The Election Of 1912 I Was Required To Imagine Voting In The Election Of 1912 And Tell The Story Of How I Chose My Candidate

1568 words - 7 pages

The United States presidential election of 1912 was contested between four candidates; Incumbent Republican William Howard Taft, Woodrow Wilson a democrat, former President Theodore Roosevelt running for the new Progressive Party, and Eugene V. Debs who was running for President under the Socialist Party for the fourth time. Roosevelt, a former Republican, declined to run for reelection in 1908, following the long-established tradition that Presidents were to leave office after two terms. He instead hand-picked William Howard Taft to succeed him and Taft eventually won the election of 1908. During Taft's presidency, a rift grew between the two because Taft pulled away from Roosevelt's idea ...view middle of the document...

Debs had already ran for President in 1900, 1904, and 1908, primarily to encourage the local effort, and he decided to do so again in 1912.This election would prove extremely important to a young man from New Jersey, Edward Henderson. Ed was a 20 year-old, Irish longshoreman born into a lower-middle class family in Northern New Jersey. As a member of his local union, Ed heard the grumblings of some of his co-workers who had voted before and felt that their voices were not being heard. This was going to be Ed's first time voting and he felt it was his duty to look into the beliefs of each party and choose the candidate that he thought would serve his best interests. Ed had heard of the Socialist party before, but was not quite sure what they were all about. He knew they were gaining some popularity around the country and some of the guys around the yard supported them, but he wanted to see for himself what this party was all about. After reading the Socialist party platform, he decided this party was not for him. First, Ed's dream was to own his own ship yard and he felt the Socialist party would not allow him to recognize his dream. The Socialists wanted the government to own everything and divide it up among the people. Ed believed in hard work and believed if he worked hard enough, he would eventually be extremely successful in life. Ed saw some good in the Socialists' Industrial Demands. For example, he thought that a rest period of not less than a day and a half each week was a great idea, as was forbidding children under the age of 16 from working and shortening the work day. But in Ed's mind, the negatives outweighed the positives. He was appalled by some of the Socialist's Political demands, particularly the abolition of the Senate and the veto power of the President. Ed saw the genius of the forefathers in the creation of the Senate in order to balance the power of the President and was not going to let a bunch of radicals ruin it. He also thought that their demand that called for the abolition of the power of the Supreme Court to pass upon the constitutionality of the legislation enacted by Congress was outrageous. He also was in disagreement with their thought of abolishing the present restrictions upon the amendment of the Constitution, so that it may be amended by a vote of the majority of the people in the majority of the states. Ed could not support a group of people trying to bring about such changes to the original ideas of our great forefathers and so his decision was down to three. After reading the Republican Party platform, Ed noticed an alarming trend; the recognizance of problems, but no real reasons for the problems or solutions for solving them. This was especially true in their cost of living platform. The Republicans acknowledge that the cost of living in the U.S. is high, but their only answer is that it is not because of the protective tariff. Then what is it from, Ed wondered? The Republicans solution to the problem...

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