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About The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923 | View Entire Issue (Dec. 12, 1902)
WILLIAH J. BRYAN, EDITOR AND PROPRIETOR.
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Vol. 2. No, 47.
Lincoln, Nebraska, Dec. 12, 1902.
Whole No. 99.
I 9 The President's Message.
? The president's message, sent to the senate and
se of representatives at the beginning of the
md session, is important because it is the first
m paper in which Mr. Roosevelt has been able t
Outline a policy. The message which ho sub-
ited at the first session of the present congress
i; written soon after President McKinley's death
. I iffiSt before the new president had had time to fully
, X?uaint himself with his official duties, and, there-
;-ilU . .. . ,, . 1 .n,l nnln
, couiu naraiy present a cumyiuLu uuu wudio
t plan for dealing with public questions. His
to message, however, the important parts or
tah are reproduced elsewhere in this issue, is
itinctly Rooseveltian in both thought and
fitoric. From a literary standpoint the message
f compare favorably with the state papers of
The message deals with much that is non-
lisan and such parts will be generally com
mended. As a rule, he is clearer
ml, Reciprocity in dealing with uncontrqverted
and questions than in dealing witn
? A-vhitvntfan fhnaa whfirn n. definite ODlmOn
was both expected and desired.
renews his recommeifda'tion of reciprocity with.
Shiba atid defends it with vigor. He also com-
ftidnds arbitration as a means of settling interna-
Jmtional disputes, and points with a just pride to
KttSlin for. tVinf our rrmnlrv WflR thfi first to IB alt G USD
2&rv . m.
01 the tribunal estaonsnea oy rue nugue uuu-
The advantages of the isthmian canal are
briefly set forth, and the president seems to as
sume that the arrangements will be completed for
the Panama canal as no mention is made of the
alternative route through Lake Nicaragua.
Porto Rico is disposed of in less than fifty
words an evidence of the small place that a
colony, when not in revolt, holds
in the minds of those who ad
minister an empire.
The Philippine question is
considered more at length and
he speaks boastingly of the progress made there.
He asserts that we have "gone to the limit" in
"granting rights of liberty and self-go vernmenti'
He compares our government with other "foreign
powers" and insists that tne Filipinos "enjoy a
measure of self-government greater than that
granted to any other orientals by any foreign
power." He commends the "general kindhearted
ness and humanity of our troops," and claims that
there have been few instances where so little
wrong-doing has been indulged in by the victors in
a w'ar "waged by a civilized power against semi
civilized or barbarous forces."
"While he nowhere discusses the principles in
volved in imperialism he uses the phraseology of
those who regard government from the monarch
ical standpoint To him the government instead
of being a thing created by the people for them
selves is a strong and commanding entity, entire
ly npart from the people, which "grants" privil
eges and even rights, to those whom it desires to
Porto Rico and
The doctrine that men aro endowed by the
Creator with inalienable rights rights which the
government did not give and
cannot take away and the doc
trine that rights are gracious
grants from a sovereign govern
ment to a subject people the
difference between these two doctrines is so great
that an ocean can roll between them. In fact, an
ocean does roll between them, for the former doc
trine is the American doctrine and the latter the
doctrine of European empires. Because he con
siders the Filipinos better off than they were under
Spanish rule or better off than most orientals aro
under oriental rule (he excepts the Japanese) he
argues that American imperialism is a benevolent
thing worthy to be eulogized. The president even
takes pleasure in citing the fact that the Fourth
of July, commemorated in this country because of
the promulgation of the Declaration of Indepen-
dence, was celebrated in the Philippine. by the
proclamation of "peace and amnesty."
The message gave him an excellont opportun
, ity to announce and defend the .theory upon which
(Tt-r.twun ii...i m Ufirjj l m JL .based, but that
lacked won id hae required a moral
The Moral courage and a political daring
Courage which neither Mr. Roosevelt nor
any other prominent imperialist.
with the possible exception of Senator Beveridgc,
has thus far exhibited.
If the people are clearly in favor of the adop
tion of the doctrine of force as the true basis of
government, why 3liouid there be hesitancy on the
part of imperialists in clearly setting the fact
In dealing with the tarif. -question. Mr. Roose
velt's message dirappoints those who expected him
to give encouragement to the tariff reform element
in the republican party. He not only specifically
opposes taking the tariff of! of the trust-made
articles as a means of attacking the trusts, -but he
advocates a higher tariff than the republican plat
forms have been in the habit of advocating.
The republican platform of 1892, adopted after
the enactment of the McKinley law, declares that
"there should be levied duties
equal to the difference between
wages abroad and at home."
But Mr. Roosevelt in his re
cent message says that there
should always be a sufficient rate of duty "to more
than cover" the difference between the labor cost
here and abroad. The word "more" which Mr.
Roosevelt adds as an amendment to the most ex
treme policy heretofore advocated is a very in
definite word, and can be used by protectionists to
justify any tariff however high. He has gone over
bag and baggage into tho ultra-protectionist camp,
and will henceforth be "persona grata" with the
great corporate interests that write tariff laws and
then, hiding behind the bulwark they themselves
have raised, plunder American citizens with high
prices while they.' sell abroad in competition with
If any further evidence wcro necessary to
prove that ho is not In tho least tinctured with
tariff reform it is to ba 'ound lu his recommenda
tion of a tariff commission composed of "practical
exports" who "could approvh tho subject from a
business standpoint, having in view both tho par
ticular interests affected and tho commercial well
bring of the people as a whole." Tariff revision
by experts is only another name for no tariff re
vision, because the experts are men who profit by
a high tariff, not those who suffer from it.
In the opinion of protectionists a man cannot
become a tariff expert by purchasing protected
articles, no matter how long
IToio The ho may continue at it, but ha
"TariJ)' Experts" can become a tariff expert in a
Are Made very short time by going into
the manufacture of soino article
tbc price of which is enhanced by an import duty.
Tho Commoner takes great pleasure in com
mending tho president's recommendation that an
thracite coal be put upon the free list, but it is ad
vised -on the ground that it will have "no effect
at all save in crises," and tho service which ft will
render . thovPQPPle ln-rJsesis( qualified by a
"might." If the reductionwiiriioTafferth'fr price
of coal in ordinary times the protectionists may
be able to forgive tho president for making tho
His advocacy of reciprocity, when taken in
connection with his high tariff views, means that
we will not have reciprocity where It will do a
foreign nation any good, and that, consequently, wo
cannot get reciprocity ourselves where it will bo
of any advantage to us. There must be mutuality
In every trade, and If wo only give a concession
where that concession will be no advantage to
others, we cannot expect In return a concession
that will be profitable to us.
The president's position on the money ques
tion is all that tho financiers could ask. He doe
not recommend any specific leg
Will Please islation, but carefully confine
2he himself to broad and general
Kingi of F inance statements which can be con
strued by the financiers Into an
indorsement of anything which they may desire to
spring upon an unsuspecting public.
If the president attempted to point out any
particular measure that he desired considered,
discussion would at once arise as
The Phraseology to the merits of the proposition,
of Wall Street but, as it is, he commends the
is Used banks as "tho natural servant!
v of commerce," and insists that
"as far as practicable we should pl".ce upon them
-.the burden of furnishing and maintaining a circu
lation adequate to supply the needs of our diversi
fied industries and of our domestic and foreign
commerce." This is the phraseology of Wall street
"Place upon them the burden" is good. This
would indicate that the public was trying to com
pel the banks to issue money for the benefit of th
people, whereas the banks have done all the clam
oring and have never yet been -Willing to present
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