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About The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923 | View Entire Issue (Oct. 17, 1902)
WILLIAI1 J. BRYAN, EDITOR AND PROPRIETOR.
VbL 2. No. 39
Lincoln, Nebraska, Oct. 17, 1902.
Whole No. 91.
f - - -
A PROSPERITY CATECHISM ?
Nearly every republican spell-binder begins
his speech by asserting that we always have good
times under a republican administration and al
ways have hard times under a democratic admin
istration. This is a sweeping statement and it is
seldom safe to use the word "always" in a politi
cal argument. It is very easy to show that the re
publicans are entirely too emphatic In their in
dorsement of republican times and in their con
demnation of democratic times. One is reminded
of the experience of a man in Memphis, Tenn.,
who, having imbibed liquor until he felt In a
fighting mood, went out in search of a row. Ho
met a stranger on the street, and stopping him,
said: "I can whip any man in, the city of Mem
phis." The stranger saw that he was under the in
fluence of liquor and passed by and let him alone.
After going a few steps he accosted another
man and this time declared that he could whip,
any man in Laelby county. The challenge was
again declined, and he went on till he met a third
man to whom he declared that ho could whip any
man in the state of Tennessee. The last stranger
to whom he addressed his remarks promptly pro
ceeded to knock him down. He got up with much
"difficulty, wiped the bloodBlvfi(B, extended
his hand and said:
"Shake, stranger; I took in too much terri-
tory the last time."
The republicans take In too much territory
when they argue that there is some mysterious
charm about a republican administration that
makes an Industrial depression impossible, and
some peculiar" ingredient in a democratic admin
istration that produces soup houses. A brief
catechism brings out the fallacy of their argu
ment and shows how groundless are their asser
tions. Q. How long since the republican party first'
came into power?
A. Forty-two years. '
many panics&ihaye occurred
Q. When did the first panic begin?
A. In 1873. . ' .
Q. What party was in power at that-time?
A. The republican party.
Q. To what party did the executive belong?
A. To the republican party.
Q. What party had a majority in the senate?
A. The republican parte-.
Q. What party had a majority in the house
A. The republican party. -
Q. How long had the republican party been
in power at that time?
.A. About twelve years.
Q. What laws were in force n that time?
A. Laws passed by the republican party, or
laws passed previous to 1860 which the republican
party had failed to repeal.
Q. How long after the panic began did the
republican party remain in control of the admin
istration? A. About eleven years.
Here was-a pan' 'v which occurred after a long'
poriod of republican rule; it occurred under ro
publican rule; It was not until about eleven years
afterwards that the democratic party was In posi
tion to enact any law, enforco any law, or repeal any
law. Why do tho republicans overlook tho panic
of 1873? How can they shirk responsibility for it?
Tho panic of 184 was accompanied by failures in
business, by industrial depression, by lack of em
ployment, by tramps, and by soup houses and all
these things came while tho republicans wero in
complete control of tho government Yet the re
publican speakers assert, and tho republican edi
tors reiterate, that wo always have good times
when the republicans are in power. Why do they
say so? Are they ignorant of history, or do they
think that the people have forgotten?
Q. When after tho war was the first demo
cratic president inaugurated?
A. In 1884
Did it cause a panic?
Did it produce an Industrial depression?
Was It accompanied by hard times?
A. No ; times .were as good from 18840 1888
as they were during the republican administration
that preceeded or during the republican adminis
tration that followed.
It Js evident, therefore, that a democratic ad
ministration does not always bring bad times.
Q. When did the second panic occur?
Who was president at the time?
What party had been in power during
the four years previous?
A. The republican party.
Q. What tariff law was on the statuto books?
A. Tho McKinloy lav.
Q. When was it repealed?
v A- About a ye.r alter the panic began.
fiQjVWhat financial law was on tho statuto
" "TShorman law passed in 1890.
Q. WB'QiajjNWiit repealed?
A. After the panic began.
It is evident, therefore, that the panic of 1893
came when a republican high tariff law was on tho
statute books, and when a republican financial
law was in fprco.
Q. What fimmcia'' policy did Mr. Cleveland
pursue while he was in office?
A. A republican policy. He continued tho
general financial r&Hcy in force under the re
publicaa administration, and the republican presi
dent who foliowcC him continued Mr. Cleveland's
In 1896 Mr. Cleveland found himself so much
nearer to tho republican party than to tho demo
cratic party that his influence was thrown to tho
republican party. Isn't it a little unfair for the
republicans to use a democratic president to ad
vance their own policies and jelect their president
and then blame the democratic party for all the
bad things that came under that administration?
The republicans were wholly responsible for
the panic of 1873; if the democrats had been whol-
Jy responsible for tho panic of 1893 each party
would have had one panic to Its account and it
would not bo modest for eithor to brag, but with
tho republican party wholly responsible for th
first panic, with their tariff and monotary systems
in force when tho second panic occurred, and with
a democratic president leaning to thoir side and
following 'tho dictation of tho same men who con
trolled tho financial policy of thtf republican party,
it is unjust in the cxtremo for tho republicans
to assort that tho republicans always bring good
times and that bad times follow a democratic
The prosperity that has come slnco 1896 can
not be credited to republican foresight, to republi
can legislation or to a republican administration.
It has been causod by better crops and better
Q. Can the republican party bring good crops?
Q. Can it control tho rainfall and send copi
ous showers on tho country when the people vote
tho republican ticket and hot winds when they
vote tho democratic ticket?
A. No. v
Q.- What ovidonco have wo thattherepli8
lican party docs not control the rainfall?
A. It is proven by an argument drawn from
analogy. In many of tho cities in which tha
republicans are In power private corporations are
allowed to control the water supply. If tho re
publican leaders will allow a private monopoly
to control the water supply of a city what reason
have wo to doubt that if they had tho power to
do so that they would give to a private monopoly
control of tho water supply of the nation?
Reasoning from the less to the greater, Is it
unfair to assume that tho republicans, if they
controlled the rainfall, wouiu allow it to bo turned
into a monopoly so that people would have to
buy every shower at a high price? If this seems
an unwarranted conclusion let the reader see how
the republican leaders have turned over the light
ing of cities to private monopolies. And while
private monopolies tax tho urban population the
Standard Oil company Is permitted to collect a
tribute from tho country folk who still uso lamp,
and the anthracite coal trust is even allowed to
control tho fuel supply of millions of people.
We are fortunate that tho Creator still with
holds from the republican leaders control over the
movements of the clouds, still withholds control
over the sun's rays and still brings springtime and
harvest without consulting the g. o. p.
Q. Is tho republican party responsible for the
higher prices that have prevailed during the last
Q. What proof have we that they are not?
A. In the first place they distributed litera
ture in 1896 urging laboring men to vote the re
publican ticket on the ground that the gold stand
ard had lowered prices and increased tho pur
chasing power of the dollar, thus enabling tho la
boring men to buy more with his wages than he
formerly could; is. it fair to assume that the re
publicans would have claimed credit for a rising
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