Who Did Insurgents Republican Support in 1920

Who did Robert LaFollette (R-WI) and George Norris (R-NE) support in the General Election for President in 1920?

The candidates of both  major parties were from Ohio.   As I indicated Senator Warren Harding was the Republican nominee.  Big Party Bosses picked him and  both of the  above Senators expected Harding to be a tool of big business.   The Democrats chose  James M. Cox for President.  Cox had a good liberal reform record as Governor of  Ohio.

Cox stated he would push for our entry into the League of Nations; Harding made no commitment speaking in contradictions throughout  the entire campaign.   Since the real problem was the Post War Depression, both candidates were way off base.   My reasoning  would have flowed like this.

1) Wilson had lied us into World War I.  It was a bankers war with both the Allied and Central Powers greedy and seeking an Empire.

2) The United States fought this war on credit with too many bond issues and not enough taxes.

3) The Wilson Administration made a mockery of civil liberties against war dissenters,  German and Irish Americans, and organized labor.

I mentioned details earlier.  In 1912, LaFollette bolted his party and voted for Woodrow Wilson, the Democrat.  Senator Norris supported the third party candidacy of Theodore Roosevelt.  In 1916 and again in 1920 both LaFollette and Norris stayed with the Republican Party.  Despite his scandal ridden administration, Warren Harding was the right choice.  The final talley- Harding 61% of the Popular Vote, 37 states, and 404 Electoral Votes; Cox 38% of the Popular Vote, 11 states, and 127 Electoral Votes.

The Harding Administration was rampant with corruption though not as bad as Grant and Nixon.  Most of the problems came from the Departments of War, Justice, Interior, and Veterans Administration.  The Secretary of Interior Albert B Fall was the first cabinet head to go to prison.   Likewise with Charles R Forbes, head of the Veterans Administration.    Jess Smith and Charles Cramer, both from  the Veterans Administration, committed suicide.  Attorney General Harry Daugherty narrowly escaped a prison sentence.

Despite these criminal choices, Warren Harding picked Charles Evans Hughes for Secretary of State and Herbert  Hoover for Secretary of Commerce. Hughes ranks with Thomas Jefferson among the greatest person at that position.  Charles Evans Hughes negotiated several post war agreements on arms limitation.  The Department of Commerce Building in Washington, DC  is named after Herbert Hoover.  The entire ground floor of the building has exhibits on Hoover’s eight years as Commerce Secretary.

The country was in very bad shape in 1920. I prefer a corrupt Republican to a Democrat who gets into war and tramples civil liberties.  Both LaFollette and Norris voted for Warren Harding over James Cox in 1920.


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