From the Logan Democrat of Logan, WV, we find the following editorial dated February 24, 1916:
The following was prominently displayed in fourteen point type under the bold, three-column heading, “What Does It Profit a Young Man to Be a Logan County Democrat?” on the front page of the Logan Banner last week. We cheerfully aid in giving it the widest possible publicity and commend its careful reading to all of the conscientious and thoughtful citizens of Logan county:
“To the young men of Logan county, who are to cast their first vote this year and hereafter participate in the political life of the commonwealth:
“For Forty Years Logan county has given stupendous democratic majorities. It has always had the largest percent of democratic votes of any county in the state.
“Logan county has never been recognized by the Democratic party by awarding any one of its citizens a nomination upon the state ticket.
“Logan county Democracy has never had a member of the state committee.
“Not one of its citizens holds an appointment under the national administration other than postmasters of the local offices.
“You, as a Democrat, are just voted like dumb cattle.
“In the Democratic organization of Logan county the highest achievement to be obtained by ambitious youth is to become a deputy sheriff with a tin badge and a gun.
“The Republican party welcomes the vaulting ambition of youth.
“It meets young men on the first round and lifts them higher.
“Logan county Republicans have a voice and exert a powerful influence in the councils of the party in the state.
“It dwindled the Forty Years of Huge Democratic Victories in Logan county to the necessity of a recount in the election two years ago.
“This year the Democratic Hurrah and Horrors will be as naked as Robinson Crusoe’s summer underwear.
“Choose which primary you will go into.”
“Honest confession is good for the soul.” But, whoever expected anything honest from the source from which the foregoing sprung? Yet there it is, and seeing is believing, and we have no choice other than to congratulate the author of the superlative exposure of the designs and ambitions of the so-called Republican organization of Logan county.
Public office, spoils, graft, gratification of personal desires and ambitions, such is the bait brazenly held out in the effort to tempt good men to desert principle and aid in the maintenance of the most corrupt political organization known under the sun, the state Republican machine and its Logan tentacle. The implied promise may be within the Corrupt Practices act, but never was there a more damnable attempt to influence or corrupt voters than The Banner’s public solicitation.
Logan has never had a citizen on the state Democratic ticket; never had a delegate to a national convention; none of its citizens holds an appointment other than postmasters, etc., says the Banner. Undoubtedly true. But for fifty years the Democrats of Logan county along with those throughout the country have battled for something that they prized and still prize far more than self-advancement and this Principle.
How many Presidents has the Democratic party had in fifty years? How many Democratic governors has the state of West Virginia had in the past 20 years? But, has the rank and file of the Democratic party of the nation or state wavered in its allegiance to principle? Not that you could notice it; it has fought steadily on in the face of repeated failure, and discouragement and was finally crowned with a glorious success in the nation in the year 1912, and it is now strongly entrenched and fully prepared to turn the rascals out of the West Virginia state house in the year 1916. The Banner can read the signs, and its outrageous plea for succor is a forcible admission that its organization is in dire distress and will go the limit for votes. Votes to carry on the nefarious work of an organization that has bankrupted the state and sullied its reputation; votes to keep in office the plunderers who have done nothing but feed from the public trough from time immemorial and would not know how to work if cast adrift; votes to maintain a system of subsidized newspapers to outrage the public while at the same time subsisting from public funds lavishly distributed through administrative favor. It is obvious that the Banner is correct when it asserts that its organization, posing as the Republican party, can feed its swine. There is no room for argument on that score; but, where is the honest man of principle that wants that kind of success? He is not in the Democratic party, whether he be young or old, about to cast his first vote or his last this year.
The Banner boasts that Logan county Republicans exert a powerful influence in the councils of the party in the state. No they don’t, and the Banner knows it lies when it says they do. The Republicans of Logan county have no more influence in their so-called party affairs than the editor of the Democrat has with Hatfield, et al. The true Republicans of Logan county are a negligible quantity when it comes to influence, but the so-called Republicans who wear the administration, stand-pat collar, who dictate the policies and the utterances of the Banner, and who are in the political game to rule or ruin are high with the powers that be, but so far as can be noticed they have never let anything get away from them that was at all valuable or that they could use. The very existence of the Banner is a testimonial to the selfishness and applications of this little coterie to whom principle is an unknown quantity and the dough bag and preferment the swaying elements of their lives.
Principles not spoils nor selfish ambition sway the Democratic voter, and one of his foremost principles is directed against this very system of corruptness that the Banner so valiantly expounds as good Republican doctrine. Reduced to the naked truth, the battle of ballots in the state of West Virginia for the past 12 years has been between Democrats and Grafters, the Republicanism of Lincoln has long since been routed out. Democrats vs. Graft, and up to this time Graft has won, but the battle is to be renewed with increased vigor next November and w hen the smoke has cleared away there is every indication that at last Right will have come into its own.
The Banner’s closing paragraph is worthy of another repetition: “Choose which primary you will go into.” Yes, choose! But be not too hasty. Consider well the situation from every angle. If you are a Republican in principle, and you can discover any Republican principle in the organization posing as that of your party in the county or state, do your duty; if you are a Democrat in principle now is the time of times to assert yourself and your manhood, without thought of personal advancement or selfish ambition, but for the satisfaction of assisting in achieving the goal of Democratic ambition, the betterment of the condition of all the people.
Democrats will be confronted this fall with a condition that will take concerted action and shoulder-to-shoulder advance to successfully combat. Negroes, the secret of the Banner’s boast of reduced Democratic majorities in Logan county, will be voted in increased numbers and every artifice and design, legitimate or otherwise, that can be devised will be used to stay the tide of public indignation and resentment against Republican gang politics, so it behooves all true party men to stand-pat and go into the fight prepared to battle for and with his neighbor of the true faith for the common wealth.