Reuf v. Older
The City Boss and the Editor explain themselves
Abraham Reuf, “boss” of San Francisco
What is a hero? A hero is a man of power, of will. A man who knows how to bend the system to his will. Who understand what is at stake. There is nothing beneficial about poverty. It is a lawyer’s duty to have a lucrative practice. How is man supposed to be heroic in poverty?
Greatness takes means. Greatness takes connections. Greatness … well. you will say heroism, not greatness, was the question. But does heroism require running into burning buildings. Well, look at me, you can see I’m not build for that sort of heroism. Gene is built that way. In body and demeanor. What a fine specimen of a man is he!
A hero is a man who uses all the gifts God gave to him. For one it might be strength. For a man like me, it’s wiles, intelligence, the ability to see through people, to encourage and empower men to the correct way of seeing things.
So, I made some money? You think the Southern Pacific lawyers are heroic, the overhead trolley operators, the electric companies?
A man who has vision to save his city from the do-gooders, the stuck up Protestant elites who want to control things, keep the Jews and the micks and the wops in their place?
Patronage is a noble system that empowers the common man. What did the world we inherited have to say to the common man? He was shot down in the streets when he demanded his rights, by his brothers, the Irish cops, at the direction of the Protestant mayor.
We have a Labor mayor now and a Labor party. We are the people’s party and we will lead the people. Not only in San Francisco but through every city in America. And the people need a leader to bring them to the promised land of equal opportunity, fair pay, fair work.
And is not such a leader a true hero?
Fremont Older, San Francisco Bulletin
Justice. Honesty. Absolute integrity. There is no gray in the world. There is the black ink on this white paper. Some things are wrong. Corruption. Thievery. Robbery. Graft. It’s wrong. It must be stamped out. The wrongdoers must be punished, exposed, imprisoned.
Don’t speak to about means. Journalistic ethics. The duty of the journalist is to speak truth to power. To take it down. The power of the press is the power of the people. The people should know.
And we will abide no corruption. Not in the business office of this very paper, not in compliance or cooperation or collusion with the railroad or the Democrats or the Republicans. We shall be absolutely independent. We shall employ investigators, put witnesses on salary, blackmail the uncooperative. If the normal modes of law enforcement are unavailable, we will find other ways to obtain facts.
We are interested in facts — in the truth. The truth will out. What use are ethics that serve to hide and obfuscate the truth, the whole truth, nothing but the truth.
All will be revealed and no head will be protected.