The United States after the World War

By James C. Malin | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XXXIII
POLITICAL PARTIES AND POLITICS

IT IS the purpose of this chapter to summarize political developments after the World War, with particular reference to the problem of political parties. The presidential election of 1920 as it involved the issue of the League of Nations has been discussed and needs only to be mentioned here. The platforms of the major parties are summarized so far as possible in the order in which the planks appeared. Totally unrelated subjects were found side by side, and closely related or interdependent questions were often completely separated. The platforms might be reorganized and classified according to subject matter; but such a change would convey a false impression of orderly thinking and procedure, and this was, with rare exceptions, entirely foreign to party deliberations. In some cases it would reveal in too glaring a manner the inconsistencies and omissions in party promises. It is a commonplace that the platforms of the party of which one is not a member can never be taken seriously. To anyone but a rank partisan it is evident that the platforms of neither party can be accepted as the repository of historical truth. Inasmuch as compromise was one of the most prominent aspects of political coöperation among conflicting elements, the positive promises of the party were drafted in such a manner as to attract as many votes as possible and alienate as few as possible.


THE REPUBLICAN PLATFORM, 1920

The Republican platform of 1920 denounced the Democratic party for unpreparedness for both peace and war. It promised that the Republicans would restore constitutional

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