Henry Ford’s sudden about-face on the Jewish question lends a special interest to an article on “Woodrow Wilson’s Ford Boom”, which appears in The Forum magazine.
It is written by A. R. Pinci, veteran political writer, who declares that as a Presidential candidate Ford could probably beat even President Coolidge. He also says that in the previous Ford Boom for the Presidency, the “Jewish vote” was already behind him, in spite of the Dearborn Independent’s anti-Semitic propaganda.
The article also contains the revelation that Woodrow Wilson was the original Ford backer, and that Ford’s senatorial candidacy was Wilson’s wish rather than Ford’s. It declares that Wilson was actually grooming Ford for the Presidency, and that had he lived and kept his health, Ford would be in the White House to-day.
“Would Ford have acquiesced, had Wilson nominated him” asks Mr. Pinci, and answers his own question:
“Would Ford have acquiesced, had Wilson nominated him? Undoubtedly, for Ford is nothing if not a good soldier. Any appeal by Wilson to expand the Ford industrial doctrine by making it political and international, — to make possible, in other words, the emancipation of foreign peoples from the vicious war psychology by setting them to work at high wages, — would have been irresistible. And none of the Democrats, — nine out of ten of them Wilson men anyway,–would have dared to deride Ford’s candidacy, for to have done so would have been to deride their master’s judgment. What a predicament that’ would have been for some of them!
“There was, to be sure, the Jewish question. Its influence in politics can hardly be ignored, and I myself once undertook to test it. The conclusions reached are quite possibly not infallible; but they are representative enough, since my inquisitiveness was most pointed in the districts where the Jewish vote was most substantial and where the so called anti-Ford prejudice was keenest. Since I wished to disguise both my object and the extent of my information my attitude was invariably jocose. A few of the Jews whom I interrogated became characteristically voluble and even threatening; but the rest were, — quite as characteristically, — cool about it. Yes, just as Ford sold them his car, so he could sell them his magistracy”.