National Affairs: Socialists Convene

In hard-boiled U. S. politics, Socialists generally rate as soft-boiled academics. Only a few, like Dan Hoan, who managed to hold Milwaukee for 24 years (see p. 22), have had any truck with practical politics. Persistently idealistic, the Socialist Party has become largely a wastebasket for disgruntled liberals to throw away their votes.

One other function the Party has served: as a more or less accurate gauge of the country's fevers. In 1912, when the U. S. was beset by restless Labor, debt-ridden farmers and a discontented West, the vote for a Socialist for...

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