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About The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923 | View Entire Issue (April 12, 1901)
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largo for a local contest, amounting tp about
ninety per cent of the yoto cast last fall.
If Mr. Wells and Mr. Parker had polled the
same proportion of the total vote that the na
tional candidates of their parties polled in 1000,
Mr. Wells would have received about C 5,000
votes and Mr. Parker about 55,500.
It is impossible to ascertain how many demo
crats voted for Mr. Merriwethcr and how many
voted for Mr. Parker, just as it is impossible to
say how many republicans voted for Mr. Wells
and how many for Mr. Merriwethcr, but it is
reasonable to supposd that the republican vote
which left Mr. Parker went largely to Mr.
Wells, while the democratic vote which left Mr.
Wells wont principally to Mr. Merriwethcr.
Mr. Wells lost at least twelve, thousand
democratic votes, if he gained no republican
votes, and to this must be added a sum equal to
the republican votes received. If, for instance,
ho received 10,000 republican votes the account
would stand thus: For Wells 80,000 demo
cratic votes and 10,000 republican votes total
48,000 votes. But this would show a loss of
22,000 democratic votes; can the re-organizers
afford to trade 22,000 democratic votes, good
at all elections, for 0,000 republican votes,
good only in local elections and when a repub
lican is nominated on the democratic ticket?
If Mr. Wells only received 5,000 republican
votes, the account would stand: Wells 88,000
democratic votes and 5,000 republican votes
total, 48,000. This would show a loss of sev
enteen thousand democratic votes, or an ex
change of three democrats for one republican.
Is their anything in this victory to-boast of?
If the democrats who voted for Mr. Merriwethcr
had followed the example set by Mr. Wells and
voted the republican ticket, Mr. Parker would
have been elected by a considerable majority.
But what of the future? The Republic with
commendable frankness recommends a national
application of the St. Louis plan of harmoniz
ing. It says:
.St. Louis has supplied the example of a thor
oughly united democracy. With little evidence of
reluctance all elements of the party joined hands
in the recent campaign. They worked together
harmoniously and voted without scratching.
To obtain national ascendency this unification
must proceed heartily all over the country.
With a united democracy the party is certain
to win the next national election. The republican
party has drifted so far away from American prin
ciples that the revolt of the people will he over
whelming when the forces naturally democratic
arc found acting together.
The St. Louis democracy has set its face to
the future. Give us such a union of popular forces
in all the states and the next national election will
ho from that moment won.
This is exactly what might have been ex
peoted. Mr. Wells was not nominated because
the reorganizes were especially interested in a
good munioipal government; he was nominated
because he represents a corporate element which
calls itself democratic, as a matter of habit, but
gives its pecuniary and political support to the
republican party. It will never bo found sup
porting a democratic ticket unless that ticket is
selected and controlled by those who have some
special privileges which they desire protected
by the government.
If the democracy of St. Louis had defeated
Mr. Wells, the democracy of Missouri would
have been spared tho fight which must now bo
made. The contest which resulted in the Pirtlo
Springs convention was fought over the silver
question, the light which is now opened will bo
a broader one and will involve the very exist
ence of the party.
Tho Republic will lead the Francis-Wells
clement and will be supported by the railroad
attorneys and corporation agents as well as by
the gold standard advocates. Every democratic
newspaper in the state will bo compelled to
take sides and a contest which might have been
settled in a day, if confined to St. Louis, will
keep the state stirred up for the next four
What is the use, it may be asked, of oppos
ing the Ropublic-Francis-Wells combination?
Why not allow it to control the party organiza
tion? The answer is found in the election of
1894. Such a slump in the democratic vote as
that which occurred in that year or in St. Louis
a few days ago would give the state to the re
publicans. There is no room in this country
for two parties representing republican princi
ples; unless the democratic party faithfully and
courageously opposes plutocracy all along tho
line, it has neither chance nor reason for exist
If the St; Louis contest had been purely a
local one, The Gommososr would have taken no
part in it, but as it was a link in the chain a
part of a plan, national in extent, to republicanize
the. democratic organization, this paper called
attention, to the facts and-pointed out the pur
pose of the re-organizers The daily papers
outside of St. Louis openly discussed the scheme
and since the election the rejoicing'has been
general among those self-styled democrats who
have twice aided in electing a republican
president. The election of Mr. Wells was
a disastrous victory for the democracy of St.
Louis, Missouri and the nation.
An Unfortunate Comparison.
A New York firm has published in book
form an address delivered last November by
Joseph H. Ohoate, our ambassador to Great.
Britain. This address was dellivered before
the Edinburg Philosophical Institution. At
that time Queen Victoria was living. Mr.
Choate read to the assembled Britishers the fa
mous letter written by Abraham Lincoln to the
Boston mother, Mrs. Bixby, who had given five
sons to tho union cause. That letter cannot be
printed too often:
I have been shown in the files of the War De
partment a statement that you are the mother of
five sons who have died gloriously on the field of
battle. I feel how weak and fruitless must be any
words of mine which should attempt to beguile
you from your grief for a loss so overwhelmlng
but I cannot refrain from tendering to you the
consolation which may be found in the thanks of
the Republic they died to sate, I pray tht our
Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your
bereavement and leave you only the cherished
memory of the loved and the lost, and the solemn
pride that must be'yours to have laid so costly a
sacrifice upon the altar of freedom.
When Ambassador Choate had finished
reading this splendid epistle, ho said to the as
"Hardly could your illustrious sovereign from
tho depths of her queenly and womanly heart have
spoken words more touching and tender to sootho
the stricken mothers of her own soldiers."
Such a comparison was exceedingly unfor
tunate. Mr. Choate was quoting from Abraham
Lincoln, a man among the most famous of all
the men of the world for his ability to say tho
right thing at the right time, for the purity
and the eloquence of his language, for the ten
derness and the gentleness of his heart.
One of the sweetest things Lincoln ever
wrote was the epistle to the woman who had
lost five sons on the field of battle, and yet its
tenderness and its eloquence were characteris
tic of the man, and entirely in keeping with his
record as an orator and writer. .But this
American ambassador, standing before a Brit
ish audience, thinks he has paid a remarkably
high tribute to one of the greatest orators and
writers in all history when he has said, "hardly"
could the British sovereign have done better.
The British sovereign was a good woman, but
she was not at all famous 'for her literary abil
ity. The comparison made by Hi. Choate was
doubtless pleasing to his British audience but
it was unworthy of the great lawyer who made
the comparison and it was a piece of flunkyism.
of which no man in his position should be
guilty. ' " ',
A Sample of Whitewashing;
Whitewashing is so common in legislative
bodies now-a-days that the ordinary resolution
denying charges and vindicating the accused
attracts little attention, but the resolution re
ported by a special committee of the Nebraska
legislature deserves to rank among the prize
specimens of this kind of literature.
On the last day of the session (such resolu
tions are generally brought forward on the last
day) Representative Wilkinson of Cass
County presented a report from his committee
but let the report speak for itself.
"Mr. Speaker and Members of the Legislature:
Your house committee appointed to investigate
and report regarding rumors to the effect that un
due influence was exerted by railroad companies
and candidates for JJnited States senators, with
the members of the legislature, beg leave to make
the following report:
"We have made a thorough and personal in
vestigation, and find the members of this Twenty
seventh session as a body, regardless of party, to
be of exceptionally high moral character; that an
hoiest effort was made by the members to pro
mote the best interests of the state by the passage
of good laws and the careful appropriation of tho
state's money, and that class add unjust legisla
tion was honestly opposed; that transportation
given the members by the railroad companies
(which is a common custom) was purely compli
mentary, and without in any way attempting to
influence the vote of members and their -choice of
candidates for United States senators, or for the
passage of any special act of legislation.
"In the investigation the members were with
out exception willing and ready to answer every
question that would lead to the disccve.y of any
th ng ; irregular, as far as they knew, with the re
suit that in not a single instance could anything
be charged or proved against any member or can-
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