One issue which carried Massachusetts Republicans to victory last Tuesday, showing itself as strong or stronger than the anti-Curley movement, was the question of Teachers' Oath Repeal. In their campaign to show the people the significance of the issue, teaching groups were rewarded with amazing success, as eight out of nine of their candidates defeated out and out oath supporters. A mild form of pressure politics was employed by these groups, yet without resort to the traditional bossed machines already established. That these amateurs should have won so conclusively in the political arena is nothing short of astounding and at the same time bodes well for repeal at an early date.
The question was presented to the public repeatedly, through voiced and printed arguments, until no opposition worthy of the name remained, Hearst papers, alone standing firm for the oath. Church groups sensed the beginning of mechanized thinking, labor leaders recognized a popular issue in time to support repeal, and the majority of the press was favorably inclined. The fundamental question, whether teachers can discuss changes in society, was somehow felt on all sides. Roosevelt, Landon, Smith have all opposed teachers' oaths, and now the Massachusetts legislature seems to be approaching agreement with them.
Not the least potent factor in this orderly demonstration in the interest of unobstructed study has been the attitude of Harvard faculty and alumni. By active complaint and deliberate discussion, representatives of the University have acquired a large following who favor repeal of this obnoxious legislation. The concerted action which swept sixty-one oath supporters out of the Massachusetts legislature is simply a local counterpart of the nationwide defeat of the Hearst type of noise maker. Harvard may give herself a pat on the back for having helped to combat this branch of American demagoguery.