Municipal politics have in Boston descended abruptly from anything like the dignity usually connected with the highest office in a city. From a comparatively cool discussion of issues, the campaign has been altered to a furious contest of mud-slinging, in which party, racial, and religious lines are erased, and the struggle is one of individual hatreds. To any one raised in the usual American atmosphere of optimistic trust that a democracy chooses the best men for its offices, there is a terrific shock in the spectacle now being played in Boston. One candidate remarks "The people of Boston have elected some peculiar figures in the past but they have never elected a consummate liar": another wields witty puns on the straight and the Curley; charges break from harmless general statements and turn to reciprocal specific slanders.
And the average voter of Boston doubtless feels somewhat non-plussed. His into directs him to choose among men who, with smooth-flowing words and in all seriousness, call each other liars, thieves, and murderers. The get out-the-vote campaigns of the newspapers this year are operating with somewhat barren material. It is fairly easy to call out the citizenry when it feels the presence of party needs, great issues, distinguished candidates. It becomes increasingly difficult as each of these matters is in turn obscured by the very men who are seeking office. Perhaps the best way for voters to show their sympathies in the present campaign is to stay at home next Tuesday.