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- 1914 November 16 (Creation)
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Letter from H. L. Loucks to R.F. Pettigrew about the development of the Progressive Party. Loucks believes that the name should be changed due to the bad public image of progressivism. He mentions the anti-Catholic sentiments during the elections of 1914 around the country. He also talks about President Woodrow Wilson's policies and his tendency to support special interest groups. Loucks proposes a strategy for the Progressive Party for the 1916 elections. He also comments that the Republican candidate (Coe I. Crawford) wants to contest the election of Edwin Stockton Johnson (Democratic candidate) as Senator of South Dakota. Loucks states that he would like to see an investigation into the primary and election for the Senate seat.
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Nov. 16th. 1914.
My dear Pettigrew,
I note by some Press reports that the National Committee of The Progressive Party are to meet in Chicago I think Dec. 7th. Now as you will guess I am not in a position to make much noise just at present, but all the same I want to keep in touch with the treand of affairs polittcal, and wondered if you intended attending that meeting. I hope that you can, and keep me advised.
If there is a future for the Progressive Party, but I do hope that they will change the name, for there has been too many sins committed in the name of Progressiveness, for the name to be any longer attractive to true progressives.
As I size up the situation, notwithstanding the excellent advertising bureau of the Administration; it has been weighed in the balance and found wanting. The falling off in the late election, will be permanent in the east, and will have the effect of discouraging the trend in the west.
The Presidents name was used for all it was worth in the west, and cannot be used quite so well two years hence. I wrote up for Corey of The Saturday News here, an Editorial review of John Burke, (the National Treasurer) address here.
Did I send you a copy? If not I will try and get one for you.
There is a non-political feature in connection with the late campaign, that will have to be taken into consideration, in any forecasts made. Just what the affect was I am not prepared to say, but I know the claims made. It may be a coincidence; and it may be a result. I do not take THE MENACE; But it came to The Watertown Times and I have seen a few copies of it. I know that before the campaign; they were making a fight against Roman Catholic candidate in many states, and by name.
I know that in the Republican primary in Minnesota that our good friend Manahan was defeated on that issue, not that we was, but that his wife was. I have this from one of his best friends.
In the last issue of The Menace they claim credit for the defeat of Gov. McGlynn of New York, and many more went down with him.
They claim to have ban Shively in Indiana for Senator, Also Sullivan in Illinois; Morris in Wisconsin, Connelly in Iowa, Hogan in Ohio etc. Of course we must make allowances, but that is their claim. There has been several societies started up/ The Guardians of Liberty of which General Miles was President and Tom Watson was Vice. In Toms old 10th District in Ga. They ran Judge Vinson on that issue against the present incumbent, and swept the District.
Then there is the Knights of Luther, and others.
But perhaps you have been keeping track of it.
The longer the Wilsons achievements in legislation are tested the more superficial will they appear, so I look for a decline of his popularity.
On the other hand the Penrose, Gallingher, Cannon group have been very much strengthened, and will undoubtedly control the party machinery. I heard Burke here, and no doubt he voiced their policy for 1916. It is the reenactment of the Payne-Aldrich Tariff law, and a union of the north to protect us from the farmers of the south I am ashamed to say, that such a program met strong support in Watertown from people who should have known better. I answered his speech on Monday evening, but had no Bard, or crowd to work up such a meeting as his nor a moving picture show to attract.
The Wilson Administration in endorsing so recklessly The Tamman regime in New York, The Taggart, in Indiana, The Hogan in Ohio, Sullivan in Illinois has cost him dearly. Bryan in consenting to that program has committed “Hari-Kari”.
But the whole trend of the Wilson Administration of late has been to court, and conciliate and compromise with the special interests, and as a result, must be classed with them. Then we will have the two dominant political machines biding for that support. All of the vital issues ignored by them, and a rehash of the tariff once more. Will the Progressive Party adopt a plain, clean cut platform of principles, and appeal to the people for them, and be prepared to make a sacrifice campaign if need be for those principles in 1916.
Organize in every state for a full complete ticket down to the county? And such a campaign should be started in the west at any rate this winter, on account of our primary law, so as to keep the rea; progressives out of the old party primaries.
In this State “oil and water” are not mixing, and the Stalwarts are sore, very sore. I had a talk with Col. Stover yesterday, and I think that they are almost ready to contest Johnsons seat on account of corruption etc. S. X. Way came in before we were thru, so we did not finish our conversation. He claims that Crawford is now ready to fight Johnson, and also to work for the defeat of the whole State organization. What do you know about it?
It would add zest to the campaign two years hence if we had a Senatorial fight on. I think that there should be a Senatorial investigation of both Burkes primary, and Johnsons election, not that it would help me any, for I am able to take a hint, but I would be glad for the sake of the future of the state.
I have not taken the time to communicate with any of the others, for reasons in the enclosure. But if you have the time I hope that you will keep tab on the situation, and keep me posted. You are one of the men I want to co-operate with, and help if I can.
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