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About The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923 | View Entire Issue (May 24, 1901)
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less ormino of tlio judicial robe fell on John
Jay, it touched nothing less spotless than itself."
It was John Jay who was chosen to pre
pare an address to thp people of Great Britain.
This was in the nature of a protest against
colonial government and was read in Congress
Octoher 18, 1774. Three days later the ad
dress was formally approved by Congress.
That address has been referred to as "one of
the land marks in the advancement of the prin
ciple of self-government." The first para
graph in that address deserves a place in every
well regulated scrap hook. Read it:
"When a nation led to greatness by the
hand of liberty, and possessed of all the glory
that heroism, munificence, and humanity can
bestow, descends to the ungrateful task of forg
ing chains for her friends and children, and,
instead of giving support to freedom turns ad
vocate for slavery and oppression, there is
reason to suspect she has cither ceased to be
virtuouB or been extremely negligent in the ap
pointment of her rulers."
Can the American citizen read these words
of Jay without a pang of conscience?
An Old Trick.
The New York "World gives an interesting
description, of M(i shrewd old Wall Street trick."
The World thinks that a group of Wall Street
gamblers were indulging in this old' trick dur
ing the recent experience with Northern Pa
cific stock. The World describes the trick in
An order was given to a broker to buy North
ern Pacific steadily and in huge lots at intervals.
This of course had the effect of pushing the marr
ket up rapidly; and at each push the ejxeited pub
lic rushed in to buy, and so pushed the. price a
little higher. At each of these "little higher"
prices some one was selling large blocks of the
stock. Assume that the "some one" who was sell
ing was the person or group that had been buying
the big blocks, and see how the operation would
200,000 shares in lots to boost the mar
- ket, bought at say an average price
220,000 shares sold in large lots during
the successive hours at say an average
price of 120 26,455,000
Net profit on the day's, trick '. .$ 2,455,000
The air is full of crazy rumors that great
financiers are buying into, now this property and
now that for control. The public the lambs be
lieve these yarns and hasten to buy at prices which
"must be all right if fellows like Gould and Van
derbilt and Hill and Harriman are paying them."
And the wily old gamblers are reaping the profits.
Politics in Missouri.
The democratic voters of Missouri are all
right; they have never waivered in their devo
tion to democratic principles. The democratio
weeklies of the state are, for the most part, all
right, but the St. Louis Rcpublio is following
the courso pursued by the Cleveland element in
1895-0. It is shouting for harmony while
it is quietly doing all it can to turn the party
over to the contingent which bolted in 1890
and has acted with the republicans ever since.
A few of the democratic leaders in Missouri
have fallen in with the reorganizes, and others
arc timid about expressing themselves. This
is no time for either desertion or hesitation.
The democratic party was once brought to the
verge of ruin by these same influences; these
same tactics made it possible for -the republi
cans of Missouri to win their only recent state
victory. The democrats of that state are real
democrats, and cannot, except by fraud and de
ception, bo delivered into the'hands of. the cor
poration element of the party . . ..,
; In 1895-0 a great many trusted men dropped
out of politics because they were indifferent to
fundamental principles or afraid to oppose the
corporations. This is always likely to od
our when those who stand in positions of
leadership get out of harmony with the
masses-while trying to get into harmony with
those who vote the republican ticket. If a
man- is ready to retire from politics ho may
'safely join the reorganizes but the men who
are candidates, or expect to be, should remem
ber, first, that political success rests upon the
voters and, second, that they can not afford to
allow their loyalty to democratic principles
(not democratic principles as'dcfined by thoBe
who vote the republican ticket, but democratio
principles as defined by those who vote the dem
ocratic ticket) to be questioned. It is much
easier to retain confidence than to regain it.
The state's position has been misrepresent
ed to the outside world and it is important
that the real situation should be made known.
'How this should be done is, of course, a
matter to be decided, not by the reorganizes,
:but by the faithful; but it is necessary
for every democrat who aspires to leader
ship to let it be .known that he has'no sympa
thy with the attempt to republicanize the dem
t ...: . w
. Mr. Watterson's Cartoon.
Editor Wattcrson of the Courier-Journal
has devoted so much space to me that no apol
ogy is necessary for another comment upon
Relying upon his age, experience and more
extended observation, he has on several occa
sions outlined what he regards as the proper
course for me to pursue. Without question
ing his good intent or his wisdom on subjects
in general, I find it impossible to follow his
advice without abandoning all that I have been
taught to hold sacred. In the first editorial
on this subject Mr. Watterson's position was
criticised as an immoral one. The editorials
with which he has attempted to jgupport his po
sition have more and more clearly demon
strated the weakness of his argument.
No advocate of imperialism has placed his
defense upon lower ground. No one who has
attempted to defend the administration has
shown more complete disregard for the prin
ciples and motives that should actuate men,
parties and nations. He says:
In abandoning them (the Philippines) wo
yield our vantage ground in the far East, which
is -already, become the center of the strife of the
powers for commercial supremacy. We make
what the world and the ages will hold an ignom
inious and a short-sighted surrender; for wo are
entering upon a cycle of pure commercialism,
whose end will witness the survival of the fittest,
and since when was any spirited people insensible
either to money or empire? Wrong, "morally
wrong, spys Mr. Bryan? JWh'y, on that line, all
effort, ,-which has-gain for its object is wrong.
Out of line with American traditions, says Mr.
Bryan? Why, every important movement from the
Louisiana purchase to the abolition of slavery,
might be so described. But, right or wrong, facts;
and, as an organized body what, shall the demo
cratic porty do about them? .
This is Mr. Watterson's argument. He first
assumes that we are entering "upon a cycle of
pure commercialism." Second, he assumes
that it is impossible to combat this spirit and,
third, he argues that (assuming his two prophe
cies to be true) it is better for the democratic
party to do wrong and prosper than to do right
and suffer. He attempts to disclose what is
destiny, and then criticises those-'who refuse to
accept him as an ordained prophet. All
'through Mr. Watterson's argument runs the
theory that wrong is not wrong if it is success
ful, and that right is not right if it fails. His
argument ignores entirely the fixed moral prin
ciples which should guide the individual, the
party and the nation, and he also ignores the
fact that retribution always follows wrong
doing. He tells me how I can be a, Warwick, if
not a king. He does me scant honor when he
assumes that I am willing to . purchase cither
position at the expense of moral. or political
It is not my present purpose, however,
to discuss his viewfl, for. when two men
differ as to a moral question, argumenta
tion is of little value. .Morals are matters of
heart Tather than of head. If argument would
keep men from stealing or from taking human
life there would be neither larceny nor murder,
but when, a man really wants to steal or to kill,
or, to apply the principles to the present case,
wants nothing but immediate victory, and cares
not for the necessary but remote consequences,
the case is almost hopeless.
The object of this editorial is to call atten
tion to a picture which illustrates Mr". Wattcr
son's views better than his pen or mine can do.
JudgCj the illustrated paper, asked Mr. Wat
terson to suggest an idea for a cartoon. In re
ply he wrote: "Draw a picture of baby John
athan in his cradle asleep. About him are his
play things- a toy kettle drum, marked 'Inde
pendence,' a toy cannon marked 'Freedom,'
and dangling by a string -from his clutched
hand a child's balloon, marked 'Tle Future.'
Above him hover the spirits of Washington and
Franklin. Beyond, in the clouds, a vision of -domes
and spires, spanned by- a rainbow of red,
white and blue. Beneath, the -words out of the
old song, 'Asleep, I Dream of Love.'
"Draw another picture of a richly furnished
apartment and a party at a card table; England
and Germany at the right and left of Undo
Sam, who, with calm self-confidence sits in a
rocker. Russia, France, China and Japan
ranged about. Some exposed cards, marked
'Peace,' 'Order,' 'Religion,' 'Humanity.'
Behind Uncle Sam on the wall appear portraits
of Washington, Jefferson, Jackson, and Lin
coln, and on the floor a great mastiff, eager,
and alert and ready to spring, marked 'Popu
lar Sovereignty.' Beneath this portrait Uncle