Nonfiction > Jacob A. Riis > The Battle with the Slum > Page 426
Jacob A. Riis (1849–1914).  The Battle with the Slum.  1902.

Page 426
And they took the train, which meant that they lost their votes. The Tammany captain was busy hauling his voters by the cartload to the polling place. Over there stood a reform candidate who had been defeated in the primary, and puffed out his chest. “The politicians are afraid of me,” he said. They slapped him on the back, as they went by, and told him that he was a devil of a fellow.
  So Tammany came back. And four long years we swore at it. But I am afraid we swore at the wrong fellow. The real Tammany is not the conscienceless rascal that plunders our treasury and fattens on our substance. That one is a mere counterfeit. It is the voter who waits for a carriage to take him to the polls; the man who “doesn’t see what’s the use”; the business man who says “business is business,” and has no time to waste on voting; the citizen who “will wait to see how the cat jumps, because he doesn’t want to throw his vote away”; the cowardly American who “doesn’t want to antagonize” anybody; the fool who “washes his hands of politics.” These are the real Tammany, the men after the boss’s own heart. For every one whose vote he buys, there are two of these who give him theirs for nothing. We shall get rid of him when these withdraw their support, when they become citizens of the Patrick Mullen stamp, as



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