Labor Politics in a Democratic Republic: Moderation, Division, and Disruption in the Presidential Election of 1928

By Vaughn Davis Bornet | Go to book overview

Chapter 12
The American People Decide

AS ELECTION DAY came closer, the Executive Council of the American Federation of Labor announced that there would be no change in its previously announced policy of neutrality in the Presidential race.1 The declaration was not considered very newsworthy; indeed, labor had been little in the news, inasmuch as nothing dramatic like the formation of a farmer-labor or third-party movement had taken place during the year.2 In an editorial, the New York Times had observed correctly that there would be no new minor party of any importance in 1928. Farm unrest was too localized, the prohibition issue a source of dissention, third parties

____________________
1
New York Times, October 20, 1928.
2
For what little minor agrarian-labor party activity there was in 1928, see the Teigan Papers, Minnesota Historical Society, and H. G. Teigan, "Independent Political Action in Minnesota", American Federationist, XXXV ( August, 1928), 968, which contains the allegation that the Minnesota State Federation of Labor had favored third-party action at its August, 1927, convention. In late September, 1928, a Buffalo local of the Molders asked formation of a labor party at the International's convention, but the resolutions committee recommended nonconcurrence and the convention agreed. International Molders Journal, Convention Number, November, 1928, pp. 139, 171. Similar resolutions often appeared in union conventions under the sponsorship of small radical groups. They were received with uniform indifference in 1928, except in certain New York unions.

See also on minor party conversation and planning the following dates in the New York Times: March 29; May 3; June 3, 24, 30; July 13; August 26; September 7; and October 11, 1928.

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