The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923, November 13, 1903, Image 1

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PtT,t.4-yTr""''"j"H' !,', mminniuwwr
Vol. 3; No. 43.
Lincoln, Nebraska, November 13, 193.
WJhole N. 147.
X Ilv
The Elections of 1903.
The elections of 1903 do not Indicate any de
cided trend of opinion toward or away from either
of the old parties. Kentucky, Virginia and Mis
sissippi went democratic as they have done be
fore while Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, New
Jersey, Ohio and Iowa went republican as they
have been in the habit of doing. In Rhode Island
the democrats re-elected their governor, but when
the entire vote is examined it will be seen that
Governor Garvin's victory was largely a personal
one. In Maryland the democrats had a popular
candidate and they also had a sma.ier colored vote
to contend against than they formerly had.
The victory In New York city can hardly be
regarded as a national one, not only because of
the local- issues involved, but also because the
democratic candidate for mayor this year received
a less majority than the democratic candidate for
governor received in New xork city last fall. If
both candidates ran on national issues then it
necessarily follows that the democratic vote has
fallen off in New York since last year. But the
true explanation is that municipal questions en
tered so largely into the controversy that it can
not bo regarded, as a "straw" showing the direction
Qf the wind. . Besides a democratic presidential
candidate would have to have considerably more
than 07,000 (Mr. McClellan's majority) to over
come the republican majority in the country dis
tricts of the state.
The gold papers point to the defeat of John
son as a fatal blow to the Kansas City platform
democracy, but they seem to overlook the fact
that Mr. Clarke, who was so overwhelmingly de
feated by Senator Hanna, was a gold democrat
whoso opposition to free silver was constantly
proclaimed by all the republican papers. If, as
the gold papers claim, Johnson was defeated by
gold democrats, they must be given credit for less
party loyalty than' the silver men have shown
where the reorganizes have obtained control. If
a gold man was justified in voting against John
son and Clarke because their convention Indorsed
the Kansas City platform, with what consistency
can those who believe in that platform be ap
pealed to when a convention ignores or turns
down that platform?
But before the reorganizes claim a victory
in Ohio, let them explain the defeat in Massa
chusetts, Pennsylvania and Iowa where the Kan
sas City platform was not indorsed. An exam
ination of the files of the corporation papers will
reveal the fact that they rejoiced greatly over
the "conservative victory" in Iowa. They pre
dicted great things for the party, but in spite of
the very able and energetic campaign made by
the democratic candidate, Mr, Sullivan, and in
spite of the wobbling, of Governor Oummins on
the tariff question, the, republicans carried the
state by a large majority and the reorganizes
can now see nothing but Ohio.
Insofar as a lesson can be drawn from the
election returns, it is this: The party can make
no progress while it spends moro time trying to
reconcile irreconcilable elements than it does in
trying to make converts. The party cannot suc
ceed while it Is wasting ite strength In Internal
wars. If it is going to ,e a positive force In the
country it must stand for democratic principles
and fight for democratic principles not for one
campaign", but all the time not just before elec
tion, but all through the year.
If It is going to be a national party it must
stand for the same things In all the states; As
long as it indorses in one state what It' denounces
in another its various platforms will be used to
answer each other.
The, election shows the. necessity for a homo
geneous democratic party nation-wide and truo to
its principles everywhere.
Statute of Limitation.
A reader of The Commoner asks why so many
public ofllcialB aro protected from prosecution by
the statute of limitations. The statute of limita
tions is based upon the theory that it is better to
ignore a crime after several years have elapsed
rather than to put the state to the expense of a
prosecution when witnesses have died or moved
away and evidence is hard to secure. Another
reason might bo found in tho desire to make tho
people watchful of their officials. If a crlmo
against the public must bo prosecuted within a
certain time tho people will bo more careful to
scrutinize tho acts of their public servants than
they would be if it were possible to prosecute at
any time for offenses, however remote the time
of their commission.
It Is possible that tho prosecution is some
times limited to too brief a time, but as the staU
utes in tho various states differ each must bo ex
amined upon its own merits.
That Alleged Interview.
The papers are circulating an interview which
purported to come from an Iowa man who gave
what he claimed to be tho gist of a conversation
which he had on tho train with tho editor of Tho
Commoner. "When Mr. Bryan desires to give out
an interview he does not give it to a casual ac
Mtataaceonthe train, and a sense of propriety
ought "to restrain a casual acquaintance from at
tempting to titato another person's opinions on
public questions. Whether it was tho fault of
tho reporter or of the casual acquaintance the de
ponent knoweth not, but tho purported interview
was incorrect in several particulars. Mr. Bryan
did not say that in his own opinion he could
have been elected in 189G had he been willing to
drop silver. He has never said or bolioved that
tho advocacy of bimetallism caused his defeat
In either campaign. On the contrary, he has be
lieved that he polled more votes on tho platforms
upon which ho ran in 1896 and 1900 than ho could
have polled had he abandoned the party's position
on the money question.
Mr. Bryan did not say that the silver question
would never be beard of again, but ho has often
said and now asserts that bimetallism was not
supported merely as a remedy for a panic, but
that it is a permanent system of finance, and ho
has further insisted that no ono is prepared to say
how soon the rree coinage question may become
acute. The attempt to secure an asset currency is
one evidence that we have not money enough In
this country, and there Is no country in the
world that has any to spare. With a scarcity of
gold manifesting itself everywhere, tho financiers
are seeking to extend tho area of the gold stand
ard and thus hasten the coming of another era of
falling prices.
Mr. Bryan did not say that he intended to re
tire from politics, but", on the contrary, has fre
quently asserted and now asserts that h$ expects
to continue to study and discuss public questions
as long as he lives.
Mr. Bryan did not use the language attributed
to him' in praise of the statesmanship and pop
ularity of the president. He has said that the
president would in all probability be renominated,
but in his speeches and in The Commoner he has
frequently pointed oat that the president is not
enforcing the criminal law against the trust
magnates, and is not proposing new laws for the
protection of the people against the encroach
ments of organized wealth. There are many re
publicans who believe that the president will take
un reform legislation in case he Is re-elected, but
it Is a reflection upon the president to say that he
would propose legislation after an election which
he would not be willing to propose during a
A Conscience Campaign.
Tho elections of 1903 nro past and tho cam
paign -of 1904 is upon us. What shall the demo
cratic party do?. Experience has shown that com
promises and ovaslons aro as useless from th
standpoint of oxpcdlency as thoy ' o vicious from
tho standpoint of principle And, moreover, a
defeat which follows evasion and compromlss
leaves tho party weaker for future conflict,
whllo a fight for principles scatters seed wblck
will bring a harvest later. In 189J6 tho democratic
olement In tho democratic party, after a fair and
honest contest at tho primaries, won a decisive
victory and obtained control of tho party or
ganization. Tho plutocratic eloment of tho .party
deserted and over since that tlmo hac been plot
ting against tho party. It threatens defeat If it
dictation is resisted and is powerless to give vic
tory when tho party yields to its domanda. It U
planning now to give tho democratic nomination to
a ropresontativo of corporato wealth whoso cam
paign would bo made on money furnished by th
trusts and whoso administration, If he won,
would bo controlled by Wall street, as Mr. Cleve
land's last administration was. To defeat thl
schemo and keep tho party truo to the interest
of the people will require another contest, but
this effort Is worth making. In tho campaigns of
189G and 1900 tho party had to boar tho sins of
the Cleveland administration and another sur
render would Increase tho odium and postpone
tho day of reform. Tho party must bo saved from
humiliation and disgrace, Six millions of voters,
if fearless and aggressive, will soon win a vic
tory for good government and thoy can only be
made fearless and aggressive by the resolution
that comes ffom deep convictions and high pur
pose. The democratic party cannot win a demo
cratic victory by the use of money, even If it wore
base enough to try it, for such a Victory would not
be democratic if by any possibility It was achieved.
If the people aro to secure needed reforms they
must conduct a conscience campaign; they must
uso honest methods and appeal to honest men
who desire honest government. There is far mora
hope of success if the time Is spent explaining
democratic principles to conscientious republican
than there Is if tho time is frittered away la
quarreling with men who call themselves demo
crats, but whose sympathies aro with organized
greed. Votes that are for sale go to the highest
bidder, and democracy's puny purse cannot meas
ure itself against tho overflowing chest of th
republican party. But In an appeal to tho higheti
and better elements of the human heart the demo
cratic party would have little competition from
the republican leaders.
Tho tlmo is ripe for tho conscience campaign.
Will you enlist? Can you be counted on, not for
a year, but until our nation Is redeemed from
plutocracy and made "a government of the people
by tho people, for the people?" '
the Bennett Wiil Case.
Mr. Bryan gave out the following Interview o
Judge Cleveland's decision in the Bennett will
case. (Decision will bo found In next week's !-
The decision of Judge Cleveland in the Ben
nett will case is in my favor on all tho moral
questions raised by the heirs, and against me on
the technical law points only.
The judge finds that no undue Influence wa
exerted on Mr. Bennett and that no Injustice was
done to the relatives. He holds, however, that th
letter to Mrs. jiennett cannot be probated witlt
the will, but he expressly disclaims any Inteatio
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