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The drive of gamblers next took up a debate which was the intellectual feature of the 1920 presidential campaign. It was not, however, one of either party which raked up this straw. In 1922 the Democrats had denounced William Mooney of Montana as a rank gambler. If Mooney neglected the temperance plank of the Democratic platform, he had, of course, the right to spend his money as he pleased, so the Democrats said, and went on to make a little speech of their own about the evils of gambling. The Republicans, on the other hand, had attacked Herbert Hoover for playing the horses. Hilarious speeches were made. Ex-Senator William Rockhill Nelson of Arkansas denounced the playing of horses as the cause of gambling, told the world that he and John W. Davis had put a stop to such practices, declared that such games should be prevented, and tried to persuade his audiences that the horses, like the poker table, had been stolen from the Indians. The fact was that very little of the time spent in the pursuit of senatorial politics was spent in attacking gambling, and that the vote of the huge electorate of the country was cast largely on the platform of prohibition, not on the issue of gambling. But politics had always been politics, and this was as it should be. It was, in fact, natural and right that the gambling content of a campaign should be much greater than that of the platform on which it was waged. For the gambling content of a campaign is determined not by the number of platforms put forward, but the number of men proposed to which platform should be attached. That therefore does not matter whether the platforms are handed out by one candidate or by all the candidates. In the last analysis, every candidate will stand where his backers choose him to stand, and he will be judged by the sum total of the content of the gambling which he has thrown into the race. And in this case the gambling was not as high as might have been expected.
The gambling content of the 1920 campaign can be judged from the fact that the majority of the voters were divided into two parties for the election, and that of these parties about thirty per cent were swindlers and about fifty per cent were gamblers. The former voted as anti-gambling crusaders on the principle of prohibition, while the latter could not face the emperor of Japan and voted in the interests of the horse. d2c66b5586