The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923, February 13, 1901, Image 1

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The Commoner
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VOL. I. NO. 4.
$1.00 a Year.
lAilliam J. Bryan.
Editor and Proprietor!
During the last campaign tho democrats
pointed out that republican success would en
courage the party in power to increase the stand
ing army. The republicans evaded the question
for the most part and, when they were challenged
to meet it, resorted to subterfuge and deception.
They claimed that the army then in service was
made necessary by the war in the Philippines and
called attention to the fact that the increase ex
pired by limitation in 1901. They pretended to
believe that the army could be reduced before
that time if the republicans won at the election
and the Filipinos were assured that there would
bo no change in the administration. These argu
ments ought not to have misled anyone because
the President, two mouths before hostilities
broke out at Manila, asked for authority to raise
the army to one hundred thousand.
A republican House of Representatives passed
a bill giving him the authority and the democrats
and their populist and silver republican allies in
the Seriate secured' 'the "'limitation which the" res
publicans were afterwards so anxious to hide
behind. The election resulted in a republican
victory even more pronounced than the leaders of
that party had expected, but the war in the Phil
ipines did not terminate and then the imperialists
came out from under cover and boldly demanded an
increase in the military establishment. A bill was
introduced, hurried through the House and Senate
and is now a law. The title of it is a confession
of cowardice. It is not a bill to increase the
size of the standing army, but a bill "To in
crease the efficiency of the pernament military
establishment of the United States." It provides
that tlie army of the United States shall consist
of fifteen regiments of cavalry, a corps of artil
lery, thirty regiments of infantry, one lieutenant
general, six major generals, fifteen brigadier
generals, etc., etc., etc. Each regiment of cav
alry and infantry has one colonel, one lieutenant
colonel, three majors, fifteen captains, fifteen
first lieutenants and fifteen second lieutenants,
besides sergeants, sergeant-majors, corporals, etc.
the etc. including, among other persons, privates
ranging from forty-three to seventy-six in each cav
alry tropp, and fromf orty-eight to one hundred and
twenty-seven in each infantry company. The
President is given the dangerous power to in
crease the army to the maximum. The number
of enlisted men is limited to one hundred thous
and. The maximum of enlisted men may include
twelve thousand natives to be cmisted in the
Philippine Islands if the President sees fit to en;
list them.
If anyone will read the bill complete and
count the number of generals, colonels, lieutenant-colonels,
majors, captains, first lieutenants,
second lieutenants, adjutants, inspectors, quarter
masters and other offoers with life tenure, ho can
understand somothing of the force which mili
tarism can command in any legislative contost
with the taxpayers.
It is easier to increase an army, especially the
oilicial part, than reduco it, and the people have
before them a difficult task, but the burdens and
menaiice of militarism can be relied upon to
arouse the people. When the awakening comes
it will be found that the people who profit by a
large military establishment, however powerful
in present influence, are insignificcnt in numbers
compared with those who are injured.
A Worthy Ambition.
Hon. Tom L. Johnson, of Cleveland, 0., an
nounces that he has retired permanently from
business and intends to devote all of his time and
energy to social and political questions, with a
view to aiding in the enforcement of the doctrine
of equal and exact justice to all and special priv
ileges to none.
It is a worthy ambition, and he carries into his
work an honest heart, a clear head, an eloquent
tongue and an enthusiasm which comes from deep
During his service in Congress he gave evi
dence of both ability and fidelity to the public
weal, and his present determination is not a sur
prise to those who have known him intimately.
Mr. Johnson, though comparatively young, is
a man of large means and has laid aside enough to
keep the wolf from his own door while he is bat
tling for the rights of others. His success as a
business man will protect him from the contempt
which the well-to-do usually visit upon the re
former. Long life to him, and may he find in his labor
for his fellows a higher and more enduring enjoy
ment than is within the reach of those who strive
only for themselves, or who make the accumula
tion of wealth theirsole object.
Chinese Atrocities.
Mr. George Lynch, an Englishman who has
been doing newspaper work in China, gives a
very uncomplimentary report of the action of the
powers in the Orient. He says that a wave of fear
and horror preceded the advent of the allies to
such an extent that in many of the villages people
committed suicide to save themselves from their
Christian conquerors. He adds that some of the
soldiers were .;o busy looting that they did not
attempt to bury the bodies until finally the fear
of disease compelled them. Other reports from
apparently trustworthy sources seem to leave no
doubt that the foreign troops havo felt relieved
from observing the usages of war which prevail
among civilized combatants. This is not men
tioned for the purpose of captious criticism,
but only as an illustration of the fact that in a
war between different races, the superior race as
a rule sinks to tho level of the inferior. The re
sult is, that for generations to come tho power
of the superior race to benefit tho inferior race
by moral influence and example is entirely de
stroyed. Tho Boxers who used tho opon threats
of dismomberment to arouse prejudice against
foreigners will find now facts upon which to baso
their hatred. Tho foreign merchant and tho
missionary must live and labor under great dis
advantages for years hence.
Abraham Lincoln.
Had Abraham Lincoln lived until February 12,
1901, he would have reached tho ago of ninety-two
years; that is not an impossible ago for a sturdy
man. When wo remember that the years havo
not multiplied to the extent that, under ordinary
circumstances, Lincoln would bo precluded from
being a living witness to this country's attitude
today, wo are reminded that it is an easier thing
to forget a good man's teachings than to lose re
collection of the man himself.
The anniversary of Lincoln's birth will be gen
., orally. celebrated throughout the country.. Kepub-
lican orators will claim him as tho patron saint of
their party; but tho claim must seem a mockery
when we realize the fact that that party has ignored
Lincoln's warnings and violated Lincoln's pre
cepts. Society is not benefitted by observing the birth
day of a bad man; nor is society benefitted by tho
observance of a good man's birthday if the lessons
he taught are banished from the minds of the ob
servers. If wo would not appear as hypocrites, we must
in our observance of Lincoln day associate Lin
coln's principles with the man whose memory we
pretend to revere. Lincoln's fame is imperish
able because of his contribution to society. A
crisis confronted his country, and in the solution
of tho problems, he applied rules which, if cor
rectly applied in Lincoln's time, may be correctly
applied to similar problems in any period of hu
man history.
On one occasion in replying to Stephen A.
Douglas, Mr. Lincoln said:-
We cannot say people have a right to do wrong.
That is the real issue. That is the issue that will
continue in this country when the poor tongues of
Judge Douglas and myself shall be silent. It is the
eternal struggle between these two principles right
and wrong throughout the world. They arc the two
principles that have stood the test since the begin
ning of time, and they will ever continue to struggle.
The one is the common right of humanity, and the
other the divine right of kings. It is the same prin
ciple in whatever Miapc it develops itself.
m Lincoln recognized that the great struggles of
society are over fundamental principles princi
ple which remain unchanged from generation to
. iM-lkaJl'.tt. .UUIiWS