The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923, July 19, 1901, Image 1

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The Commoner
Vol. i. No. 26.
Lincoln, Nebraska, July 19, 1901.
$1.00 a Year
Tho Ohio democratic convention . was the
political event of last week. The platform
adopted, and reproduced on page five of this
issue, made a strong presentation of some of
the issues but failed to reaffirm the Kansas
City platform.
It began with municipal and state issues
and the handiwork of Mayor Tom L. Johnson
was evident in the terse and emphatic declara
tion of democratic principles so far as they ap
ply to local questions. The necessity for mu
nicipal reform is an urgent one and there is
sound democracy in the plank demanding that
tho people be given an opportunity to vote on
questions involving the granting or extending
of a franchise.
The plank which declares that "steam and
electric railroads and other corporations posses
sing public franchises shall be assessed in the
same proportion to their salable value as are
farms and, cityrcal estate-Ma both-logicalaiid
juBt, but it is likely to offend the very people
who were to be conciliated by an evasion of
the silver question.
The plank against passes is all right but
will not make votes among the so-called con
servatives. Tho platform urges tariff reform.
The anti-trust plank would have been
stronger if it had reiterated tho Kansas
City platform on the subject. The free list
and the prevention of railroad discrimina
tions are good so far as they go but they
do not go far enough. Whenever- a trust can
export its goods to other countries it can live
here without any tariff. Something more than
free trade is necessary to such a case. Abso
lute, fairness in railroad rates is desirable, but
even this will not make private monopolies im
possible. The Kansas City platform suggested
a complete remedy-the only one yet proposed
and it is to be regretted that the Ohio conven
tion was bo prejudiced against the last national
platform of the party that it ignored a remedy
endorsed by more than six million voters.
The plank Condemning imperialism criti
cises the republican policy without pointing
. out a remedy. Here again the failure to reaf-
firm the Kansas City platform has weakened
the Ohio demooracy.
The convention endorsed the proposi
tion to elect senators by the people. The
labor plank is excellent but those who
wrote the platform failed, either intentionally
or unintentionally, to mention government by
injunction, the black list and arbitration. A
reaffirmation of tho Kansas City pla'tform would
have covered these points also but having
failed to reaffirm, the convention should have
been careful to touch on all tho important ques
tions. The convention not only failed, but refused
to endorse or reaffirm tho Kansas City platform,
and,.. from tho manner in which the gold ele
ment has rejoiced over this feature of the con
vention, one would suppoBo that tho main ob
ject of the convention was not to write a new
platform, but to repudiate tho ono upon which
the last national campaign was fought.
Gen. Finley was right in insisting upon a vote
on his resolution endorsing the Kansas City plat
form, but ho made a mistake in including in
his resolution a complimentary reference to Mr.
Bryan. Mr. Bryan is not a candidate for any
. office, and a mention of him might have been
construed by some as an endorsement of him
for office. Tho vote should have been upon
the naked proposition, to endorse the platform
1(of last year, and hen-no one oouH-havc .ex-
cused his abandonment of democratic principles
by pleading his dislike for Mr. Bryan. Tho
. cause ought not to be made to bear the sins of
an individual. Mr. Bryan will endure without
complaint any punishment which tho democ
racy of Ohio may see fit to administer to him,
but he does not want his name used to the in
jury of a good platform.
The gold papers assume that the convention
refused to adopt the Kansas City platform be
cause it contained a silver plank. If so, it
would have been more courageous to have de
clared openly for the gold standard. If the
gold standard is good, it ought to have been
endorsed if bad, it ought to have been de
nounced. To ignore the subject entirely was
The money question is not'yet out of poli
tics. Every session of congress will have to
deal with it. Republicans declare that it is
dead but they keep working at it. At the last
session of congress they tried to make, tho
silver dollar redeemable in gold and when that
is accomplished they will try to limit the legal
tender qualities of the dollar. The gold stand
ard will not be complete until gold is fhe only
legal tender money and bank notes the only
paper money. Then our supply of primary
money will be controlled by foreign financiers,
and our supply of credit money by domestio
This plan has been developed gradually and
every step has been taken secretly and stealth
ily. The republican leaders have been in this
movement for years; as soon as the democratic
party found that some of its leaders had joined
the conspiracy those leaders were deposed.
It looks now as if tho reactionary influences
were once more trying to secure control. If
they succeed in Ohio or elsewhere it simply
means another gigantic struggle such as was
witnessed in 1800. Tho democratic party can
not bo made a plutocratio party even if there
was room in this country for two such parties.
Thero was a time, under tho Cleveland regime,
when the party leaders used genoral and am
biguous phrases to deceive tho voters, but
that scheme can not be worked again. Wo
can not expect tho voters to have confidence in
the party unless the party has confidence in
the voters and if the party has confidence in
the voters it will state its position on all tho
important questions before the country and in
vite judgment.
The present campaign involves a senator, as
well as a state ticket, and as the convention
dealWvUhother-nationar questions, it should
iiave dealt candidly, and honestly with the
money question. Mr. McLean is supposed to
be a candidate for the United States Senate, and
is also supposed to have dictated that portion
of the-platform which has to do with national
issues. The senator elected by the next
Ohio legislature will have to vote qn the
money question. The democratic party
of the nation is opposed to making the sil
ver dollar a promise to pay gold, and is
also opposed to substituting national bank
notes for government paper, but the democratic
party in Ohio was silent upon these important
subjects. Why? Did the leaders ignore tho
money question in order to please those who
bolted? Or does Mr. McLean want to. be left
free to affiliate with tho republicans on finan
cial questions in case of his election?
Mr. Kilbourne, the nominee for governor,
is an excellent man, a life-long democrat and
an active supporter of the national ticket in
both 1890 and 1900. He 'is better than his
platform. Ho deserves and should re
ceive the vote of every democrat in Ohio.
If any of the Ohio democrats feel aggrieved
because the reorganizing element of the party
triumphed at the convention let them not visit
their disappointment upon the state ticket but
rather see to the nomination of senators and
representatives who will select a trust-worthy
senator. Let them see to it also that tho state
platform is made at the primaries next timt
rather than at the convention. If the voters
at the primaries had instructed their delegates
to insist upon the reaffirmation of the Kansas
City platform the result would have been different.