It was another time, another issue, when key members of the Democratic party stolidly supported a failed conservative policy opposed by most voters and declined to support the party’s candidate in the presidential election, helping to speed them to defeat at the polls. See if you can fill in the blanks or guess what the policy was.
The 1928 presidential election shattered the official, if not unanimous, Democratic party commitment to _____1_____, when the party’s presidential candidate, Alfred E. Smith, proposed _____2_____. Oswald West, former Oregon governor, longtime party activist, and Democratic National Committeeman, should have vigorously supported the party’s candidate in the Oregon campaign. Instead, West considered Smith’s nomination a defeat for the party and organized opposition to the _____3_____ movement among Oregon Democrats. However, Walter Pierce, another former Oregon governor and Democratic Party leader, supported Smith’s call for _____2_____.
Though West did not actively campaign against Smith in the fall, his inactivity helped ensure a clean sweep by Republicans in the November election.
— from Iron Pants: Oregon’s Anti-New Deal Governor, Charles Henry Martin by Gary Murrell, Washington State University Press, 2000
By continuing to support a program that had once had the overwhelming public support of the national party long after it had been proven not only unpopular with the electorate but to have a deleterious effect on the well-being of the country, politicians like West — who had as many good things to his credit in history as Pierce had bad things — not only failed the Democratic party but helped elect Herbert Hoover as president.
Here are the answers:
- prohibition’s repeal