A few days ago, I made a huge journey to Memphis, Tennessee to pay my respects at the grave of Dr. John R. "Doc" Brinkley, MD, who was probably THE MOST PROMINENT MEDICAL DOCTOR IN KANSAS, in the 1920s and 1930s. He was eccentric. He ran for Governor of Kansas in 1930 and technically "won" the election, but leaders of both political-parties feared him, and perhaps the greatest case of "Voter Fraud committed by Politicians themselves" foisted a losing candidate ahead of the REAL WINNER, Dr. Brinkley.
Doc Brinkley was known for his powerful radio-station in Kansas K.F.K.B. (nicknamed, Kansas' First, Kansas' Best" station). After being rejected as the real winner in the gubernatorial election, Brinkley relocated to Del Rio, Texas. He died in San Antonio, Texas. He bought a radio station, which was set up across the Rio Grande River bridge in Mexico and cranked it up to 1 million watts of transmitting power. Its booming-signal could be heard as far away as Canada. It was nicknamed "the border-blaster Radio Station". Dr. Brinkley's tombstone is impressive: A stone pillar with a stone globe above it. Atop the globe is a copper statue the mythological character of 'Mercury' extending a wreathed 'halo' in peace and friendship. The sculpture itself is called "Winged Victory". At the base of the pillar the tombstone has two Masonic emblems denoting his fraternal memberships. He was a Methodist, also a member of the Odd Fellows Lodge and the Modern Woodmen of America Lodge.
When I was a kid, I'd hear older people speak of Doc Brinkley's exploits in Kansas and in TEXAS. Even many people from the Great Bend area (including friends and neighbors of my own relatives) patronized The Brinkley Clinic in Kansas. So, I went to Memphis to see "Doc" Brinkley's gravesite.
There is evidence that "Doc" Brinkley received his Medical license from a dubious source; nevertheless he served in the Army and he drew good acclaim for his treating many patients during the 1918 flu pandemic. He drew wider fame (or infamy) by becoming the "Goat Gland doctor". His "treatments" were the rough equivalent of Viagra of the 1920s and 1930s,making him a millionaire, so Brinkley bought a fleet of Cadillacs, an airplane, and a couple of Radio Stations.
Brinkley was an odd mix of one-part "con-man" and one-part "Showman", and one-part "Devoted Doctor". Even some of his critics acknowledged that Brinkley had real surgical-skill and he could have gained more "respectability" if he had focused more on legitimate surgical-practices and techniques, rather than peddling elixirs and promoting experimental transplants. Brinkley a waged a "Write-In Campaign" for Governor of Kansas in 1930. In that election, numerous ballots were discarded. Back then, Republicans and Democrats teamed-up and conspired to defeat the "write-in candidate". Only ballots specifically marked "J.R. Brinkley" were considered as valid to be counted. By contrast, if a voter wrote "Dr. John Brinkley" or "Doc Brinkley", the ballot was immediately tossed-out, even though the voter's intention was obvious. Clearly The man who was ultimately declared winner, Harry Woodring, several years later, when his own term had safely ended, admitted that if all the votes were counted: Brinkley would have won outright. Hence, Brinkley was cheated out of the Governor's Chair. Thereafter, Brinkley moved to Texas, remained eccentric, but his perseverance demonstrated "Winged-Victory".
What does this mean for all of us ? Quite simply: In elections, ALL VOTES SHOULD COUNT, if cast sincerely and legitimately. Political Parties should not grow so fearful that they monopolize the System. In my view, an Independent candidacy (even a Write-In candidacy) for ANY Office, can win, if the voters so desire it to happen. We must hold our Elections Officials' feet to the fire. Our Representative Democracy depends on Honesty. We are simultaneously a Constitutional Republic. As citizens, must strive for quality politicians, at every level. If we seek the best: We will experience our own "Winged Victory" as a nation.
James A. Marples, Longview