The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923, May 03, 1901, Image 1

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    The Commoner.
Vol. i. No. 15,
Lincoln, Nebraska, May 1901.
$1.00 a Year
William J. Bryahi
Editor arid Proprietor.
Senator JlcLaurin's Bolt.
The republican papers are making much of
the speech recently delivered by Senator Mc
Laurin, of South Carolina, at Charlotte in that
state. And well they may, for it marks the begin
ning of a movement in the south which will
have an influence upon the politics of the
nation. It is not likely that Mr. McLaurin
will be the leader of the movement because he
is handicapped by the fact that lie is using his
official position to misrepresent the views and
interests of his constituents, bub some leader
will arise to give direction and force to the
aristocratic and plutocratic element for whioh
Mr. McLaurin speaks. There is such an ele
ment in every community and now that the
race question no longer unifies the white people
pf the southern states, it will do ubtless mani
fest itself. Then, too, the corporations are in
creasing in nuniber and magnitude in the south
and with their growth will come attempts to
secure from the government privileges, favors
and immunities. The commercialism which
has debauched municipal and state govern
ments in the north will soon be apparent in the
south and the senatorial contests which thus
far have been comparatively free from scandal
south of the Mason and Dixon line will show
the handiwork of organized capital.
. Senator Tillman has already taken up the
gauge of battle thrown' down by Senator Mc
Laurin and wilj. doubtless be able to marshali
a considerable majority in that state, but the
same influences are at work in other states
where there is greater danger of their success.
Imperialism gives to the plutocrat his op
portunity. He can hide behind a pretended
patriotism and conceal his mercenary purposes
by profuse declamation about the nation's ex
panding greatness and international obliga
tions. Those who are willing to purchase
trade with everybody's blood but their own
and who would sell any political or moral
principle for a pecuniary consideration rush to
defend the administration's Philippine policy.
The democratic sentiment is strong enough
to resist and overcome the McLaurin move
ment, but those who believe that the man is
more important than the dollar will have to
bestir themselves. The corporations are not
much on public meetings but they are diligent
in securing delegates to conventions. The real
democrats, confident of the merits of their
cause, often lack organization and are, there
fore, at a disadvantage.' Their hope lies in a
prompt, open and persistent appeal to the
voters at the primaries.
A white republican party in the south may
bring some compensation in that it is likely to
divide the colored vote in the north and answer
the argument of those northern republicans who
have been able to give no better reason for re
maining with their party than that the south
was solidly democratic.
A Timely Protest.
The two Grand Army posts of Terre Haute,
Ind., have joined in an address relative to the
observance of memorial day. It reads as fol
lows: Christians, Patriots and Countrymen:
Through the thoughtlessness of youth, the
greed of gain and the pleasure of debauch, Me
morial day is being more and more prostituted
from its original intent, and to such an extent that
reverence for the dead has been so dishonored that
. a fearful degeneracy of patriotism is imminent, and
the loss of all sense of the sacredness of human
feelings and sacrifices.
The sporting events on this national funeral
day are as great an offense against good taste and
patriotism as for children or other members of
the household to turn from the grave of a dead
father or natron to similar revelries. The bbys
ought to stop playing while the funeral is talcing
place, and not make a gala day of the occasion
when even the birds sing a requiem for the na
tion's dead and the flowers yield their choicest
As. now prostituted, the holiday is an affront
to the living soldier and the widows and orphans
of the dead. Unless the sacredness of Memorial
day can be maintained, It were better that it were
stricken from the calendar as a national holiday.
It is a timely protest. Memorial day is set
apart for a sad and solemn ceremony. On this
day patriotism and afEection join in doing rev
erence to the dead and in decorating with
flowers the sweetest product of nature the
graves of those who in their lives gave su
preme evidence of their courage and devotion
to duty. It is not a day for festivity and
mirth, but a day for retrospection and conse
cration a time for that reflection upon the
past which will give higher ideals and a nobler
purpose for the future.
If an entire day is too long for memorial
services it would be better to shorten the holi
day than to have a part of the time so em
ployed as to detract from the services appro
priate to the occasion.
Tolstoi's Noble Appeal.
Count Tolstoi has. done much for humanity.
He has been a heroic figure in his time, and
although he has been excommunicated by his
church and exiled by his country, he will live
in history as one of the greatest of men. Tol
stoi's most recent notable action was to address
a lottor to the Czar of Russia in which the
great humanitarian made this striking appeal:
"Why will you fight with Trhat you can never
subdue by force, Instead of covering your name
with imperishable fame by treading the way of
justice? You protect injustice, sire.
"Free the peasant from the brutal tyranny of
the officials; give him equal rights with other
ranks; do away with the present police system,
which demoralizes society, degrades the empire and
breeds spies and informers. Do away with re
straints on education, so that the road to enlight
enment may lie open to all. Prohibit no man
from having his free belief, a:.d lot religious per
secution cease."
It is indeed strange that the monarch who
has taken so pronounced a stand in favor of
peace as the Czar of Russia has should neglect
the opportunity suggested by Tolstoi. It is
strange that this monarch has nob exerted him
self in the direction of making his own sub
jects happy. As Tolstoi says, the Czar of
Russia has an opportunity to cover himself
with imperishable fame if he will but do
those things that will bcBt contribute to the
happiness of his people. What, indeed, is the
prestige of a crown that depends solely upon
.the sword for its existence? " How much
greater, how much happier, is the monarch
whose authority and power do not depend upon
the bayonet,but whose government is supported
because of the happines and the contentment
of the people over whom he rules.
An Executive Monopoly.
Sometime ago the federal court at New
Orleans was asked for an injunction to prevent
further shipments of horses and mules to the
British troops in South Africa. This judicial
proceeding was considered at a meeting of the
cabinet, and the dispatches say that the cabi
net took the position that the courts have no
jurisdiction in matters affecting the interna
tional policies of the government. The mem
bers of the cabinet agreed that inasmuch as the
New Orleans case involved neutrality the ju
diciary was without jurisdiction, and that the
executive should enjoy a monopoly of authority
in the premises.
It will occur to a great many people that
the administration is very sensitive on any
point that may appear to the disadvantage of
the British Empire and to the advantage of
the South African Republics.
-The claim that in such cases the judiciary
has no authority is not sound nor in keeping
with well settled practice.
During the administration of Benjamin
Harrison, while civil war was pending in Chili,
the United States Court at San Diego, Califor
nia, issued a writ for the seizure of a vessel
that had been loaded with munitions of war,