“A.M.” Writes to Jonas
(The letter published below is written by A.M. Kinney, vice president of the Kansas Farmers Union, and former editor of this paper. Let us hope he writes letters to “Jonas” and that he lets us read the letters.)
Hon. Jonas Slickery, M.C.,
House of Representative Office Bldg.,
It has been a long time since I have written to you, but I got to thinking today of those old times when we went to school together in the old sod school house in the sand hills, and I could not resist the temptation to again remind you that I have kept tab on you all of these years. Of course I know that it is a long way from that old sod school house, and the sod house which you were born in, to the position which you now hold as a Member of Congress, corporation attorney for the largest corporations in the country, with your great show farm with its blodded stock, your winter home in Florida and your summer home in Maine: but I have no doubt that you have honestly earned your position and these good things of life by your faithful service to the corporation whom you represent in Congress.
I noticed by the papers that you were a charter member of the “American Liberty League.” When I first heard of this organization, I said to myself, “I’ll bet that Jonas will get in to this up to his neck.” You always have been a “jilner” Jonas, especially in any organization which you thought would advance your personal interest; but I am afraid you have made a mistake this time; the common people of this country have been going through a terrible crisis, and they are too much interested in the promise which the “New Deal” holds out to them to be flimflammed by catch words and fake liberty organizations. This “American Liberty League” put me in mind of the Missouri mule: “It has no pride of ancestry, or hope of posterity.” Ever since I can remember, slogans have been invented, and fake organizations have been formed by the class whom you represent to keep the people divided on the real issues which confront them.
Talking about flimflamming; you always were an artist at that. Do you remember Millie Johnson, the school teacher who taught our school so long? Soon after you hung out your shingle to practice law in the old town, Millie decided she wanted to homestead a quarter of land. Up in the North end of the valley there were two quarters that had been homesteaded and abandoned, one a good quarter all in the valley, and the other one all in the sand hills. You found out that Millie wanted a homestead, and you told her if she would give you three hundred dollars, you would contest the good quarter and she could file on it. You got the money, and filed contest on both quarters, and when they were canceled, you filed on the good quarter and Millie had to take the one that would only raise sand burrs and jackrabbits.
You are pretty good, Jonas; you must be, to live in an agricultural district, and be reelected year after year by farmers who have been bankrupted by the practices and methods of the people whom you really represent in Congress.
You will probably hear from me again.
Your old school mate,
—courtesy of Tom Giessel “1934 letter that could be published today”