Why the President of the National Brewers Association won't vote for Blaine
Hermann B. Scharmann, President of the National Brewers Association and a very influential Republican of the 21st Ward in Brooklyn, has as of now wholeheartedly declared his support for Cleveland and Hendricks. When asked as to how he had come to this point, he responded:
Because, in my view and opinion, Cleveland's candidacy has very much to do with personal freedom as well as with the lack of restrictions in every respect for many of our best citizens. Republicans of various states, particularly those of Kansas and Iowa, have attacked the gift of personal liberty most injuriously with their Prohibition laws, and some citizens must sacrifice their liberty for these laws. I believe that no one should have the right, by way of his vote, to say whether I must or must not drink any type of alcoholic beverage. A few of my Republican friends say to me: Scharmann, this Prohibition question is something which concerns states on an individual basis; the President has nothing to do with it. My answer is that the last Congress, due to the efforts of Neal Dow, the father of Prohibition, and of Mr. Blair of New Hampshire, appointed a committee solely for the purpose of reporting to the next Congress whether, in the committee's view, it would be advisable for the government to press for a Prohibition law against the sale and production of alcoholic beverages.
What does this have to do with Mr. Blaine, in your opinion?
You will recall that during the Republican National Convention Herr Blaine had the support of every delegate from Maine, Kansas, and Iowa, all three of which are Prohibition states. And you will further recall that when the Prohibitionists were encouraging Mr. Neal Dow to run for the presidency, he promptly answered: No, I will vote for Blaine; the man is enough of a temperance advocate for my vote.
What portion of German voters agree with these views of yours?
I have many good reasons to assume that my views are the same as those of a vast majority of the thinking German electorate, regardless of their political allegiance. However, I have other reasons to oppose Mr. Blaine. There is namely nothing that can be said to his benefit in the fact that the Republican Party has portrayed him as their shrewdest politician. Note well that I say politician. During the twenty-one or more years that he has sat in Congress, he has not helped write a single law that did any good for the public, and wherever Blaine could do a good deed, he has never forgotten his best friend: himself.
In your opinion, which states will show the strongest German opposition against Blaine?
New York, Ohio, Illinois, and Indiana, and the opposition in these states will likely be fatal for his candidacy.
Hence the interest of our nation's brewers will also be against Blaine?
I believe it will be so. However, as president of the Brewers Association of the United States, I am not authorized to suggest that all brewers will be against Blaine, although I think the majority is. My belief is based principally on the opinions of those men who are involved in the same trade as myself.
What do you think the probable result in this state [New York?] will be?
I positively believe Mr. Cleveland will win our state because I know a great number of my Republican friends will vote for the Democratic candidate. When I voted for the first time I voted for Abraham Lincoln, and if I now vote for Cleveland it will be the first time ever that I voted for a Democratic candidate. I am a Republican and thus do not belong to the Democratic party even now. I have however stepped down from the Republican general committee, so that I might be free and able to conduct myself freely without having to neglect my duties as a member of this committee.