Tuesday’s Iowa Democrat Party’s so-called “caucus” fiasco brought to mind a famous legend from the state in which I formerly lived, Florida. The legend arose from a truly legendary figure, the late Edward Ball.
Ed Ball, who died in 1981, was a Virginia-born, notoriously irascible Jacksonville businessman and power broker, who became a brother-in-law to Alfred I. du Pont by virtue of the marriage of Ball’s older sister, Jessie, to Alfred in 1921, after which Ed became one of Alfred’s most trusted employees.
Ultimately, Ed Ball ensconced himself in running the Alfred I. duPont Testamentary Trust’s businesses, principally in Florida, by himself for about 46 years. He never held public office and did not own the assets he controlled, but he led a forest products company and owned newspapers. He founded and led the St. Joe Paper Company to become a major player in several industries in Florida, and he ran the Florida East Coast Railroad. At one time, St. Joe Paper was considered to be the single largest landowner in Florida.
In those days, there was only one political party in Florida and it was the Democrats; and the state legislature was controlled by the “Pork Chop Gang,” a group of Democratic Party legislators from small rural areas of North Florida at a time before the Courts required representation in the legislature to reflect population more clearly. Needless to say, Ed Ball was a leader and supporter of the Pork Chop Gang.
If he were alive today, he would probably be a very conservative Republican. But that was then.
Back to the legend- At the end of each and every business day, Ed Ball supposedly would gather his most trusted business lieutenants in his office, pour himself and each of them a glass of the best quality bourbon available, and lead the group in his famous toast- “Confusion to the Enemy!”
So, the next time you find yourself thinking about the plans of the Democrats for running/ruining our country, and are in a drinking establishment or are otherwise called upon to make a toast, think back to good old Ed Ball, raise your glasses, and drink a toast to “Confusion To The Enemy!”