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I've removed the phrase "best known for his intense crusades against the evils he saw". The word "evils" is extremely POV. A phrasing like "his intense crusades against what he perceived as evils, such as..." might be acceptable, if followed by appropriate (and sourced!) examples; but the implication that Norris loved goodness and hated wickedness fails NPOV in spades. Bear in mind that virtually any politican who takes a strong stand on virtually any subject could be described as "crusading against what he/she perceived as evils"; for example, one could apply that description to Sen. Brooks's intense crusade against what he perceived as evil. Ammodramus (talk) 04:59, 5 November 2013 (UTC)
Norris often proclaimed he was fighting "evil" -- a favorite word of his. eg when he was defeated: "I have done my best to repudiate wrong and evil in government affairs." Fred Greenbaum (2000). Men Against Myths: The Progressive Response. Greenwood. p. 7. Irving Bernstein (2010) adds that " Norris then believed that the party of Lincoln was the sole repository of good; the Democrats had a monopoly over evil." Norris was a staunch "dry," battling for prohibition even when it lost favor in the Great Depression. He told voters that "this greatest evil of all mankind is driven from the homes of the American people," even if it means "we are giving up some of our personal rights and personal privileges." Burton W. Folsom (1999). No More Free Markets Or Free Beer: The Progressive Era in Nebraska, 1900-1924. Lexington Books. p. 72. The point is that he was a "fighting liberal" who throughout his career more than almost anyone of equal prominence said that it was evil he was fighting. as for the 1850s, it was Sumner who talked that way (Brooks never did). Rjensen (talk) 05:10, 5 November 2013 (UTC)
Norris's own words are about as far from a neutral source as we can get. If we use "evil" at all, we should hold the word very much at arm's length, and make it clear that it's Norris's own opinion that we're describing and that it's not WP's editorial position. The phrase "the evils he saw" is much too ambiguous: it can be interpreted as "what he saw as evils", or as "the evils that came to his attention".
If Norris was really given to using the word "evil" to describe positions that differed from his own, it'd be worth mentioning it in the article; but it really doesn't belong in the lead. Ammodramus (talk) 05:17, 5 November 2013 (UTC)
Norris saw politics in white & black -- good and evil and that should be made clear to readers.. This includes evil = Bigness, =WWI, =liquor, = opposition to TVA and many of his causes. It's worth it in the lede because it explains how Norris thought off the world in terms of black and white. Historians make the point--Irving Bernstein (2010) adds that " Norris then believed that the party of Lincoln was the sole repository of good; the Democrats had a monopoly over evil." The text now has several very specific examples of how he identified Evil as his opponent. Rjensen (talk) 05:26, 5 November 2013 (UTC)
Text as it stands is OK. My concern was with "evil" outside quotation marks, which made it look like "According to Wikipedia, Norris fought evil" as opposed to "According to Norris, Norris fought evil". Ammodramus (talk) 05:30, 5 November 2013 (UTC)
OK....good solution. Rjensen (talk) 05:44, 5 November 2013 (UTC)