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About The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923 | View Entire Issue (April 10, 1903)
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APRIL 10, . 1903. , .'.-'.
It is known to" every one familiar with our Philip
pine policy that the government we have estab
lished in the Philippines does not derive its pow
ers from the consent of the governed.
The Register and Leader says:
lnere is no occasion now to thresh over
the historic precedents, from the purchase of
Louisiana down, for the course that has been
pursued by this government in the Philip
pine islands. It is enough to know that with
the single exception that statehood was not
promised in the treaty with Spain, as it was
when territory was acquired from France and
Mexico, there has not a thing been done in
the Philippines that the fathers of the re
public have not established a precedent for,
from Jefferson down. And what difference in
the actual situation has the promise of state
hood made? Indian Territory, of the-Louisiana'
purchase, 4s still a territory after 100
years, and rightly so as Mr. Bryan will ad
mit, and under the regulation of congress as
fully as the'island of Luzon is. New Mexico,
of the acquisition from Mexico, after nearly
60 years is still a territory, and at least un
til the present, as Mr. Bryan must admit,
rightly so, and under the regulation of con
i .gress. Congress -has exercised its own judg
ment about conferring statehood on our Amer
ican territories, without violating the Declar
ation of Independence Absolutely nothing
. has yet occurred to indicate that independence
in some form will not be conferred upon the
Philippine islands as rapidly as they, are cap
able of exercising it, and until something does
occur, there is not a precedent in our whole
national history to warrant Mr. Bryan's ,
The Register and Leader -intimates that some
thing else must be brought to light to convince
that newspaper that the republican policy is not
in harmony with the principles which Lincoln
It is a fact that very nearly every policy
pursued by the republican party of today finds
condemnation in Lincoln's speeches and writings;
and this condemnation is so severe that it might
seem that the words of Lincoln were written, not
for the evils of his day, but, in truth, as a protest
against the republican policies of the present
For instance, the Register and Leader says
that independence is to be given to the Filipinos
"as rapidly as they are capable of exercising it"
That is the promise made in .the republican na
tional platform of 1900. Has the Register and
Leader forgotten that in one of Abraham Lin
coln's speeches there is a criticism of such pledges
a criticism so complete that one not knowing
its author might believe that it was written af
ter the republican national platform of 1900 had
"Those arguments that are made," said-Abraham
Lincoln, "that the inferior races are to be
treated with as much allowance as they are capa
ble of. enjoying, that as much is to be done for
them as their condition will allow, what are these
arguments? They are the arguments that kings
Lave made for enslaving the people infill ages
of the world. You will find "that all the arguments
in favor of kingcraft were of this class; they al
ways bestrode the necks of the people not that
they wanted to do it, but because the people were
better off for being ridden. That is their' argu
ment. . . . Turn it whatever way you will, whether
it come from the mouth of kings as an excuse for
enslaving the people of their country or 'from the
mouth of the men of one race as a, reason for en
slaving the men'of another race, it is the same old
The Register and Leader is in error when it
says that "with the single exception that .state
Stood was not promised in the treaty with Spain,
as it was when territory was acquired from Franco
and Mexico, ""there has not a thing been done in
the Philippines that the fathers of the republic
have not established a precedent for froni Jeffer
The Register and Leader has doubtless over
bed the fact that trial by jury is a privilege
denied to the people of the Philippines, while the
enjoyment of that privilege was explicitly pro
vided for in congressional legislation relating to
our earlier acquisitions.
Congress has passed Nlaws designating tho peo
ple of Porto Rico, as "citizens of Porto Rico" and
the people of tho Philippines as "citizens of tho
Philippines." Can this republican paper point to .
any act of congress in the days of tho fathers
which shows that United States citizenship was
denied to those who came under our authority?
Is it not true that the Inhabitants of tho ter
ritory acquired in tho fathers' time were, if they
so elected, regarded as citizens of the United
Did the faUiers ever, levy 'tariffs against these
newly acquired tcuitories?
-Is it not true that the properly thus acquired
was speedily formed into territories and that no
suggestion of the colonial system pertained to it?
For the purposes of this discussion it is not im
portant that Indian Territory and Now Mexico
are yet territories even after tho lapse of nearly a
century. Ine important; fact is that the people
of these territories are citizens of the United
States whose every right is protected by the con-,
stitution. . "
The fathers, while exercising authority over
these sections, did not deny to the inhabitants
thereof the privilege of becoming citizens of the
-government under which they wore required to
live and did not undertake to designate them as
citizens of a mythical government.
It is one thing to delay or withhold the grant
of statehood to a territory; it is quite another
thing to deny to the people of a territory over
which we have asserted jurisdiction the privilege
of United States citizenship.
It is one thing to maintain territories, as New.
Mexico and the Indian territory have been main
tained, and it is quite another thing to establish
colonies like Porto Kico and tho Philippines.
There ls a marked dirierence between the
territorial acquisition of. tho fathers and the im
perialism of the present day.
If the editor of the Register and Leader de
sires to read some impressive statements defin
ing this difference he might"" consult a work writ
ten by Theodore Roosevelt, now president of the
United States. In "The Winning of the West,"
this republican editor will learn something to his .
advantage from the pen of the republican leader.
1 Brother Watterson is sure that Cleveland
wants to be a candidate again, and he takes oc
casion to speak very bitterly about Mr. Cleve
landmore bitterly than a conservative man like
the editor of The Commoner would feel disposed
to speak. There is no doubt that Mr. Watter
son is perfectly honest in his effort to prevent Mr.
Cleveland's running. He first appealed to him,
as it were on bended knees, not to be "a candidate,
and then when appeals seemed vain he belabored
him with his oratorical and rhetorical, club, or,
rather, pen. He quotes from the various Cleve
land papers, and seems to make a good case
against Mr. Cleveland, if ambition to be a candi
date for the fourth" time were a crjme.
The Philadelphia Record of March 25 has a,
column on the first page under big headlines an
nouncing that Cleveland is being boomed by a
man of the not uncommon name of Jones. Mr.
Jones says:. "But I find that Mr. Cleveland's pop
ularity is almost unbounded." And Mr. Jones also
says that Mr. Cleveland has "never yet refused
to serve his party," and adds, "While he may have
an aversion to 'again entering public life he will
not fail us at a time when he is most needed."
Well, if tho reorganizers obtain control of the
party, why should not Cleveland be the nominee?
If the .party has made a mistake in taking tho
people's side and in casting Mr. Cleveland aside,
why should it not take Mr. -Cleveland up again
if it decides to cast the peoplo aside? It would
be a great deal bettor to nominate Mr. Clovoland,
so that the voters would know certainly what
they wero voting for (or against), than to nomi
nate somo other plutocrat' with Clovoland's vlowa w"
and sentiments, but whoso position is not known j
to tho people. ..-
Lot us have a clean-cut, open fight between
the democratic party and Mr. Cleveland. If Mr.
Cleveland is defeated he- can vote the republican
ticket as usual. If he Is' successful In securing tho
nomlnatlonwell, ho will doubtless support the
v The Racer Question.
Whether or not tho president thought he was .
doing the colored race a favor when ho invited
Booker T. Washington to the White house, It is
quite evident that ho succeeded In doing tho col
ored man a groat deal of harm. No public man
'could justify himself in raising the question or so
cial equality unless ho intended to follow It up
by efforts to secure that equality. Tho president
unnecessarily Injected tho question into our po
litical life, and then left tho Colored man to bear
it alone, except insofar as he has actually em
barrassed him Jjy his efforts to put him into
prominent positions in the south against tho
protests of the white peoplo. It seems, however, -that
In tho case of Mr, Vlck of North Carolina
"the door of hope" was not important when it
interfered with tho political plans of the presi
dent's supporters in that state.
If tho president really believes social equality
between the white and the black man a desirable
thing, he ought to go farther than ho has; if he
does not believe it, ho ought not td have gone
so far. it he is actuated by a desire Co help the
negro by appointing him to position he .might
show it first by making tho appointments where
tho race question is not acute; and, second, when
ho does make an appointment in tho south ho
ought to make It for tho help of the negro ap
pointed, and not for the help of any republican
candidate who may seek delegates from tho
Government by Injunction.
A reader of The Commoner desires to know
the 'meaning of "government by injunction." It
is the namq given to that process of the court
by which judges, moBtly federal judges, have at
the request of corporations restrained the employes
of tho corporations from doing certain specified
acts.. If such acts are already prohibited by law,
then the violation of tho law should be punished
In the ordinary way and the accused be given
a trial by jury. If the acta prohibited by tho
court aro not prohibited by statute, then tho
court is making criminal law, and, this is not its
province. A bill was introduced some years ago
and passed through the senate making it unlaw
ful for a court to punish for contempt unless the
contempt was committed in the presence of tho
court. This bill passed the senate practically;
without opposition, but as soon as tho corpora
tions discovered the purpose of this, bill they,
succeeded in defeating it in the house, and since
that time it has never been able to pass either
house, or, in fact, to obtain consideration.
"" ' M M M " 1 '..
Recipe for Harmony. '
The recipe for "harmony usually given by tho
reorganizers is as follows: Mix sixteen parts of
loyal, democrats with one part of unrepentant
bolters and, stir until all the bolters are on top.
Then skim off the top with an official ladle and
throw the balance away. - .".;
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