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About The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923 | View Entire Issue (May 31, 1901)
education, or of wealth cannot bo produced by hu
man institutions. Iri the full enjoyment of the
gifts of heaven, and the fruits of superior industry,
economy and virtue, every man is equally entitled
to protection by law."
In commenting upon these -words I said:
"We yield to none in our devotion to the doc
trine just enunciated. Our campaign has not for
its object the reconstruction of society. We can
not insure to the vicious the fruits of a virtuous
life; we would not Invade the homo of the provi
dent -In order to supply the wants of the spend
thrift; we do not propose to transfer the rewards
of industry to the lap of indolence. Property Is
and will remain the stimulus to endeavor and the
compensation for toil."
On that occasion I not only quoted as above
from Jackson's veto message, (with which the
Times will doubtless agree) but also that part
which draws the line between legitimate re-c
wards and illegitimate wealth. If Jackson
had stopped with the words above quoted he
would be more popular today with the news
papers which construe as an attack upon prop
erty every effort to protect the people from
injustice; but he added:
"But when the laws undertake to add to those
natural and just advantages artificial distinctions
-rto grant titles, gratuitous and exclusive privil
eges to make the rich richer and the potent more
powerful the humble members of society the
farmers, mechanics, and laborers who havo
neither the time nor the means of securing like v
favors for themselves, have a right to complain of'
the injustice of their government."
. I have never been able to find, in the writ
ing's of any statesman or philosopher, living or
dead,- a clearer definition of the democratic po
sition. I have never found a democrat who
dissented from Jackson's statement on this sub
ject. ' Ln accepting the democratic nomination in
T900 these views were reiterated', as will bS
seen by the following extract from my Indian
"The democratic party Js not making war
upon the honest acquisition of wealth; it has no
desire to discourage economy industry and. thrift.
On the contrary, it gives to every citizen the great
est possible stimulus to honest toil when it prom
ises him protection in the enjoyment of the pro
ceeds of his labor. Property rights ore most secure
when human rights are most respected. Democracy
strives, for a civilization in which every member
of society will share according to his merits. No
one has a right to expect from society more than
a fair compensation for the service which he ren
ders to society. If he secures more it is at the ex
pense of some one else. It is no injustice to him to
prevent his doing injustice to another. To him
who would, either through class legislation or in
the absence of necessary legislation, trespass- upon
the rights of another the democratic partysays,
'Thou shalt not.' "
This speech was widely circulated during
the campaign and no democrat has ever com
plained to me of the sentiment expressed.
The democratic party does' not expect- to
destroy poverty, because poverty can never be
destroyed until the members of tlie human
race so nearly approach perfection in thought,
and act, that they will not incur the penalties
prescribed for the violation of natural laws.
The democratic party is protesting against
those things which interfere with the natural
distribution of rewards and punishments. It
is' protesting against legislation which gathers
from millions in order to give an .undeserved
advantage to hundreds, or at most, thousands.
The principles of the party, whether applied
to the tariff question, the money question, the
trust question, the question of imperialism or
to any other question, are intended to secure
equal rights to all and to deny special privi
leges to any. Equality in rights docs not mean
equality. in possessions or equality in enjoy
ment. A man may have a right to the pro
ceeds of his toil, but if he does not toil theio
will be no proceeds, or if he toils without in
telligence to direct his toil the proceeds will be
less than if he toils with intelligence. Every t
man has a right to "life, liberty and the
pursuit of happiness," but he can make his
life worthless, he can be indifferent to his lib
erty, and he can so act as to secuie misery in
stead of happiness. Human rights are equal
before the law, but the rewards ought to be in
proportion to virtue, to .industry and to discre
tion. The position of the democratic party has
been so plainly stated that na one can give a
valid excuse for not understanding it, and my
own position has been stated so often that no
one who cares to know it need be-in doubt?.
Three Cheers Fqr Liberty
The' New York Journal gives three cheers
and a tiger for liberry. The occasion 'of the- :
Journal's jubilation is th6 contemplation of a
recent abuse of authority in Havana. Thcr
Journal explains its exuberance thusi
The captain of the port in a town occupied by
American troops seems to be an exceedingly for
midable personage. It was for lese majeste against
the captain of the port of Manila tuat Editor Rice
was banished from the Philippines by General
MacArthur without triaj. .
Even more summary methods seem to be in
vogue at Havana. There the captain of the port,,
When his dignity was offended by two Cuban edi-
tors, summoned them before him and forthwith.:
sentenced one of them to thirty days' and the other
to sixty days imprisonment at hard" labor. Ha
based these sentences on the ground that a certain
article in the paper with which the culprits were
connected was an insult to himself. Neither of
the men imprisoned: had written the article.
And yet the ungrateful Cubans pretend not to
enjoy American liberty!
A Courageous Preacher.
Dr.. Newell Dwight Hillis, of Plymouth
church, Brooklyn, N. T., deserves credit for
his courageous, denunciation of stock gambling.
In a recent sermon he thus condemns the spec
ulators, big and little:
"The evils of drink are familiar to ydu. " There
are other evils. But the greatest peril is the in-,
san spirit of gambling which seems, tq have taken;
hold of the people irrespective of social' standing
or religious belief. The insane desire to get rich
quickly is at the bottom of it all. There is no dif
ference between the' newsboy who flips coins and
the man in "Wall street who buys stocks en mar
gins on a chance that .they will rise or fall. Both
wish to get something for nothing; both are
"The incessant gambling ' on all sports has
wrought demoralization to. the country. Horse
racing is one of the noblest of sports, but it has
been degraded and bestlalized by gambling. Every
Saturday afternoon you see at the race tracks
thousands of working girls and men who have
families to support, crazy with the intoxication of
gambling. As each race is, run they stand up, a
yelling, cursing, purple faced, 1 rntalized gang.
. "From the tiny lad selling newspapers on the
street to men dwelling in a palace, the gambling
spirit seems to have invaded all. Where Is this
thing going to end? It is time we called a halt
and began to consider what things are really worth
. Dr. Hillis' church is one of the rich and
fashionable ones, and doubtless many of his
pew-holders were included among the persons
condemned. He is right in classing the mar
ket gambler with the less conspicuous players
at games of chance. If the speculating mania
is to be cured, reform must begin at the top
The Gambling Mania.
On another page will be found a cartoon
which recently appeared in t the Boston Herald
and which is reproduced in The Commpner by
the kindness and courtesy of the Herald. It
illustrates the results- of the gambling mania
better than they can be described by tongue or
pen. It is gratifying to note that many metro
politan papers are beginning to realize that the
term "business" is being used to describe a great
deal that is vicious and immoral. The late
flurry in. Wall street has excited wide spread
attention. N .
,By Thomas Dunn English
Don't you remember sweet Alice, Ben Bolt-1- ' .
Sweet Alice whose hair was so brown,
"Who wept with delight when you gave her a smile.
And trembled with fear at your frown? -
In the old church-yard in the valley, Ben Boltr
In a corner obscure and alone,
They have fitted a slab of the granite so gray,
And Alice lies under the stone.
"Under the hickory-tree, Ben Bolt, ;(
Which' stoci at the foot of the lillC 'V
Together we've lain In the noonday shade,
And listened to Appleton's mill.
The- mill-wheel has fallen to pieces, Ben Bolt,
The rafters have tumbled in,
And a quiet which crawls round the walls as you
Has followed the olden din.
Do yoa mind of the cabin of logs, Ben Bolt,
At the edge of the pathless wood,
And the button-ball tree with its motley limbs,
Which nigh "by the doorstep stood?
The cabin to ruin has gone, Ben Bolt,
The tree you would seek for in vain;
And where once the lords of the forest n ived :
Are grass and the golden grain.
And. don't you remember the school, Ben Bolt.
With the master so cruel and" grim,
And the shaded nook in the running brook' . '
Where the-children went to swim?
Grass grows on the master's grave, Ben Bolt,.
The spring of the brook is dry,
And of all the boys who were schoolmates then
There are only you and I.
There is change in the things I loved, Ben Bolt
They have changed from the old to the new;.
But I feel in the deeps of my spirit the truth,
There never was change In you.
Twelvemonths twenty have passed, Ben Bolt,.
Slnce'first we were friends yet I hail
Your presence a blessing,, your friendship a truthr
Bon Bolt of the salt-sea galot
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