The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923, March 27, 1903, Page 2, Image 2

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fidelity to tho party cannot bo made an issue in a
campaign. These names will bo presented with
out any effort on the part of Tho Commoner to
urge tho candidacy of any particular Kansas City
platform democrat as against any other Kansas
City platform democrat Tho Commoner has no
choice between those who stand for democratic
principles; it simply draws the lino between those
who look to tho rank and file of the party for
their promotion and those who rely upon tho cor
porations, first, to aid their candidacy; second, to
Bocuro their olection, and, third, who will allow
tho corporations to dominate their administration.
Platform Building.
An Iowa paper, claiming to bo democratic,
, eays:
"Tho great troublo with Mi. Bryan is
that, not being a democrat himself, ho fails to
appreciate tho truo principles, tho true ob
ject, the truo aim, the true Bcope of democ
racy. Ho fails to realize that tho democratic
party is a party of tho people, a party which
holds that tho right to govern, in party coun
cils or in matters of legislative enactment,
'omanates from tho consent of tho governed;
ho overlooks tho fact that democratic doctrines
and democratic principles have their incep
tion in tho minds of the common p'eoplo of
tho country and of tho party, and are not
taken at second hand from self-constituted
leadors and aspirants for honors at tho hands
of tho mass of democratic voters."
It Is not necessary to discuss tho question
raised by tho statement of this paper that Mr.
Bryan is "not a democrat" It is, however,
worthy of noto that this organ has outlined a rulo
which it pretends is followed by tho rcorganizers
when in fact that rule is ignored by tho reorgan
izes a"nd is adhered to by Kansas City platform
' democrats.
. A Kansas City platform democrat does ap
preciate tho true principles, tho truo object, tho
truo aim, tho truo scopo of democracy. Ho does
rcalizo that tho democratic party is tho party of
tho people. Ho insists that in that party tho right
of govornmont, in party councils, omanates from
tho consent of the governed. He insists that
democratic platforms shall adhere to, democratic
doctrines and democratic principles and that tho
rank and file of tho party, rather than "self-con-stituted
leaders and aspirants for honors at the
hands of tho mass of democratic voters," - shall
say what tho platform shall be.
For this reason Tho Commoner is appealing
to domocrats who believe in the Kansas City plat
form to organize and to co-operate in order that
their opinions may bo reflected in the national
platform of their party.
On tho other hand, the rcorganizers whom
this Iowa paper seems to represent, insist that
democratic doctrines and democratic principles
must bo "taken at second hand from self-constituted
leaders and aspirants for honors at tho
hands of tho mass of democratic voters."
The Brooklyn Eaglo, for instance, recognized
as ono of tho great organs of these rcorganizers,
tells us, not that tho platform should be framed
.v to suit tho rank and Qlo of democracy, but that
the platform should bo framed so that it would
bo acceptable to Grover Cloveland and men who
believe with him.
Tho platform adopted in 189G at Chicago tho
platform adopted in 1900 at Kansas City 'were
framed by tho. rank and file of tho democratic
party. Men who believe in the principles set forth
in those platforms and who Insist that tho demo
cratic party shall take no backward steps are de
manding that the national platform of 1904
shall bo framed, not by "the self-constituted
leadors and aspirants for honors at the hands of
tho mass of democratic voters," but shall bo
framed in accordance with tho sentimnets of tho
rank and file of tho party.
These rcorganizers would not be willing to
submit their platform and their candidate! tc f tho
The Commoner.
rank and file of tho party in order that the demo
crats of every precinct in tho United States could
pass upon that platform and that candidate. Upon
tho pretense of a desire for harmony they seek to
obtain control of the national convention; and if
the rank and file of the party should go to sleep,
and these reorganizes could thereby obtain con
trol of tho party, a platform would bo framed
without regard to the interests of tho mass of
democratic voters; but it would be framed to suit
Grover Cleveland, who, having been repeatedly
honored by the democratic party, brought disaster
upon it through his second administration and
who deserted the party during the two presiden
tial campaigns when the party's candidates were
required to bear tho sins of the Cleveland admin
istration. That Harmony Banquet.
The "harmony," banquet given by the Chicago
Iroquois club on the 16th inst has come and .gone,
and it was, as was expected, a demonstration in
honor of Grover Cleveland. There were some
persons at the table who are in the habit of vot
ing the democratic ticket, but the general char
acter of tho crowd was shown by the fact that
"tho guests climbed on their chairs, waved their
napkins and cheered" when Cleveland's name was
mentioned. This illustrates tho kind of "har
mony" that is intended when those who believe
in democratic principles are invited to meet at the
banquet board tho men who still boast of their
contribution to republican victories and stand
ready to repeat their offense unless they are al
lowed to republicanize the democratic party. Such
harmony is a farce and a fraud, and those who
talk of it are either grossly deceived themselves or
intend to deceive others. Real democracy and
the plutocracy of the Cleveland brand will no more
mix than oil and water, and the Cleveland element
insists upon being the oil it Insists on being on
top if it is in the barrel at all. More water poured
into such a combination may help to raise the
oil, but the oil never helps to raise the water.
Now that the harmony dinner has arranged
for a compromise that puts the Cleveland forces
in charge of the party, why not have another
harmony dinner and arrange for such a com
promise between the republicans and Cleveland
democrats as will keep the republicans in power,
and thus save all tho worry and expense of a
campaign? If "harmony" is all that we need,
let's have lots of it.
Altgeld's Plain Talk.
In 1895 the Iroquois club of Chicago gave a
banquet. It was said that the banquet was for the
purpose of commemorating the birthday of Thomas
Jefferson, and yet it was understood that the real
purpose was to extend a vote of confidence in the
policies of Cleveland's administration, which poli
cies at that time were being seriously crHicised by
democrats. The, late John P. Altgeld was invited
to attend this banquet and tho invitation was sent
to Mr. Altgeld by Mr. Ela of Chicago. Mr. Alt
geld's reply may be particularly interesting at this
time. It was as follows:
Chicago, March 27, 1895.
Dear Ela: I am in receipt of a letter pur
porting to be signed by you as chairman of a com
mittee of the Iroquois club, stating that the an
nual banquet of this club, to commemorate tho
birth of Thomas Jefferson, will bo given April 22,
and requesting me to be present and deliver an ad
dress of welcome. I also learn that a program
has been prepared which will make the entire
exorcises simply a laudation of tho financial pol
icy and of tho general course of the present fed
eral administration. In other words, that the pro
gram has been so arranged as to coavert tho wholo
proceeding into a kind of Cloveland love-feast As
this is simply a repetition what has been done
several times, I take it that you did not prepare
this program, but that It was prepared by a few
gentlemen who for a number of years have talked
reform and then pursued office with tho appetite
of a wolf. In making this program they remem
bered the hand that had given the spoils and at
the same time they cast a hopeful anchor toward
tho future.
Last summer one of the great newspapers gave
an account of the greatest timber stealing and
homestead robbing operations ever carried on in
the northwest, involving even the prostitution of
high office. Recently the country was alarmed at
seeing in Washington the most powerful and the
most corrupt lobby ever known engaged in trying
to force the railroad pooling bill through con
gress. I notice that two of the men whose names
were prominent in connection with one or the
other of these scandals have been selected to
point out the beauties of Clevelandism, and I will
admit" that they are the right- men for the pur
pose. Coupled with these is at least one other
whose fame in the east is co-extensive only with
his ability to injure his party. These three aro
to discuss tho great questions now before the
country. All three stand for Clevelandism, but not
for the. democracy of the country. They stand in
practice for the theory that government is a con
venience for the strong, and 'were it Hamilton's
birthday you wished to celebrate this would all be
in accordance with the eternal fitness of things.
But not even a resolution of congress, supported
by a speech from a senator and an opinion of the
attorney general and backed by the federal army,
can keep Thomas Jefferson's bonss still while you
attempt to dump this program into his cradle.
These men represent a class which in his day
called Jefferson a demagogue, derided his states
manship and sneered, at his patriotism.
Jeffersonism was the first-born of the new
age of liberty and human progress, while Cleve
landism is the slimy off-spring of that unhallowed
marriage between Standard Oil and Wall Street.
Jeffersonism brought liberty, prosperity and
greatness to our country because it gave its bene
diction to the great toiling and producing masses,
whilq Clevelandism has put its heei upon the neck
of our people, has increased the burdens and the
sorrows of the men who toil, and has fattened a
horde of vultures that are eating the vitals of
the nation.
To make a dollar out of paper by a fiat of
government may not be wisdom, but to double tho
purchasing power of a gold dollar by the fiat of a
number of governments in striking down the com
petitor of gold is ruin. To paralyze the energies
of a nation by doubHng the burden of the debtor
is statesmanship under Clevelandism, but a crime
under Jeffersonism. The republican papers prai a
Clovelandism, but they honor Jefferson by abus
ing him.
Jefferson's eye took in the continent from tho
Atlantic to the Pacific. Cleveland is today ignor
ant of tho fact that theje is a co ;ntry west of tho
Alleghenies. Jefferson "belonged to the American
People; Cleveland to the men who. devour widows'
houses. Jeffersonism is an illumination in tho
American firmament; Clevelandism merely a
swamp-light floating around in the Standard Oil
marsh. To laud Clevelandism on Jefferson's birth
day is to sing a Te Deum in honor of Judas Is
cariot on a Christmas morning.
You will excuse me, Ela, if I decline to havo
anything to do with it, and you will also allow mo
to say that, as I am not conscious of having dono
you a wrong, I do not understand why you shouM
have asked me to come and bid a welcome after
the program had been practically "packed," as to
important issues, so as to stand for hostility to all
that is Jeffersonlan or democratic, and to favor
those measures and acts which tend toward the
cnoklng of liberty, the impoverishment of our peo
Pio and tho ultimate destruction of our iustitutions.