was undoubtedly the threat of the destruction of our prohibition policy that aroused the indifferent citizens and the first voter to go to the P°11S‘ THE CHURCHES AROUSED Sixth, for the first time in the history of this nation, the Evangelical Denominational Church bodies, almost without exception, advocated the election of a candidate for the presidency and the defeat of his opponent. These church bodies emphatically declared that the reason for their atti tude was Governor Smith’s opposition to prohibition. They refused to be silenced or diverted from their purpose by the charge brought against them that the church had gone into partisan politics. These churches declared that the issue was a moral issue and not a partisan political issue. They further declared that they were in no wise actuated by religious prejudice. They pointed to the fact, that Governor Smith, himself, had dragged the prohibition issue into the political arena and that because of the platform declaration of both political parties, it was in no sense a partisan issue. These churches spoke for their constituents numbering many millions. Does any one believe that any issue other than a great moral issue could — —-—— . -_- t v .--—:— -:——— __jar move the church denominational bodies of this nation to take this un precedented step? To these churches* adherents prohibition was the domi-j nate issue. SOME WET LEADERS ADMIT IT However, there are some very wet papers and very wet organizations that recently admitted that this election is in fact a referendum on prohibi tion. For instance there is Windle’s Liberal Magazine. This is one of the wettest periodicals in the world. Its Editor has two hobbies, one is “Anti Prohibition,” and the other “Anti-Klan.” But Mr. Windle did not recognize religion or any other smoke screen as important in the campaign. In his issue of October we find this statement in the editorial entitled, "A National Referendum”: THE CANDIDACY OF GOVERNOR ALFRED E. SMITH FURNISHES THE FIRST AND ONLY OPPORTUNITY THE AMERICAN PEOPLE HAVE HAD TO VOICE THEIR OPINION OF NATIONAL PROHIBITION AT THE BAL LOT BOX. HIS CANDIDACY AFFORDS A REAL REFER ENDUM ON VOLSTEADISM. Or take this from The Minute Man, a New York publication devoted exclusively to the fight against prohibition. In its issue of date of October 30 we find the following statement in the leading editorial: PROHIBITION, WHICH THE POLITICIAN SUCCESS FULLY KEPT FROM THE LIMELIGHT FOR MANY YEARS BEFORE AND AFTER ITS ENACTMENT ON A NATIONAL SCALE IS NOW AN ISSUE, CLEAR AND UN MISTAKABLE. Or take this acknowledgement from a recent circular letter issued by the Association Against the Prohibition Amendment and sent out through its national Executive Committee. The quotation reads: NATIONAL PROHIBITION IS THE LEADING ISSUE OF THIS 1928 CAMPAIGN; and throughout the country inten sive educational work by the Association at this time will go far to ward convincing American men and women of the fundamental ds fects of National Prohibition. WHAT MEANS THE VICTORY ? And since this election IS a referendum on the prohibition policy and, its enforcement what does the victory for the dry policy mean? First of all it must be interpreted in no ocher way by the new adminis tration which takes office next March, than as an emphatic mandate from the people that the people of this nation want and expect the prohibition policy to be retained and vigorously enforced. President elect Hoover has said that he wants to see this policy succeed. He has been told by the largest popular vote ever given a presidential candidate that the people want it to succeed. American Issue firmly believes that President elect Hoover will not disappoint the people who have spoken so emphatically. But the whole responsibility does not rest upon the incoming adminis tration. By their ballots endorsing this policy the people have imposed upon themselves an obligation requiring that unstinted support be given those whom they have selected to administer and enact the laws. The ob ligation rests not solely upon the national administration but comprehends the fullest and heartiest co-operation on the part of state, county and local executives and legislative officials. Further, it entails not only legal en forcement of the law but also moral observance and conformity to the pro hibition standard by the people themselves. It is incumbent on those who heretofore have declined to enter into co-operation in the enforcement and observance of this law on the alleged ground that it was a measure in whose enactment the people as such had had no voice, now to accept this plainly spoken verdict cf the people de livered at the polls last Tuesday. WHAT CHIEF JUSTICE TAFT SAID Wet propagandists are quoting Chief Justice Taft of the United States Supreme Court as being opposed to prohibition. They quote what he said before National prohibition was adopted, or the Volstead Law was enacted. Why do they not quote what Justice Taft said in the Chicago Tribune of July 26, 1920, after the dry amendment and the Volstead Act were in ef fect? Here it is: “I am not in favor of amending the Volstead Act in respect to the amount of permissible alcohol in beverages. I am not in favor of allowing light wines and beer to be sold under the Eighteenth Amendment. I believe it would defeat the purpose of the amend ment. No such distinction as that between wines and beer on the one hand and spirilous liquors on the other is practicable as a po lice measure. Any such loop hole as light wines and beer would make the amendment a laughing stock."