October 3, 1907
Politics and Partisanship
THERE is a great difference between the two terms and the farmers of this great country should respect the difference. It is important that the farmer should study the issues to see if he can not logically conclude which of the many parties in existence comes more nearly standing for his political beliefs. It is all wrong for him to sell out to any party that he believes is wrong or to assist in causing the farmer organization to which he belongs to become an auxiliary to any party for the purpose of placing a few farmers in office. There are certain organizations which should never be used to further the ends of any party. One of these is the church. No reader wants to see any denomination give itself over to the success of any particular political party. It’s mission is far above that. It is all right that the members of that church should study political questions and become members of the different political organizations, but they should not prostitute the church organization by making it an adjunct to any political party. Another organization that should not be so prostituted is the farmers’ organization. It is too sacred. It’s mission is much more than that. It is the all important thing that members study the political issues, but it is just wrong to try to prostitute the organization by making it a kindergarten to any political party as it is to try to use the church for the same purpose.
The things for which the average farmers’ organizations stand, such as education and co-operation, cannot be accomplished by an alliance with a political party …
The salvation of a human soul can never be accomplished by a political party and when the church as an organization becomes part of a political party its mission as a savior of souls ceases. The things for which the average farmers’ organizations stand, such as education and co-operation, cannot be accomplished by an alliance with a political party and if such an alliance is made, the usefulness of the organization ceases.
Other business organizations do not form alliances with any of the political parties. Grocery, dry goods, implement, in fact all interests, have their co-operative organizations, yet not one of them is allowed to become and auxiliary to any party, no matter how many politicians may belong to it. The farmer should use the same sound sense. Be a politician in that you keep posted on and take interest in the issues of the day, but do not be a partisan by attempting to play your organization in the hands of any party.
Thanks to Tom Giessel, NFU historian