"YOUNG BOB" LAFOLLETTE: THE PROGRESSIVES' FIRST-BORN
"YOUNG BOB" LAFOLLETTE is the question mark of the Progressive movement in the United States.
Son of a bloody but unbowed political household, whose founder was a pioneer of latter-day Progressivism, he may carry the torch of liberalism farther up the political hillside than did such leaders as his distinguished sire, William Jennings Bryan, Theodore Roosevelt, George W. Norris and other veterans still in senatorial service. He may give an entirely new direction to the movement, since there are signs that his gospel may comprehend many things which theirs did not, that his doctrines may differ from those of a worn-out age as do those of the New Testament from those of the Old.
"Young Bob," in short, has the opportunity which comes to the Progressives' first-born. It is no exaggeration to suggest that the convictions which his elders acquired through slow and painful experience were present in him as he lay kicking in the cradle, or instilled into him as easily and as naturally as the alphabet is taught to a precocious child. He was born into an atmosphere of liberalism, and he has had his being in it to this day.