The Lecherous Jew
IT WAS A NONDESCRIPT ARMY that Tom Watson commanded after 1910. That army was no longer a party: it was a "following," and a "following" is a very different thing from a party. In place of a platform and officers it has prejudices and a master. It is amorphous, mercurial, and unstable. The "faithful 17,000" still formed an important nucleus of Watson's power, but its populist character was diluted and lost in the anonymity of the "following." Besides the residual third party, there were other organizations of indeterminate strength subject to his control. He had succeeded in placing a loyal lieutenant at the head of the powerful Farmer's Union, and the Guardians of Liberty looked to him to direct their struggle against the sinister machinations of the Pope. An important lever in his machine lay in the "county-unit system" maintained at his pleasure by the state Democratic party. The maintenance of his renovated power, however, depended largely upon the ephemeral recruits attracted by the crusades conducted in his publications--his "following." They were the "boys"; they were "Old Man Peepul" and "Aunt Sarah Jane" to whom he was wont to address himself as "Your Uncle T. E. W."
A journalist visiting the state was perplexed at the character of Watson weekly now called the Jeffersonian. He could never discover what the editor was "for," and decided that he was "violently against" everything. "The thistles of chaos are