The G. O. P. and the Solid South

January 13, 1938

Report Outline
Demand for G.O.P Purge in the South
Republican Efforts to Penetrate Solid South
Republican Activities in the Solid South
Apportionment of Votes in National Conventions
Special Focus

Demand for G.O.P Purge in the South

Governor Aiken's Call for Party Reorganization

Governor aiken of Vermont, in an open letter to the Republican National Committee, December 5, 1937, called for a reorganization of the Republican party on a national basis through a purge of “reactionary and unfair elements,” especially in the southern wing of the party organization. Declaring that the party was “in a nearly complete state of demoralization,” that it was “torn by internal bickering,” and that its “leaders are apparently more concerned with controlling the party machinery than in American welfare,” Aiken expressed his judgment that “neither in Vermont nor elsewhere in the Union will we, as a national party, again receive the support of a Toting majority unless your body recognizes the necessity of reorganizing and becomes responsive to the enlightened opinion of the voters you profess to serve.”

With the “advice and encouragement” of other Republican leaders in New England, Governor Aiken made three demands of the national committee:

The first demand is that at the earnest opportunity the national committee be purged of the baneful influence of the southern committeemen who represent no one except themselves and their allied officeholders, past and present—mostly past.

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