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The day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, April 07, 1915, LAST EDITION, Image 2

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045487/1915-04-07/ed-2/seq-2/

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own voting; and they demonstrated that the people CAN RULE when they
make up their minds to do it.
I talked to Thompson but once, and the conclusion I formed was that
he had family pride which is always helpful in keeping a man straight
and that if both sides of a proposition were clearly presented to him he
would prefer the right "side. He will
make mistakes, of course. All men
do. He may listen to had advice,
without going deep into the question;
but I don't think he will throw the
people of Chicago designedly on any
question where the public interest is
Republican politicians, quite hu
manly, will try to make his victory a
party victory. That's part of the
game. But it isn't a party victory in
fiie sense that the Republican party
in Chicago stands for anything differ
ent from what the Democratic party
stands for. Thompson got the big
vote because of the things people
thought Thompson himself stood for,
and also because of the things they
thought Sullivan, Hopkins and Sweit
zer stood for.
Normally, Chicago is Democratic
measured by the number of voters
who have the party habit; but there
were thousands of voters who think
they are Democrats who worked just
as hard for Thompson as their neigh
bors who think they are Republicans.
In fact, it came as near being a
nonpartisan election as we could well
have. The party issue was subor
dinate to the religious and other is
sues which are nonpartisan.
My own opinion is that the issue
which influenced more voters than
any other was the public school issue.
Unemployment, hard times, busi
ness depression and various effects of
the European war worked against
Sweitzer because he happened to be
a candidate of the party in power na
tionally. And there is no doubt at all about
the big influence of Harrison Demo
crats in supporting Thompson in or
der to put the Sullivan-Hopkins Dem
ocratic alliance out of business.
The belief that the public utilities
were back of Sweitzer had its influ
ence, too.
Aside from the hostility of the
Harrison faction to Sullivan, there
were other Democrats who believe in
President Wilson who saw in a vic
tory for the Hearst-Sullivan alliance
a setback for President Wilson. And
the two consecutive defeats for Rog
er Sullivan, in the senatorial election
last year and the city election Tues
day, will put a decided crimp in Sul
livan's political strength. No leader
can keep on leading his party to de
feat and retain his influence. The
good soldiers get tired of being licked.
It was plain enough to a student
of politics that the campaign mapped
out to put Sweitzer over, after his
election last year as county clerk,
was to combine German and Catholic
voters. But it was poor planning. It
didn't take into account the impor
tant fact that no class of voters en
joys being herded, stampeded or de
livered. There is no man in Chicago who
can solidify the Catholic vote, the
German vote, the Irish vote, the
Methodist vote or any other class
vote, for the simple reason that there
is no such thing as a class vote.
There may be uniformity as to re
ligion among Catholics, Methodists,
Baptists and other sects, but when
it comes to politics they split up just
as other men and women do.
The landslide for Thompson is
proof enough that he received thou
sands of Catholic and German votes,
just as he received thousands of other
kinds of votes. I should say that
votes were driven away from Sweit
zer by the circular and other appeals
to class interests ouside of politics;
and I have no doubt at all that Sweit
zer got thousands of Protestant votes
because of the belief among many

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