La Follette Vindicated
By the People.
At the primary
in Wisconsin recently the Lafollette delegates to the Republican
Convention at Chicago were elected over his opponents by a majority of
When I think of what La Follette suffered,
the lies that were told on him, the slanders published and the abuse
heaped upon him by predatory interests and the miserable flunkeys of the
Wilson administration, his victory seems almost incredible. It was a
victory for the right--a triumph of the truth.
first place, La Follette did nothing but remain true to the people and
tell the truth. He refused to crook the pregnant hinges of the knee that
flattery and wealth might follow fawning. He voted against the war, as
nine-tenths of the real soldiers who went to France would do today, but he
did not vote against a single measure intended to strengthen our armies
and help win the war. He endeavored to put the expenses of the war upon
the people who are able to bear the expenses and especially those who had
made enormous profits out of the war. La Follette voted to submit the
question of going to war to the voters the men and women who were to
suffer, die and bear the burdens of the expense. He endeavored to tax
excess profits 80 per cent. In a word, he was true to the right--true to
the common people. He has been true to them since he entered public life.
But the war-mad patriot for pelf saw his opportunity and embraced it to
even up with the man who had made stealing inconvenient.
Why, even in Mississippi public sentiment has been so debauched by
untruths that it was almost regarded as treasonable to be found approving
the acts of La Follette. Thank God the common people of Wisconsin could
not be deceived very long by untruths, and the same is true of the good
people of Mississippi.
Commenting on La Follette's victory
the Capital Times, of Madison, Wisconsin, draws this vivid picture. I want
you to read it and think on it. It is a tonic for the patriotic soul. Then
read the little poem by William Ellery Leonard. It is a great Tribute is
not only an honor to Wisconsin; but he is a benefaction to America. Would
to God that there were more of his kind.
man-one lonely figure.
One little man,--a two year target
of one of the most terrific campaigns ever launched to destroy an
individual; one human being,--standing up against the angry roar of a war
when a nation permitted hatred to take the seat of reason ; one individual
drawing the attack of a national pulpit, press and film; one
FIGHTER--standing with his back to the wall and staving off the avalanche
which the tremendous power of organized wealth- is able to, let
Odds? Were odds ever greater against ONE
Standing at the end of two years in which he has borne a
load such as few men could carry; maligned and misrepresented for many
weary; compelled to hold his ground practically alone, VINDICATION
has finally come to Wisconsin's great son,--Robert M.
Last Tuesday the sons of Wisconsin used that
great instrument of democracy, the ballot, and in no uncertain terms they
gave Senator La Follette a personal endorse-
ment such as but few. men fighting
alone have ever received.
Two years ago
there were but few men who had the courage to stand with Wisconsin's
little giant. The enemies of democracy had so effectively employed the
passion and hatred and hysteria of war against him that the man who
refused to denounce La Follette as an enemy of this country was given the
badge of DISLOYALTY.
Reactionary enemies of the senator
who seized the places of power in the conduct of the war proceeded
immediately to use their vast powers to destroy the senator and his
A great university, to whose upbuilding no man
had made a greater contribution than Senator La Follette, witnessed the
spectacle of its faculty besmirching the name of the greatest alumnus
Wisconsin ever turned out.
It was in this state that La
Follette reared a monument which was the greatest contribution of its kind
to a democracy which spelled economic justice and in which humanity was
placed above property. And yet the legislature of that state was driven by
the powers of wealth to join in the campaign to place La Follette forever
outside the pale of good citizenship.
organizations, dominated by men who made millions out of the war, removed
the senator's name from their membership rolls.
is too recent for extended amplification. Wisconsin still has fresh in its
mind the outrageous treatment that was accorded the bravest man who ever
came from within her borders.
* * *
Meanwhile, during all these cruel months Senator La
Follette was patiently biding his time. This campaign of calumny was only
new to the senator because of its increased ferocity. For twenty-five
years the senator had been withstanding the attacks of privilege and
wealth in every conceivable form.
He knew back of this
campaign his old enemies were pulling the wires and directing the moves by
which it was planned to encompass his downfall. He knew the REAL reasons
that compelled the cowardly editors of the state to join in the united
chorus against the senator. He knew only too well the manner in which the
editorial pages of this country respond to the wishes of organized
La Follette knew, too, that the people of this
state would ultimately see through campaign. He was content, therefore to
go along and await the final verdict of the people.
verdict has come, and what an overwhelming answer it is to those who took
part in the campaign to destroy Wisconsin's greatest son.
* * *
One little man--one
lonely figure. He is but five and a half feet tall. What little he has of
worldly goods is mortgaged. He is small in stature and he is poor. And ONE
MAN beats the combined power of the millions in wealth in this state; he
beats the combined power of a press which stopped at nothing to smash him;
he beats the combined assault of privilege and wealth SINGLE HANDED and
The pages of Wisconsin history are filled with the
deeds of her illustrious sons. But none can be more dramatic or inspiring
than the page was written last Tuesday.
(Dedicated to Senator La Follette)
In the Valley of
Down the, Road of
You gave to us a
You appointed us a
And through Cities of
We followed you from
On the Hills beyond...
the road of Things-t...
With that strength
As we sorrow soul
We know not sloth nor
And will build your vision...