I'm not a historian. I hope I haven't given anyone that impression. I'm simply an avid reader of old documents and newspapers and I have a passionate interest in Caddo's history. I say this so you will know that I have about as much real knowledge of Socialism as you do. And I'm guessing both of us have forgotten everything we learned in the one or two high school classes that even mentioned it. If you want to read more there is a simple list of Socialist beliefs on aol at Socialists.
I have, however, figured out that I wouldn't have wanted to be a Socialist in Caddo in 1914-15. The Caddo Herald is filled with anti-Socialist aritcles, including a weekly diatribe entitled "What Socialism Stands For". There are actually some pieces I would be embarrassed to post here. The language is archaic and hateful. And the message is clear- get out of town.
There are some articles that I think will be of interest and it is important not to edit history to the extent that we get that rosy view of the "good old days" that I detest. So for the next few days I'm going to post a few articles about Socialists in Caddo. Keep in mind that I've read accounts stating that Oklahoma had more Socialists than any other state.
Caddo Herald, July 31, 1914
Wants to Debate!
"The Herald has received several letters form wild-eyed socialists who want to debate with us. That’s silly in the first place. In the next place the Herald is not in the debating business. We don’t care whether one of these anarchists believe what we say or not- we don’t care how many liars they call us- we just consider the source whence it came and pass on. We have not time to waste or fool away with men whose minds are so poisoned with the vile filth of socialism that they will listen to no reason, sense or logic. We consider those people who will cheer a blasphemous reference to God and to the Savior of man, as beneath the notice of decent men. They cannot prosper, and all the government aid in the world cannot hold them up. The predicates we lay down are not debatable questions with us- they are self-evident truths, and need no defense. As for the rantings of their orators about the Herald we care not for it- we have not time to notice every face that barks at us."
Caddo Herald, August 14, 1914
(A small advertisement for the Socialist encampment at Caney, Aug. 20, 21, and 22. All socialist candidates of the state would be speakers.)
August 21, 1914
"The good people of Caney are certain to be pitied having a big bunch of socialists with their constant calamity howling to be in their midst for three days of this week.
The encampment lasts until Saturday night.
Their antics ought to be enough to disgust all lovers of good government and decency. They have a bunch of never-do-wells telling them how to run the government, blaspheming God and the things that have made humanity what it is today. They cuss the church, they cuss the gov’ment, and they cuss present Christian standards. How any decent intelligent man can embrace their doctrines is beyond the comprehension of ordinary man.
Where is one of their own number that has made a success of anything? People want to follow men who have lived decently and who have accomplished something in the world."
According to some of the election returns I've read there were at least 65 voting Socialists in Caddo. By September of 1914 there was an active movement to boycott the Herald.