Cliffside, October 27—An audience of over five hundred voters heard the Hon. John H. Folger, of Mt. Airy, make an address here last night in support of the candidacy of Governor Alfred E. Smith. The rally was sponsored by the Young Men’s Democratic Club of Rutherford County; the President, C. D. Hughes, Z. O. Jenkins, W. W. Nanney, of Rutherfordton, and Sheriff W. C. Hardin, being seated on the platform. The speaker was introduced by Mr. Jenkins. He was followed attentively and frequently cheered and applauded.
Introduced By Z. O. Jenkins
Mr. Jenkins stated he was pleased by the size of the audience; the town hall seated over seven hundred and he estimated there were at least five hundred people present; people, he said, from all walks of life. Mr. Jenkins regretted that there were some voters who had not registered; he said it was not only a privilege but a solemn duty to vote and he advised all who had not registered to do so before it was too late. Through the efforts of the Young Men’s Democratic Club of Rutherford County, Mr. Jenkins said, the speaker for the evening had been secured and it afforded him great pleasure to introduce Hon. John H. Folger, of Mt. Airy. Applause greeted Mr. Folger as he acknowledged the introduction.
Is 32nd Degree Mason
The speaker said he was not a candidate for any office, but he did not mean to imply that being a candidate was not laudable. Mr. Folger went on to say that he had never seen such a campaign before and he hoped sincerely that never again would there be such a one. “By their fruits ye shall know them,” quoted Mr. Folger, and because, he said, he intended to say some things which needed explanation, he was going to state just how he stood. Politically he was a Democrat. Fraternally he was a Mason, rightly or wrongly he had been elevated to the 32nd degree. He belonged to the Jr. O. U. A. M. and to some other orders, but it was not necessary to specify them. he was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. “Henry Ford,” he stated, “had said that the only reason why he was a Republican was, because, like a mule having legs, he was born that way. And, I suppose, that is why I am a Democrat; I was born one. And I have lived one and am going to die as a Democrat.”
Reviews Origins Of Parties
Mr. Folger proceeded to give a brief history of the origins of the two political parties; the Republican Party, he said, had been formed about 1860 for the purpose of abolishing slavery. It had done this and having grown powerful, control of the organization had been seized by those who believed in special privileges, and that if the rich were prosperous the country as a whole would be . The Democratic Party had ever followed the doctrine of equal rights for all and special privileges to none. The Republicans, he stated, considered they were the owners when they were in power, whereas the Democrats believed they were the servants of the people.
Adds Dr. Work To List
Referring to the Republican record of the last seven and a half years Mr. Folger mentioned Teapot Dome, Fall, Doheny, Daughtery, Forbes, and then said, “and now in the year 1928, I have to add the name of Dr. Herbert Work, Chairman of the Republican National Committee, to that list.” Next Mr. Folger took up the administration of the late President Woodrow Wilson and told of the constructive legislation that had been passed during that regime.
Empty Promises To Farmers
When the farmers of the nation, said Mr. Folger, go down everyone else will too; the country cannot be really prosperous without the farmers sharing in the prosperity. Now, he declared, farmers are leaving their farms and going to the towns and cities in order to get a living. The promises made by the Republicans to the farmers had not been kept. Their platform repeated the empty promises, “and ‘by their fruits shall ye know them’,” again quoted Mr. Folger. The Democrats assured the farmers of relief. Gov. Smith had stated, the speaker said, that, if elected, he would not wait until his inauguration, but would appoint a commission at once to study the subject and recommend legislation for the relief of farmers. Gov. Smith, Mr. Folger said, was a man who kept his word, and personally, he, the speaker, believed every word that Al Smith said, for the New York Governor was frank, honest and fearless—as frank and honest as any man that lived.
Talks About Religion
There were really only two churches in the United States, declared Mr. Folger, the Protestant and the Roman Catholic. But, he added, the Protestants all had different views and so they had split up into 215 different branches. “No man,” the speaker said, “ought to say anything against the religion of another. Prejudice, ill-will, hatred, do not do anyone any good but only hurts the man man who harbors them ten times worse.” Mr. Folger read Gov. Smith’s own statements as to his religious belief and said the Democratic Candidate for President owed no civil allegiance to the Pope. He referred to Governor Smith’s appointments to office in New York and read the record of them. “I am not,” he said, “afraid of Al Smith selling out to the Pope.” Applause greeted the statement.
Bishops Mouzon’s Resolution
Mr. Folger referred to Bishop Mouzon’s resolution. “When I heard it had been passed,” the speaker said, “I wired to Bishop Mouzon asking that the resolution be recalled and tabled. I felt it was my duty to do so. It, the resolution, is a direct thrust at the Catholic Church. There has never been a monarchy in which there was so much power vested in the ruler as there is vested in a Bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. Every pastor sits trembling in his seat. I did believe in the worship of God according to the Faith of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, but how long it will last I do not know. The Methodist Church has been laid in the dust.”
Takes Son From Duke University
Mr. Folger went on to say that if some other denomination had done such a thing he would have said nothing, would have left it for some member of that faith to have denounced it. In discussing Gov. Smith’s belief about schools Mr. Folger stated that he had taken his son away from Duke University because he did not wish to have a faculty that was really a “Hoover Democratic” Club instruct his son. Gov. Smith had declared, said the speaker, that the public schools were the foundation of American liberty and no one, not even excepting Gov. Aycock, had been a greater friend of the schools than was Gov. Smith, or had done more for them.
“Knights of Columbus Oath.”
Mr. Folger denounced most vigorously the spurious “Knights of Columbus” oath; people who are circulating it and other damnable lies, he said, “are the real enemies, the most dangerous enemies of the American people. If, for no other reason,” the speaker declared, “as a Methodist I would vote for Al Smith just to show that the Government of the United States can have a Catholic President and Christianity can prevail.” He followed this by reading some verses of a political nature and about some lines referring to “political parsons.” Mr. Folger said, “Pastors who turn their pulpits into political arenas are doing the very worst thing they can possibly do.”
“Hoover is 50-50.”
“Herbert Hoover,” said Mr. Folger, “is not an alien. It is unfair to say he is. But he has been away so many years from the country that he does not know what the American people really need. He is 50-50 on everything; ask him how he stands on this or that question and it is 50-50. The American people do not want a 50-50 man, they demand one with positive opinions.”
Mr. Folger took up the question of Tammany Hall and told how that organization had really befriended the South at all times. Bishop Cannon, said the speaker, really knew nothing about Tammany, though he had given that as his reason for opposing Gov. Smith. Mr. Folger stated he had telegraphed to Bishop Cannon protesting against the Asheville meeting to organize opposition to the New York Governor and the Bishop had replied that “he did not like Tammany.”
Appeals For States Rights.
Mr. Folger mad a strong plea for States Rights; it was this doctrine, he said, that protected the South from negro political rule, and there was no more ardent champion of States Rights than Gov. Smith. Speaking about the tariff Mr. Folger declared it was the purpose of the Democratic Candidate to take it out of politics.
This item was printed in The Sun on November 1, 1928.