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APUSH- 1/29/10 January 29, 2010

Posted by Mr. Klopfenstein in advanced placement, APUSH, Class Activities, history, United States history.

Happy Kansas Day!

After a brief review of important Kansas facts, we reviewed westward migration, farming on the plains, the rise of populism, and the end of the frontier.

Over the weekend, read the article reprint I distributed in class.

  • Do you agree with the author’s assessment of the Mugwumps?  Why/why not?  Give examples.
  • Would we be better off to bring back the Stalwarts or Half-Breeds instead?  Explain.

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1. Hannah Stone - January 30, 2010

i’m glad that the author states his political background b/c then i know what has influenced his ideas. In the artice i think he describes how the Mugwumps abandoned their own party’s candidate (James Blaine) b/c of his shady past. If the author is implying that it is better for people to do what is “right” than to follow along with their party’s ideas, then i agree. Even George Washington warned of the disasterous results from forming too close an attachment to a political party. It seems today that there is no longer a dual-party system in America; there are people who vote for the candidate who most closely represents thier ideaology. no matter what political party you are in, they both advocate way more gov’t control/intervention than that of the late 1800’s; making me draw the conclusion that there is theoretically a one-party system with a division of how much gov’t intervention there should be…providing a wonderful segway to the next question:
I don’t want to bring back either the stalwarts or the half-breeds…they got nothing done b/c they were always caught in deadlock. Also the stalwarts promoted the spoils system and i don’t think having connections is the way to get a job; I wouldn’t want the half-breeds either b/c james Blaine lead them and his past was morally questionable-why the mugwumps acted in the first place. However i am for the merit system that the half-breeds promoted b/c it would be more beneficial to society; if jobs are given by who is most qualified, then the odds are that the person would provide a more effective service.

2. Riley Siemers - January 30, 2010

I don’t really think that they’re the kind of party that we should be turning to for Obama, but they were definitely “clean” in opposing Blaine and his corruption. That, i think, is what the author might trying to say. Also, i would probably go with the Half-Breeds, because their opposition to the spoils system, which is pretty much means corruption and dishonesty, aka political parties only enforcing their beliefs, and not using all reasonable decisions.

3. Kristin Olson - January 31, 2010

I agree with the author on the issue that people shouldn’t just conform to a leader, like Obama or Blaine, if they don’t believe in their ideals or think that they are right. However, that is why in America now, people vote for the people that they agree with most, not just always the same party. Yes, they were correct in what they did then, but no, we dont need them now.
If we had to bring one of the groups back, I would bring back the Half-Breeds. I agree more with their civil service reform and merit system, than I agree with the Stalwarts’ spoils system and political machine ideas.

4. Molly DeBusk - January 31, 2010

I do not think the mugwumps should turn to Obama. From what I understood, a mugwump was a person who switched parties, in which case Obama would both gain and lose supporters. Along with that, mugwumps wanted to make society better and more moral. Today is all about getting ones ideas out there, not making the world more moral. They showed the switching of parties and their better and more moral society by going against Blaine. Also, I would not bring back the Half-Breeds or the Stalwarts. Both were either lazy and did not get enough done, or were not moral and not trustworthy. The spoils system is one of the main reasons I would not bring either of them back. That just will cause a dishonest and choas filled work place. Work today is already filled with enough dishonest people and choatic atmosphere. We do not need to add more to that.

5. Lexi Dienstbier - January 31, 2010

1: I do not agree with the Author’s assement of the Mugwumps. The author paints them as a party with no faults who were mercilessly tormented while doing almost nothing wrong. Though they split with the repbulicans because they did not want to be associated with that kind of corruption, the fact is that all politicial parties partake in some kind of scandal, corruption, etc, even the Mugwumps. While the author states that the Mugwumps were catering to “a demand for a politics based on realities, not phantoms,” they are overlooking the fact that most all candidates promise something in their platforms that they are well awar would be nearly impossible to actually attain. It’s part of the political system that is not going away. While the Mugwumps also claim that they had different party platforms than others, this is only true to a degree. Even today, there is little differencce betweent parties. They agree almost exactly on the big issues, and differ very strongly on the small issues; their voters don’t see this either-they simply vote for the candidate in their preffered party and most of the time don’t know why.
2: I do not think we should bring back either the Stalwarts or the Half-Breeds. The Stalwarts were very comfortable bribing voters with money, which is notoriously reminicsent of some of the many economic scandals that were developed after the Civil War. As for the Half-Breeds, they weren’t content to work with the Stalwarts on a basis of they wanted to control who recieved what benefits. THey were essientally being stubborn and did not want to share. The whole thing seemed very elementary-school-ish.

6. will metcalf - January 31, 2010

The Mugwumps were definitely a force of change in the 1880’s. Whether those changes were beneficial or not depends on one’s point of view. I agree with the author in that the Mugwumps were a breath of fresh air for the political atmosphere of the late nineteenth century. That breath of fresh air is needed once again, as the political environment today is remarkably similar to that of the 1880’s. The stagnation and bickering in today’s politics are incredibly irritating. Political parties today seem argue for the sake of argument. That gets us nowhere. The parties need to work together despite political differences. At the very least, people should not blindly follow their party just because they affiliate with it (as the Mugwumps did). People need to start going against the grain a little bit. That is the only way this country will change. I don’t see that happening any time soon, however. Each party plays the “blame game” and only the Independents seem to be left out of it. It’s sickening. The parties must worry about their own problems. It is too easy to blame others for the country’s issues. I believe it to be a form of laziness. The Republicans fight and kick and scream while the Democrats act pompously since they have the presidency and huge congressional majority. The problems this country faces hold their foundation in practices and policies that began decades ago. The current economic issues were foreseeable, yet as Americans tend to do, they defer payments and consequences to a later time so that they can have their shiny new car immediately. Fixing the current issues will take time, thought, and bipartisan efforts but yet we are already losing our patience. As for whether or not we should bring back Stalwarts or Half-Breeds, I must say I would side with the Half-Breeds. They at the very least supported civic reform (which was as much needed then as it is now) and the merit system. The merit system tends to nurture a less corrupt, well-oiled government. The spoils system seems to parallel society more closely though since success is often a matter of who you know. In all, the Mugwumps are a prime example of what needs to be done. Bring them back!

7. Will Retz - January 31, 2010

I agree with David Frum’s assessment of the Mugwumps. I think he portrays them in a positive light as a group that fought corruption. The Mugwumps left their political party because the opposed the dishonesty of Senator Blaine and promoted a system of political offices held by qualified individuals rather than a system of friends and supporters of a politician, which had prevailed for so long.
I think that we need this type of faction in today’s political mix because politics has begun to represent the corruption of American society. We need a political party that fights political scandals and keeps the American people in the forefront of its mind.

8. Michael Kreamer - January 31, 2010

I agree with the author in the sense that party supporters shouldn’t simply support a certain candidate based on party alliance. Frum uses the Mugwumps as an example of people who shifted party alliance based primarily on their feelings towards the candidates themselves, and not the parties they were elected by. Frum seems to suggest that Americans today need to based their political decisions on current day politics and not party platforms developed years ago, very similar to what the Mugwumps fought for. Overall, I feel that the Mugwumps would be more successful compared to the Stalwarts or Half-Breeds. The Mugwumps strike me as a group of people who acted truthful in their actions opposing corruption. The Mugwumps completely crossed party lines, as opposed to the Stalwarts or Half-Breeds, who were content to support their party, despite apparent corruption.

9. Margaret Watermann - January 31, 2010

1. i do agree with the author’s assment of the mugwumps because he supports them in their quest for just politics instead of staying with a party that didn’t fully support their views. the mugwumps did not feel right about supporting Blaine and instead turned to Cleveland because their refrom desires were more supported by him. the mugwumps were important to politics but ignored in credit. Cleveland won the eleciton of president by a narrow margin that was largely aided by mugwump voters. the author is supporting the mugwump cause and seeing how it can be applicable to modern politics. he is himself a conservative but he is supporting the democrat regime in calls for reform much like the mugwumps rather than blindly support his party. he is choosing his own ideological views over his party’s views, as many are doing today. he notes that there will always be divisions because of religion, race, economic ability and internal ideology. i believe that this is true because all people have their own personal views and politics will always have conflict because of this. there will never be a time when all people are completely happy with what goes on in politics. compromise is an important weapon but conrroversy will always be present when compromise is accompaning. i don’t think it would be better to bring back stalwarts or half-breeds because the people who were members of these fractions within the republican party caused inner party conflict and further prevented any actions at all to be taken by the party at large. these people caused more conflict than helped fix problems.these parties made the republican party weaker as a whole during this period. if parties such as these were present in politics today it would be even more complicated than it already is and it would be much hareder to pass laws and reforms. the republican party would also become weaker and there would be the prospect of a further splitting of parties.

10. Tarryn Schantell - January 31, 2010

I agree that the mugwumps did the right thing but I do not think we should bring them back. The mugwumps did the right thing by opposing corruption of Blaine. The mugwumps wanted to change Blaine out for a new not corrupt person, which they turned to Cleveland because he was honest and I agree with their thinking of wanting a honest president. Yet Obama is not corrupt from what I have seen thus far. Obama is trying to change the country already, so he could be considered a mugwump. We do not need to bring back the mugwumps since they are already here.
I think the half-breeds would be the most beneficial to society today. Half-breeds believed in the merit system, the most qualified gets the position, which is most commonly used today. I do not agree with their choice of political leaders, mainly James Blaine. Yet the Stalwarts idea of spoils system and political machines is corruption at the finest. The spoils system is almost the complete opposite of the merit system. Half-breeds would be the best political faction between stalwarts and half-breeds.

11. Skyler Trieu - January 31, 2010

I believe that the author gives a fair assessment of Mugwumps. He acknowledges their contribution to Cleveland’s victory and points out their impact on society. Of course, he does get a little dramatic about how great they were.
The author states that the two parties hardly differed both in the 1880s and today. I believe that today’s parties have very different platforms, but neither of them seem to make a huge commitment to following their platforms once they make it into the White House. For example, President Bush never got rid of abortion in America, and President Obama still has not pulled all of the troops out of Iraq.
I do not believe that America desperately needs more Mugwumps. After all, Obama made it into office without significant help from “Mugwumps,” and he certainly does not appear to lack support. However, I do believe that America does need people that are curtious enough to listen to what Obama says, whether they voted him or not (i.e. listening to his address to American students).
I do not think that it would be better to bring back the Stalwarts or Half-Breeds instead of the Mugwumps. The Stalwarts favored corrupt methods such as the spoils system and political machines, and the Half-Breeds followed a corrupt leader, James G. Blaine. America does not need more political corruption.

12. Christian Patterson - January 31, 2010

I agree with the author and that people should be free to support who they want based on their beliefs and views and not just on party. If their is a corrupt candidate that is running in your party, such as in the mugwumps case, the people should be able to support who they feel most fit. Blaine had a bad reputation and opposite views of the mugwumps, while Grover Cleveland was viewed as an honest man and had similar views of the mugwumps. No one is permanently tied down to one party or the other, and people can change their support, such as the mugwumps did. They wanted to oppose corruption and go with what they believed in, and that is what they did.

Christian - February 1, 2010

I also would not bring back he stalwarts or half-breeds. The stalwarts were corrupted and the half-breeds stayed with their corrupt leaders. This would be a political setback to bring them back.

13. Gautham Prakash - January 31, 2010

Yes, the author of the article is correct in his view of the mugwumps, even if some of his other generalizations are not. The author think of the mugwumps pure souls struggling against the mire of Gilded Age politics. He accurately asserts that politics during the Gilded Age were bitterly fought contests between two parties that differed little in terms of the issues, and points out the major problem of the political spoils system. However, the farsighted mugwumps saw through the petty slogans and and smear campaigns and advocated for an end to the corrupted system. Therefore, the author is correct in portraying the mugwumps as farsighted reforms. His case is further strengthened by the fact that the mugwumps did matter in history. By nobly sacrificing their own political careers by switching parties to ensure the defeat of the corrupt Blaine, they truly deserve our recognition. The author is also correct when he says that the mugwumps were ultimately successful despite being universally scorned by their contemporaries. By World War II, all of the political reforms advocated by the mugwumps had been put into action. Obviously, the mugwumps received almost no credit for this, despite many of them having campaigned for the reform for decades. The success of the mugwumps without acclaim is in line with the author’s generalizations and he is therefore correct in his portrayal of the mugwumps.
I do not think that it would be a good idea to bring Stalwarts. However, bringing back the Half-Breeds would be acceptable, if not the best idea. The main problem with the Stalwarts was that they were fixed on the concept of patronage and the political spoils system, in which the ruling party granted government jobs to their supporters. This not only was unfair, but also led to inefficiency as inept family and friends would be given important jobs. Moreover, this system led to political machines led by corrupt bosses to gain excessive influence, and sometimes even control the city, like Boss Tweed did. Incidentally, it was an insane Stalwart man who assassinated president Grover Cleveland. Meanwhile, the Half-Breeds were moderate Republicans who did not favor the party spoils system. In fact, to a large degree, the called for reform of the political system, putting them in the same group as the mugwumps. Therefore, bringing back the Half-Breeds may not be the best idea, but it is certainly preferable to bringing back the Stalwarts because the Half-Breeds were similar to the mugwumps, who truly were visionaries.

14. Parth Patel - January 31, 2010

Yes the mugwumps are indeed very important. They represent the common man of that time and this is very important when looking at the Gilded Age as a whole. A time full of corruption and problems especially during the Grant administration. There were many problems for the common laborer and farmer. These problems are assessed very thoroughly by the author. The author is rightfully focusing on how the “mugwumps” changed the course of American history which they did. They were the heart and soul of this country during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. The author is very accurate in his description of the mugwumps as visionaries of the future. He believed that the mugwumps were essential to the creation of this country which they were and gave a very accurate description for the mugwump, or the common man.
I think bringing the Half-Breeds are needed more in during this time than they are at any other time. Of course the half-breeds are portrayed as the common republican and the Stalwarts are more on the corrupt side but they are also just as efficient. The Half-breeds would be perfect for this time period because they are toned down republicans who could not only continue Bush’s war but could do it in a moderate way as well as bring the economy back up to acceptable standards. The moderate Republican would also make the entire country happy because they would still have the tax cuts that all Republicans do but also stimulate the economy by opening up new job opportunities and letting the capitalistic “gurus” work it out on Wall Street and other major economic hubs. Ironically the concept of Laissiez-Faire is needed more during this economic crisis than ever and any more spending or government interference on economic maters will just make the bruise bigger. It is better to leave as is than try to fix it. Obama however has done an excellent job in helping the economy. Socio-economic reform would be done a little better by the Half-breeds.

15. Amory Consley - January 31, 2010

After reading the article i agree with Frum, he has a very interesting and specific view on the Mugwumps. He provides alot of information and examples where Mugwumps come into play in the world of politics today. I believe that the idea of Mugwumps will always be in politics thanks to the election of 1884. People have their opinions on issues and sometimes they can’t decide.
If politicians were to bring back Mugwumps, Stalwarts, or Half-Breeds, I would say the Half-Breeds would be the best. I agree with their ideals about civil service reforms. The half-breeds are the better oif the political groups because the Stalwarts were mainly Radical Republics and against civil service reform and the Mugwumps just can’t decide.

16. Nick Snow - January 31, 2010

I agree with Frum that people shouldn’t back a candidate solely on partisanship. Mugwumps could be an example today for those who develop positions based on outdated political beliefs or loyalties. Mugwumps crossed party lines, despite what other groups were choosing to do. This was incredibly courageous as they completely abandoned their party loyalties. People should decide their position based on their own feelings and ideas. Mugwumps would also be more successful than Stalwarts and Half-Breeds. Despite political corruption, the Mugwumps still abandoned their political loyalties and did what they deemed fit. The Stalwarts and Half-Breeds, although their party was flowing with corruption, still chose to support their party. This left them below and less successful than the Mugwumps

17. Ethan Wolfe - January 31, 2010

The author no doubt makes good points, arguing that politics should be about the issues rather than the “sides.” However, where he strays from reality is the idea that following a “mugwumpish” strategy will work in today’s climate. Why won’t it work? Because the democrats are proverbial inches from a supermajority, a majority that they used to have before it was usurped by Scott Brown. Any division, temporary or permanent, would lead to passing of massive left-wing agenda-items in the blink of an eye. The mugwumps were able to succeed because NO ONE was organized, and they could take their time reorganizing to take control of the political landscape. However, today the Democrats are poised to pass legislation after legislation (as made obvious over the past year), but the Right finally decided to “step it up” and unite to stop what they believed to be contrary to the will of the people. Right now a 2-party system is the best option for the right. However, Brodner is right in a more general sense: America is too focused on politics and not enough on the issues. A two-party system leads to too much partisanship and voting with the party rather than on the individual issues. If there were to be more parties, people would actually have to educate themselves on political idiology of candidates instead of voting for the democrat/republican or whoever is prettiest. Well, that will probably still happen. As for part deuce, the Stalwarts and Half-Breeds were BAD examples of factions in a political system. All they did was create silly devisions over a single issue, weakening the party overall. The spoils system wasn’t helpful to the masses and wasn’t an issue worthy of losing an election over, yet the Republicans decided to give up their chance to win a third term for Grant and instead to fight about petty issues. The parties that would be good for politics would be ones that truly break along lines on the “right to left” spectrum of ideology; for example, there could be anarcho-capitalists, libertarians, republicans, moderates, democrats, socialists, hippies, and communists, in order from right to left.

18. Ria Halder - January 31, 2010

1: I do not agree with the Author’s assessment of the Mugwumps. It appears that Frum views the party as being flawless, when in reality they were quite faulty. Simply because this party desired to remain politically independent, does not mean that they themselves were not corrupt. As hypocritical as it may be the fact is that all politicial parties are involved in some level of corruption. There also appears to be some bias from Frum in this article, as he throws in some of his personal beliefs…”The Mugwumps wanted the United States to resume free trade–not only as a matter of good economics…” He seems to be in support of the Mugwumps and downplays their own corrupt ways because he agrees with a lot of their stratagies. He also seems to be encouraging the party when he states “But the demand those reformers articulated should resonate as loudy today as ever it did: it is the demand for a poliltics based on realities, not phantoms.” Clearly, every party tries to make statements and goals that are sometimes unattainable; the matter of the fact is, the Mugwumps were just like that. It’s a normal part of politics to present radical reform and not be able to meet the goals and aims; it has been a recurring theme throughout history.
2: I highly doubt the Stalwarts or Half-Breeds would do good in society today; if anything, they would cause a deterioration in politics. It must not be forgotten that they were the members s within the Republican Party who turned back on their “people” and stopped any reform or improvements from being enacted. The downfall of the Republican Party in this era had a direct correlation with the success of these parties. If either of these groups were brought into today’s society, the already weakened Republican Party would be further depreciated and healthcare would probably passed. Either way, the left side of politics would begin to dominate, and as a result we would have a very unfair, and unbalanced political climate.

19. Josh Montague - January 31, 2010

The author is absolutely correct in his assessment of the Mugwumps. The Mugwumps clearly were seen as an unpopular political faction, but ultimately they were the ones that found success. It was largely because of their assistance that Grover Cleveland was elected, and the despicable patronage system was abolished. Despite being ostracized by society, the Mugwumps were a prevailing force that influenced many different reforms to be adopted. The author displays a clear bias towards the Mugwumps for he attempts to coerce his conservative counterparts to act in a similar manner. He attempts to show that although the conservatives today are similarly the less popular political party, they are acting in the right direction basing their beliefs on realities rather than political fantasies.
Resurrecting the Half-Breeds would clearly be the smarter political tactic. One can obviously see the political harms and inefficiencies that resulted from the spoils/patronage system embraced by the Stalwarts: an era of history marked by increased corruption and disreputable activities. The Half-Breeds acted in a more normal manner by endorsing a merit system intended to reward those who laboriously worked. Although the Half-Breed system is somewhat tainted by the supposed corruption of James G. Blaine, it is still much more politically beneficial than the Stalwart system.

20. Ryan Jaspal - January 31, 2010

1.I do agree with the author’s assessment of the Mugwumps. During the presidential election of 1884, the Mugwumps did what they thought needed to be done, they switched parties. Originally parallel with the Republican party of old-time Lincoln, Blaine was too much for them to handle, although never charged with criminal activity, he was rumored to take many bribes. As a result of his bribes and various other economic corruption methods, he was able to buy two large estates, hardly feasible on a senator’s salary. Due to this fact, the Mugwumps decided they needed to side with the “opposition” party and Grover Cleveland, for it would be more advantageous, and less risky to the country to have him serve as President, than put Blaine at the helm. This inevitably won Cleveland the election, and consequently many victories were won by the Mugwumps in the years to come. The other’s view of the Mugwumps as a group structured around principle rather than tradition is quite right. Elections should not be based off of political affiliation, they should be decided by what the people believe adheres to their principles. Unfortunately, modern politics seem to fall into the same hole as dated poltics – the real issues are not focused on enough.
2.The Half-Breeds no doubt about it. The Stalwarts were Republican radicals, versus the Half-Breeds being moderate Republican. It is always best to bring back the affiliations which have some chance of compromise, rather than complete neglect and negation of opposition views. The Half-Breeds would be effectively able to create new policies beneficial and agreeable to a majority; the Stalwarts would only support their side and lobby for excessive advantages on their issues. They would most likely pit themselves against the Mugwump “traitors” as well, rather than try to reach a middle-ground. They were absolutely adamant about their party plank. The Half-Breeds were more sympathetic to Mugwumps, but liked to stick to traditional values. The Stalwarts were quite unyielding and tended to disagree with Half-Breeds, but eventually compromised with them on the issue of James Garfield.

21. Daniel Reinkemeyer - January 31, 2010

I agree with the author’s assessment that the Mugwumps were effective in enacting change in the government. Mugwumps were people who willingly switched party if the party was not supporting their personal beliefs. The threat of people switching parties could force the government leaders to change their position on certain policies. For example, the Mugwumps wanted to bring back free trade. Eventually the U.S. cut high tariffs and re-adopted free trade as a permanent policy. I don’t think it would be smart to bring back either Stalwarts of the Half-Breeds because all they were concerned with was buying as many votes as possible to win elections. The votes they bought may have been for people who had no significant concern over the government’s policies. Mugwumps made it possible for the common man to make changes within the government.

22. Samantha Nichols - February 1, 2010

1. The author does a good job of portraying the mugwumps as individuals who saw through partisanship and focused on what they considered the best for our country. The mugwumps represent a historical moment where the bitter divisions between parties blurred in the name of progress. In their time the mugwumps faced criticisms from the party they left but the author in this article discusses them positively. No matter what any of us might think about what they stood for we can all agree that a positive portrayal is accurate because the mugwumps were sincere and focused on fighting corruption and bettering America
2. The Stalwarts and Half-Breeds desired less civil reform than the mugwumps. I feel that the Stalwarts would not be a good group to revive as they wanted no reform at all. Today we see a rise in radical right wing militias with people similar to Timothy McVeigh and we are in no position as nation, nor will we ever be, to fuel those groups. I don’t think bringing back Half-Breeds would be a bad idea considering they supported moderate reform and I feel that the Republican party would benefit with more moderate voices as opposed to people like Ann Coulter and Glenn Beck.

23. Maria Cobb - February 1, 2010

I do believe that the author’s assessment of the Mugwumps is correct because he supports them trying to get politics to be honest and fair. Also I agree with the author as he says that a person that belongs to a party should not automatically support their candidate and should review what the other party’s candidates believe in.
However I do not believe that we should bring back the Mugwumps, for the election of Cleveland they did what I think is the right thing yet now I do not think we should have Mugwumps. Also it would not be better off to bring back the Stalwarts or Half-breeds because they were not successful at being a party.

24. Holden Rolfs - February 1, 2010

Personally, I disagree with the author’s assessment that the Mugwumps were winners. First of all, they didn’t see their goals actuated until many, many years later with the gold standard being written into law and the founding of the Federal Reserve. Also, the other parties, more mainstream, had their own line of successes, and the lines were longer than those of the Mugwumps. The author is, however, right in that the Mugwumps made the right decision by ditching the Republican candidate, for Blaine was a corrupt option. That the Mugwumps would be a welcome site today is another story. While they might have some great ideas for the recovery of the economy, the results may be deferred and only realized in the long run, just as they were a century ago. Also, a new perspective thrown into the mix would rub even more people the wrong way, and in more ways. I don’t think the Mugwumps were winners.
The Mugwumps being brought back may be the lesser of three evils, though, as the Stalwarts and the Half-Breeds should stay in their place in history and never revisit America. The Half-Breeds were the ones endorsing Blaine in the first place, and though they pushed for a more amicable civil reform, moderacy in this day and age is a quality not sought after and therefore not able to be powerful or electable. The Stalwarts would be an even less applicable and current-day ridiculous bunch to bring back. They were old-fashioned die-hards who didn’t care about the working individual so long as the system stayed together and from whence the assassin of President Garfield hailed.

25. Daniel Tabakh - February 1, 2010

I really do agree with the authors idea that there shouldn’t be a direct attachment to a political and whoever is in that party you should vote for them. I think it really should be who you think will bring out what you want in America even though the person could be a democrat or republican. I would most likely bring back the half breeds because the spoils system was horribly corrupt and should never be advocated again even though both groups always ended up butting heads and getting nowhere with their decisions.

26. Subha Upadhyayula - February 1, 2010

1. I do not agree with the Author’s assessment of the Mugwumps. Mugwumps are a party, which switches side during election or such. The author describes them as people who don’t do anything bad. They split with the republicans because they did not want to be associated or have anything to do with the gossip or scandals which occurred, if any occurred. The author says that the Mugwumps demanded for a politics “based on realities, not phantoms,” they are overlooking the fact that most of the runners for president (candidates) promised and said they would do such glorious things. That’s why I do not agree with the author’s assessments.
2. I wouldn’t bring back the Stalwarts OR the Half-Breeds because they’re both very lazy. The Stalwarts bribed people with money to vote, and that’s definitely bad. The Half-Breeds wouldn’t work in groups or together with others and they basically bribed, but with benefits. Both were childish and did not really care for anything or anyone but themselves.

27. Mariah Davis - February 1, 2010

I agree with the author’s opinion of Mugwumps. I believe he accurately assesed their beliefs as well as their position and effect on society. He did well to show that they rely not on the false pretenses placed upon them by corrupt politics, but on the real ideals that they lived for.
I do not think it would be a better idea to bring back the Stalwarts or Half-Breeds rather than the Mugwumps. Both of these other parties were very dependant on the shallow actions of their candidates and the actions of their candidates. They were much less reliant on the actions of their parties and how much these actions actually reached the goals they had for the country.

28. Harjot Singh - February 1, 2010

I don’t agree with this assertion because the mugwumps wanted to spread their morals in order to make society better. However, by doing this the people would become angry. People look to a President to lead their country, and help them deal with other countries around the world. If a president were to start trying to inflict his morals and beliefs on the country the people would become angered. People cherish their right to believe in what they want to believe, not what they are told to believe.
I don’t think either would be a good group to bring back because they opposed reforms and wanted to keep the system that was there currently. Without any change though there would be no hope for saving us from the economic crisis we are currently facing.

29. Mr. Klopfenstein - February 3, 2010

Lauren Flack, Jackie Gibbs, Parker Gill, Anna Kebe, Darren Monchusie, Steven Stinson, and Jennifer Yu contributed hard copies of their comments.

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