The Benedict Arnolds, December 17, 1913



Some one's heart way down in South America will throb with affection when the cables carry southward the letter which Mr. Beveridge sent to the Progressive gathering in Illinois yesterday. Heed the rebuke to the unfaithful and perverse generation which fain would turn away from the new uplift to the fleshpots of the old parties:

No amalgamation, no merger, no connection of any kind with any other party whatever. For every man we lose by such a course of honor, we will gain scores of better men. Every cause must have its Benedict Arnold, but no cause loses by him. Our need of the hour is organization. Every county should be carefully and thoroughly organized, precinct by precinct. A full county ticket should be put in the field throughout the state.

Benedict Arnold will have to move over for some rather distinguished company. The Ananias Club "has nothing on" the Association of Benedict Arnolds, either in prosperity, in numbers or in influence. Besides, membership in the club required but one word: association with the Benedicts requires desertion, backsliding, contamination, common sense -- or poverty -- whichever is most pleasing to choose. In one way, when the lists of the Progressive movement are [reared?] it appears as though uplift has given way to decline, enthusiasm to lukewarmness, generosity to wariness, fidelity to treason. Where are the soldiers whose stand at Armageddon was so lately praised? Where are the Hannas, the Munseys, the Workses, the Hadleys? Gone, gone, irretrievably gone the way of the wretched Benedict Arnold!

What a miserable company they form! Former Governor Hadley, as an early advocate of progressivism, deserves condemnation as an early traitor. Then there are Senator Works, of California; Senator Borah, of Idaho; Aldrich of Nebraska; Prendergast, of New York; former Governor Stokes, of New Jersey; former Governor Deneen, of Illinois; Ormeby McHarg; Governor Osborn, of Michigan; Senator Bristow, of Kansas; Senator Poindexter, of Washington, and Jane Addams, of Chicago. These, all these, have sinned. For if they have not gone entirely back to the powers of darkness they have broken away, or have forgotten their vows of eternal fidelity and have voted with the enemy. They have either withdrawn absolutely or, what is equally pitiable, have favored nonpartisanship. In the list of errant journals of the third party may be placed the Chicago Tribune, which rebuked the Progressives for playing politics in county campaigns. Then there is the Cleveland Leader, which has urged unity with the Republicans; and the New York Press, which has presumed to do likewise.

According to the virile writer of the "The Russian Advance," he who has exhorted the brethren to fidelity, it is treason for a soldier of the Lord to favor amalgamation, merger or connection of any kind. So it must stand that the Progressives who helped to elect the good government mayor in New York are Benedict Arnolds. So, too, are the industrious writers of checks, Dan Hanna and Frank Munsey -- all their good deeds forgotten in the perfidy of disloyalty.