Perhaps the reason Mr. Davis has failed to reunite the factions of his party is the negative leadership he has manifested. As a prophet of destruction Pisarev himself was hardly more of a Nihilist. Hour upon hour Mr. Davis has hurled his denunciations against the Coolidge administration, and patiently his hearers have waited for his constructive program. But when it came, it was so disproportionately underemphasized that many have left his meetings quite bewildered. Though in no doubt whatever of what Mr. Davis doesn't stand for, they are much perplexed to discover what he does stand for.
His latest offensive is directed against the Republican campaign fund. This is the customary resort of all parties in American politics when they have nothing more important to attack. Fearful as is the American electorate that somewhere votes are being bought and the will of the "Peepul" defeated, and vague as is the average man's knowledge of the intricacies of political machinery, the subject never fails to arouse suspicion of dishonesty, graft, fraud, and all the other manias that beset the zealous voter.
But anyone who reflects a moment knows that campaigning costs money. Floods of literature inundate the counery before every election. To send one modest circular to every voter costs about ten cents a head, and totals over a million in itself. As campaign funds have run in the past, they have allowed an average expenditure of only about thirty cents to the voter. One can easily see, therefore, that the charges and counter-charges of both Republicans and Democrats upon this subject are for the most part arrant nonsense. And of Mr. Davis, who has seemed most disposed to press the subject, it would be well to ask, in the words of Professor Munro: "What do you think of an electorate that can be debauched at thirty cents a head?"