Whose Victory?

As one might expect, we view with alarm. And though we detect hollow cries of No More Politics from benumbed Democrats and cheery pronouncements on the finality of the people's choice from the political fence's now greener side, we maintain our gloomy presentments unabashed. It is not simply that our candidate lost, for that is hardly worth the effort of pressing out the sour grapes, but it is the springs of Eisenhower's strength, the very springs that gushed for Democrats in years past, that worry us.

We refer to the big cities. As Wednesday morning droned on with deceptive monotony, it suddenly became apparent that the big cities which quadrennially deliver up great parcels of votes to the Democratic nomince were diluting their normal contribution. First Boston, with its early machine tabulations, then New York and Chicago, and finally the smaller cities like Buffalo and Providence paraded before us, each giving Stevenson substantially less support than they gave Truman four years ago.

Any number of reasons for this present themselves. Perhaps as many will claim, city folk were surfeited with the Democrats on general principle. Perhaps they were ired over what Republicans clangorously call Bungles, or over corruption, or inflation, or Reds in Government. While cautioning you to await the large studies of this year's vote which will soon be under way, we hazard a guess. We fear that the defection of the cities is the work of the Reds in Government issue and its extrapolators, the work of men who, were it not for the atmosphere of panic that inevitably attends struggles with modern totalitarianism, would amount to nothing but small-time opportunists.

For evidence, we need only point to the cities like Boston, where there are many Catholic voters present, voters particularly sensitive to this issue. Boston, while supporting local aspirants Dever and Kennedy handsomely, helped sound the death-knell of Stevenson's candidacy. In Chicago, too, the local Democratic office-seeker, Dixon, fared better than his one-time boss. Moreover, reversing this analysis, a metropolis like Philadelphia, whose Catholic population looms less weighty in the vote tallies, and Pittsburgh like it delivered up their overwhelming Democratic majorities as usual. Clearly, it was the Reds-in-Government issue that caused this.

These are the crucial facts in Eisenhower's victory, for the other votes he garnered were the ones everyone expected him to win. And to whom must we credit these pivotal votes? To Eisenhower, yes, but just as much to the McCarthys, the Jenners, the Kems, and the Cains, who did so much to clothe the GOP and its nominee with the garb of witch-hunting which at first was their own exclusive zoot suit. And, we believe, it was Eisenhower's enthusiastic espousel of the Reds issue which attracted the countless worried Catholic voters, his constant pounding on supposed softness, and his promise to root out Pinks, that elastic category of intellectuals whose confines are ever-widening in the current drive for conformity.

Republicans are correct, then, when they chirp with their best I Told You So air that McCarthy is a great asset in national politics. That is why we view with alarm.