National Affairs: In Cadle Tabernacle

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Under the low gloomy rafters of the Cadle Tabernacle in Indianapolis last week assembled 300 of the nation's deepest-dyed prohibitors. They were the National Convention of the Prohibition Party, that 63-year-old political microcosm which got 5,608 votes in 1872, 271,058 in 1892, 208,923 in 1912, 57,551 in 1924, 20,106 in 1928. Like the Republicans and Democrats in the Chicago Stadium, the Dry delegates had a keynote speech, organ music, long distance telephone calls to Washington, State placards, demonstrations, prayers, candidates for the Presidency, roll calls. Unlike the two major parties they adopted an uncompromisingly Dry platform and nominated for the White House a man who promptly promised to withdraw if a better candidate could be found.

Guiding genius of the Prohibition Party is its national chairman, Dr. David Leigh Colvin of New York, thin-haired, blue eyed Methodist who plays politics like a professional. Dr. Colvin warmed up for the convention by addressing a Dry mass meeting. Said he: "The Republican wet plank means that Mr. Hoover is the most conspicuous turncoat since Benedict Arnold. ... It means a hard struggle to save the soul of America."

The Prohibition Party's keynote was delivered by Clinton Norman Howard, old-time Dry lecturer of Rochester, N. Y. Excerpts : "The Republican liquor plank . . . is the most stupendous, titanic, colossal, calamitous, crimson, conscienceless, barbaric and cataclysmic fraud ever perpetrated upon the American people. . The Democratic plank is perforated with corkscrews and bungholes. ... If the Democratic party wins, the 18th Amendment is doomed and damned. ... If the Dry Democrats of the South rejected Alfred E. Smith, as they said, not on account of his religion but because he was Wet, how can they support the ticket now with both candidate and platform calling for Repeal?"*

Because Senator William Edgar Borah had publicly refused to support President Hoover on the Republican liquor plank, the Prohibition Party turned enthusiastically toward the Idaho Republican as its Presidential nominee. Miss Ethel Hubler of California formally nominated Senator Borah as "a radical Dry at all times . . . a man who is personally something of an agnostic, who does not smoke, nor drink, nor chew, nor play cards, a man whose election would sound the death-knell of the liquor traffic." Delegate Richard Cannon of California, son of Bishop James Cannon Jr., seconded the Borah nomination. The organ played "Onward, Christian Soldiers" and the delegates paraded up and down the aisles.

Senator Borah was not flattered. He told Dr. Colvin over the telephone: "While I appreciate the compliment, I don't believe the convention should make such a nomination. Such a call, if at all, should result from a great uprising of the people in another convention to be called by the united moral forces of the nation."

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