Boss Crump

by Paul Goddard
Will Rogers once said, “I don’t make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts.”
Edward Hull “Boss” Crump was born on a small farm near Holly Springs, Mississippi, on October 2, 1874. He moved to Memphis, Tennessee, in 1890, and at the age of 36 was elected mayor. Crump was a masterful politician who ran the powerful Memphis political machine from 1909 until 1948. This machine was based on the behind-the-scenes organization of political patronage, in which the “boss” does favors for the constituents, in exchange for votes. Within a decade he had built a political machine that not only dominated local politics, but also skillfully manipulated state elections.
Anyone running for political office in Tennessee knew that “Boss” Crump was the key to their election. He could deliver 60,000 votes for his candidate.
In 1936, only 19 days before the gubernatorial primary, Crump decided to support a World War I veteran. With his support, Gordon Browning won the election. While in office, Governor Browning sought to demonstrate his independence and set out to break the Crump political machine. Browning told Crump, “You can ride, but you cannot drive.”
Christian, do you ever envy the power and wealth of the wicked? If the answer is yes, who or what’s driving you? A good name is more desirable, for the path of the wicked is a path of snares (Proverbs 22:1-16; 24:1). A prudent man sees danger and takes refuge in prayer (Ephesians 6:10-20). A wise man spends time in the word of God and warns others of the danger (2 Timothy 2:14-26).
Christian, are you up for the task?
“Have Thine own way Lord! Have Thine own way!
Thou art the potter, I am the clay.
Mold me and make me, after Thy will.
While I am waiting, yielded and still.” A.A. Pollard

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