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About The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923 | View Entire Issue (Aug. 19, 1904)
AUGUST 19. 1904.u-
,be remembered that the republicans in congress
.defeated a resolution for the appointment of an
investigating committee. Why were the repub
licans unwilling .that the .investigation should bo
made by a committee composed of democrats as
well as republicans? 'Why did the republicans in
sist that the investigation should be a one-sided,
partisan republican investigation?
If a county ofneial admitted that there was
some corruption in his office but insisted that its .
investigation should be made by a committee com-
posed entirely of members of his own party, it
would be regarded as a confession that he did not
want all of the facts made public. Why should
we apply a different rule when a republican ad
ministration admits corruption in the departments
but insists that only republicans shall know the
inside facts? The republicans have no argument
that will answer their own conduct in preventing
a non-partisan investigation.
Judge Parker's election will give us a chance
to look at the books and to ascertain the full
extent of the. corruption which became so flagrant
that it could no longer be concealed.
Cleveland's Blighting Endorse
ment Mr. Cleveland has endorsed the nomination of' ,
Judge Parker,-but ho has done it in such a way
as to justify the judge in praying to be saved
from such friends. Instead of rejoicing that
Mr. Parker's election would rid the country of
imperialism, reduce the army, quench the, war
like spirit whi Ah the president has engendered and
remove the race question from politics, Mr. Cleve
land insults the loyal democrats by talking about
a return to "sanity," and enlarges upon the judge's
telegram. Mr. Clevelan'd seems more anxious to
turn the. campaign into a vindication of himself
than to contribute toward Judge Parker's election.
Guessing Contests Illegal
The New York court of appeals has held the
guessing contest illegal. In the case' before the
court the United States Tobacco Journal printed
,an advertisement for a firm which offered cash
prizes for guesses on the amount of revenue taxes
paid on various brands of cigars. The court held
that the "dominating and controlling factor in the
award was chance" and that it was therefore a vio
lation of the anti-lottery law. It is to be hoped
that the same logic will be applied to the demor
alizing newspaper guessing contests which some
of the large dailies are running. The Louisiana
lottery in its worst days was a virtuous institu
tion compared with these newspaper lotteries and
it is astonishing that the postofflce department
permits them to use the mails.
Judge Parker's Acceptance
The Commoner is "gratified to be able to com
mend' the speech (to be found on. another page)
made by Judge Parker on the occasion of his noti
fication. He takes a strong position against im
perialism a position entirely in harmony with
the party's position in the campaign of 1900. His
utterances on this subject and on the kindred
subject of militarism make this an Important if
not the most Important issue in the campaign.
With Judge Parker in the executive chair Phil
ippine independence will soon be an accomplished
fact and one of the evil results of republican rule
removed. Judge Parker's condemnation of the
president's disregard for constitutional limitation
is strong and clear, and his analysis of the powers
of the co-ordinate branches of the government
sound and statesmanlike.
He uses the Colorado troubles as an Illustra
tion of the danger of lawlessness upon the part
of the authorities. It is to be hoped that his
formal letter ot acceptance will "cover other phases
of the labor question the eight-hour day, arbitra
tion and government by injunction.
His treatment of the tariff question is not as
satisfactory as it might be. He concedes too "much
when he says that it will be impossible to change
the political complexion of the senate during the
next four years. One-third of the senate goes out
noxt spring and another third in two years and
it is not at all impossible that he may have a
democratic senate after 1906, If ie senate Is to
be republican during his entire adm'nistratlon
then the only change to be hoped for is
a change of executive with only such1 leg
islative reform as a republican senate will con
sent to. On the trust question, too, his speech is ,
general rather than specific. The failure of the
president to enforce the law is proporly criticized
but thoro is nothing in his speech calculated to
make the trust issue a vital ono in the campaign.
The declaration of his purposo not to bo a candi
date again in caso of his electoion will go far to
convlnco the public of his purpose to dischaigo
his duty with an cyo single to his country's good
as he understands that good. His desire to re
movo selfish considerations contrasts most favor
ably with the three years' effort of the present
incumbent to secure a second term. The speech
is sure to make the judge friends and will In
crpase his growing chances of success.
Jefferson not only announced great funda
mental principles, but he applied them to so many
different questions that he can be read as an au
thority, on all questions of today. He was op
posed to imperialism and believed In self-government;
lie was for a republic composed of equal
and 'self-governing states and entirely opposed to
the colonial Idoa.
He was opposed to a large army and believed
that a government was stronger when resting
upon the love of the people than when toloratcd
only because of fear.
He was so opposed to the principles of mo
nopoly that ho only excepted copyrights and pat
ents. Here is the amendment which he suggested
to the constitution: "Monopolies may bo al-Jt
lowed to persons for their own productious in
literature, and their own inventions in the- arts,
for a term not exceeding years, but for no
longer term, and for no other purposo." At an
other time ho suggested fourteen years as the
limit for patdnts.
His hostility to monopoly was exemplified In
1787 in a communication to John Jay, in which
ho said: "A, company had silently and by unfair
means obtained a monopoly for the making and
solliifg of spermaceti candles (In France).' As
soon as we (Lafayette assisted him) discovered
it, we solicited lt3 suppression which is effected
by a clause in the Arret."
He denounced as a fatal fallacy the doctrine
that a national debt is a blessing.
Ho was the relentless enemy of banks of Is
sue. At one time, he declared that banks of is
sue were more dangerous than, standing armies.
At another time he said: "I hope wo shall crush
in its birth the aristocracy of our raonied corpora
tions, which dare already to challenge our gov
ernment to a trial of strength, and bid defiance
to the laws of our country."
In 1819 he said: "Interdict forever to both
the state and tbe national government the power
of establishing any paper bank; for without this
interdiction we shal.l have the same ebbs and
flows of medium, and the same revolution of prop
erty to go through every twenty or thirty years."
He warned his countrymen against the dan
, gers of an appointive judiciary holding ofllce for
Of the freedom of speech ho said: "The lib
erty of speaking and writing guards our other
jOf the freedom of the press he wrote: "Our
liberty depends on the freedom of the press, and
that cannot be limited without being lost."
He was the author of the statute of Vir-
ginia guaranteeing religious liberty, and Was also
the father of the University of Virginia. He fav
ored a free school system which would bring to
every child an opportunity to secure an education.
He was an advocate of the jury system; and
he argued in favor of freeing the slaves three
quarters of a century before Lincoln issued his
His writings fill many volumes and cover
almost every conceivable subject, but through all
that he said there runs the evidence of a great
heart as well as a great intellect.
There is need today of a revival of Jeffer
sonian principles. He was not an enemy of hon
estly acquired wealth, but he believed that the
government had no right to exaggerate by fav
oritism the differences between individuals. He
believed that all should stand equal before tho
law and that every department of government,
executive, legislative and judicial, should recog
nize and protect the rights of the humblest citi
zen as carefully as it would the rights of the
greatest and most influential.
Jefferson's .principles, applied to the problems
of the Twentieth century, would restore the re
public to its old foundations and make it the
supreme moral factor in the world's progress.
The application of his principles today would re
store industrial Independence and annihilate
. trusts. The application of his principles today
would drive the money changers out of the tem
ple, Insure to tho people a stable currency and
harrnonizo labor and capital by compelling Justice
Society today has Its aristocratic and Its
democratic elements;' whother Jefferson's prin
ciples are applied depends upon which element
controls the government.
George W. Berge
If the people or Nobrnska want an honest,
able, industrious and courageous chiof executive
they havo a chance to sccuro one. Hon. Geo. W
Bcrgo, the fusion nominee, Is admirably fitted to
givo tho people a real reform administration,
lie is a scholarly man with taste for public af
fairs, Incorruptible and a sincere advocate of tho
principles that underlie popular government. Ho
ought to bo elected by nn overwhelming majority.
Both on public occasions and In the routlno work
of his ofilco he will, if elected, bo a model after
which future governors can pattern.
When tho people arc allowed to elect their
postmasters tho postofllce department will not be
controlled by men moro anxious to serve political
interests than they are to serve tho people.
A Great Work
ThoCommoner Intends to do Its ;iart In tho
great educational campaign upon which the
'American peoplo are about to enter.
1 TJio Commoner believes that the time has
come when railroad ownership of the public should
lie abolished- and public ownership of railroads
!" An income tax is necessary In order that the
biirdcn of taxation may be equitably distributed.
Federal judges should be elected by the peo
ple to serve for a limited period.
Postmasters should be elected by the peoplo
whom they are presumed to serve.
The principle of municipal ownership of public
utilities should be established In every community.
A private monopoly is Indefensible and intol
erable. United States senators should be elected by
Upon these lines The Commoner will under
take to do its part in the effort to encourage those
who already appreciate tho Importance of these
proposed reforms and to inform 'those who may
be Ignorant upon the subject.
Those who agree with Tho Commoner on theso
lines may find in the special subscription offer an
opportunity to help In this educational campaign.
-The increase in the circulation of The Commoner
means the widening of Its sphere of Influence.
Tho attention of those who are willing 4
assist In this work is dirdcted to Tho Commoniir'g
special subscription offer.
According to tho terms of this offer, cards,
each gdod for one year's subscription to Tho
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Anyone ordering the cards may sell them for
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has contributed to the educational campaigu.
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below for the convenience of those who desire to
participate in this effort to increase The Com
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