Sunday, October 12, 2008

It's Either Politics or Worms

by David Parmer

In one of his earliest newspaper columns titled the Buzzardtown Budget which was published in the Weston Independent on February 27, 1912, Uncle Zeke set forth his political platform in order to introduce his political views to the public.
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Buzzardtown Budget
by Uncle Zeke

Well, since the weather has been so bad, I could nothing but sit around and grumble. Sallie Ann Doozenberry, (that’s my wife), diagnosed my case and administered a few doses of the broom-stick, but it did not seem to have the desired effect, and I still have the grumbles. The children all go to school except for the six smallest ones, so you see when the most of the family goes to school, it is not the children that makes me grumble. My wife thinks it is either politics or worms.

I have been thinking a little about running for office, but I do not know what office to run for. I would like to be governor, but there are so many who want that office, and I have a notion to let some one else have it. Ekiah Hezekiah Hoakum said that I would make a good constable, if I could read and write and had a little nerve to help me out, but I do not like that office. I have almost decided to run for squire of the peace if I can find anybody that will vote for me, as some of my neighbors have been thinking about sending to Sears & Roebuck for a squire. The Democrats might get a candidate there for president.

I forgot to mention my politics. I am a Republican, teeth and toe nail. I believe in a protective tariff; I believe in a true Republic; I believe in trust busting; and I believe in women’s suffrage. I believe I would make a good candidate for president of the United States, but I do not want to interfere with Teddy, for I am a Teddy man from the sole of my head to the crown of my feet, and I shall take the stump for him if we arrange the price.

I am a little hard up now for money, and have been thinking of making a few speeches and then take up a collection, but the boys say if I got paid according to the way I talked, that I would come out on the small end of the horn. But, I have always succeeded in every thing that I undertook, except one, and that was when I tried to be successful. So, if I run for office, please do not get in my way, for I shall run to win, and I do not want to run against anyone, and if anyone runs against me I will stop and try the case right there. I have been wondering if Bryan will run for president again. He has been running so long I suspect he will not get back home in time to run this fall.

. . . . .

Left: Three of these four gentlemen ran for President of hte United States in 1912: Uncle Zeke, Teddy Roosevelt, William Taft and Woodrow Wilson.

Although the office he coveted was somewhat uncertain, despite its levity and humor Uncle Zeke leaves no question about where he stood on issues.

About the 1912 Presidential Election
Patrick Newton Blake, writing as Uncle Zeke, began his political writings with the presidential election of 1912. When he wrote this article in February, 1912, Teddy Roosevelt had not yet created his Bull Moose Pary; he was still a Republican. As it happened, in that election year there were three serious candidates, William Howard Taft, representing the Republican Party, Teddy Roosevelt, representing the Bull Moose Party, and Woodrow Wilson, representing the Democrat party. Teddy Roosevelt had served as President of the United States as a Republican from 1900 to 1908. William Howard Taft, also a Republican, was president from 1908-1912. Wilson was the Governor of New Jersey prior to the 1912 election. The entry of the popular Teddy Roosevelt, a Republican, into the presidential race caused a split in the Republican Party. Although Roosevelt and Taft, combined, won over 50% of the popular vote, the schism in the Republican Party allowed Wilson to win the election with just 41% of the popular vote.

Left: Cartoon is labled, The Latest Arrival at the Political Zoo. The donkey is saying "Suffering Snakes, How Theodore has changed." On the water barrel is written: "Water for Stock Purposes- Compliments of Harvester Trust"

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