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About The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923 | View Entire Issue (Sept. 16, 1904)
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WILLIAM J. BRYAN, EDITOR AND PUBLISHER.
Vol. 4t No. 35.
Lincoln, Nebraska, September 16, 1904.
Whole Number 10-
Although ,12,000 words are consumed in Mr.
RooseveltV'letter of acceptance, that epistle is well
described by one paragraph therein: "We in
tend in the future to carry on the government in
the same way that we have carried it on in the
A considerable portion of the letter Is devoted
to the tariff and there is brief reference to reci
procity; but it is plainly shown that if the re
publican party is given a new lease of power,
there will be no tariff revision and little is to be
expected in the way of reciprocity. In many of
his letters and speeches Mr. Roosevelt has .referred
tc reciprocity and protection as "twin measures,"
also to reciprocity as- "the handmaiden of protec
tion;" but in his letter of acceptance there is no
such reference. One is justified in believing from
the tone of that letter that the tariff will be revised
whenever tariff revision suits the purposes of the
tariff barons and that the prospects for reciprocity
are just about as hopeless.
Mr. Roosevelt dismisses the trust question with
a comparatively brief reference and this reference
'plainly shows that -so far as the trusts are con
cerned, the sentence hereinbefore referred to de
scribes the purpose of the republican party: "We
ib.tend in the future to carry on the government in
the same way that wo have carried it on in the
In a rather timid way Mr. Roosevelt endorses
the ship subsidy plan, begging the privilege- of
adding "a word Of cordial agreement with ilic
policy of in. some way including within its bene
fits (the protective' System)' by pprprfajteegiay .
tion, the American merchant marine." It will be
observed that Mr. Roosevelt wants this done "in
seme way" and then he wants the legislation to be
"appropriatev; but he shows a bit of his old-time
strenubsity when he makes bold to intimate that
'this should be a part of our protective system.
Mr. Roosevelt devotes a. long chapter to the
Philippine islands, and' very clearly shows that it
is his purpose not to abandon the policy of im
perialism. The letter reads more like a lawyer's brief
than a presidential candidate's letter of acceptance.
It is full of specious -pleading, of false deduction
and in some instances, with reference to the .post:
tion of the democratic party and the democratic
candidate, it is, to put it mildly, not entirely frank.
' JJJ ,
Actions and Words
In the beginning of his letter Mr. Roosevelt
says: "Our actions speak even louder. than our
words for the faith that Is in us." Mr. RoosevelL's
words have been very strong; indeed, and yet, we
think it not unfair to say that the actions of the
Roosevelt administration do speak louder than
the words of that administration's chief.
In some of his speeches he gave reason for the
hope that ho Would not contend for the mainte
nance of tariff shelter for the trusts; and yet, in
his actions he has set himself resolutely against
tariff revision. - ''
He has loudly spoken about the blessings of
liberty and .the advantages of self-government to
which Mr. Roosevelt lias eloquently referred and
yet he Is an Imperialist.
He has spoken against extravagance with the
public money; and yet, his administration has
made an unparalleled record for extravagance.
He has spoken of the exposition of wrong do
ing and the fearless enforcement of law against
public officials who have been guilty of miscon
duct; and yet, under his administration extensive
1'rauds were committed in various departments and
the statute of limitations was permitted to operate
in favor of the former secretary of the republican
national committee and .other influential polif
He has had much to say about "shackling cun
ning in the future as in the past we have ah.ickled
force;" and ho has applied this to a proposed treat
ment of the trust evil; and yet, he has not mado
a serious effort to provide the people with relief
from trust impositions.
He has boasted loudly of his so-called cam
paign against the trusts and has pointed with
,prldo to his Northern Securities merger suit and
his civil proceedings against the beef trust; but as
"actions speak even louder than words," the peo
ple know that no material benefits have resulted
from the merger proceeding and no material
change has been brought about so far as the mer
ger interests are concerned. They also know that
since the proceedings against the beef trust were
commenced that trust has added Imposition to im
position upon the consumer.
As "actions speak even louder than words,"
-it is significant that while Mr. Roosevelt has made
loud boasts of his anti-trust campaign, he has
mado no effort to enforce the chief feature of the
Sherman anti-trust law, which is the criminal
clause; nor has lie explained, nor permitted anyone
to explain for him, why he has failed to Invoke the
criminal indictment in his pretended effort to
protect the public interests.
Mr. Roosevelt says: "In 1896 tho republican
party came -into power, and in 1900 it retained
power on certain definite pledges, each of which
was., scrupulously fulfilled." If anyone doubts tnat
'this fs; an unwarranted boast, let Kith read the roy
publican national platforms for 189C and 1900.
Among the "definite pledges" in the 1896 plat
form were the promise of reciprocity; the promise
to promote the free coinage of silver by Interna
tional agreement; the promise to give veterans
of the Union armies preference in the matter of
appointments to office; the promise to honestly en
force the civil service law; the promise to create
a. national boanj of arbitration; the promise to
admit the territories to statehood; the promise to
give "Alaska representation in congress. Not one
of these pledges has been fulfilled.
Conspicuous among the "definite pledges" in
the republican platform for 1900 was the promise
that the party would restrain and prevent all con
spiracies and combinations intended to restrict
business, to create monopolies and to lfmit pro
duction or to control prices. Another "definite
pledge" was to 'maintain "the associated policy of
reciprocity." Another "definite pledge" related to
the enforcement of the civil service law. Another
"definite pledge" related to the admission to state
hood of the territories. Not one of those "definite
pledges" has been fulfilled.
The Reason for Arbitration
Mr. Roosevelt says: "In certain great centers
and with certain grcaf Interests, our opponents
made every effort to show that the settlement of
the anthracite coal strike was by the Individual
act of the president 'and the successful suit against
the Northern Securities company (the merger case)
undertaken by the department; of justice were acts,
'because of which the present administration should
be thrown from power. Yet they dare not openly
condemn either act."
Then, referring to the coal strike, Mr. Roose
velt says': "It was only this action by the presi
dent which prevented the movement for national
ownership of the coal fields, from gaining what
might well have been an irresistible impetus."
We have all along been told that Mr. Roosevelt
suggested the arbitration of the coal strike for the
protection of .the people who were then suffering
, because of lack of fuel. But now Mr. Roosevelt
points 'but that but for his action the- movement
for national ownership of the coal fields might
welj have gained an "Irreatible impetus."
Aro we to understand, and indeed is not the
inference a fair ono, that in the suggestion for
tho coal strike arbitration, Mr. Roosevelt was
moved more through fear of public ownership of
tho coal mines than because of any serious con
cern for the people?
"Irrevocably Settled' and "Defi
Mr. Roosevelt plainly refers to Judge Parker's
famous gold telegram when lie says: "The funda
mental fact is that in a popular government such
as ours, no policy Is Irrevocably settled by law
unless tho people keep In control of tho govern
ment men who believe in that policy as a matter
Of deep rooted conviction." Also, "It Is idle to
say that tho monetary standard of the nation is
irrevocably fixed so long as the party which at tho
last election cast approximately forty-six per cent
of the total vote refuses to put In Its platform any
statement that the question Is settled."
It is interesting to compare this statement
with Mr. Roosevelt's idea of the "irrevocable"
theory of tho tariff question, ?
In another portion of his letter, referring to
the tariff question, Mr. Roosevelt says: "It i a
matter of regret that the. protective tariff. policy
which during the last forty odd years has become
part o the very fibre of the country Is not now
accepted as definitely established, purely wo havo
a right to say that It has passed beyond tho do
main of theory and a right to oxpect that not
only its original advocates but those who at one
time distrusted It on theoretic grounds should now
acquiesce in the results that have been proved over
and over again by actual experience."
If it Is so idle to say that the monetary stand
ard is "irrevocably" fixed so long as a party of tho
.democratic party's standing refuses to put in its
platform any statement that the question is set
tled, is it not all the more idle to say that tho
protective tariff system which the democratic plat
form bojdly denounces has so become part of tho
very fibre of the country that It must now be ac
cepted as "definitely established?"
When Mr. Roosevelt contends that the pro
tective tariff has been "definitely established' and
that it has "passed beyond the domain of theory,"
vith what reason does he deny to his opponent the
privilege of believing that the gold standard is
A Forgotten Plank
The republican national platform for 1904
contains the following plank: "We favor such
congressional action as shall determine whether by
special discriminations the elective franchise in
any state has been uncopstltutionally limited, and
if such is the case, we demand that representation
in congress and in tho electoral colleges shall be
proportionately reduced as directed by the con
stitution of the United States?'
Inihis letter of acceptance Mr. Roosevelt
makes no reference to this plank, although -come
republican newspapers in the north tell us that
this is of the greatest importance. To be sure,
he asks: "Can our opponents deny that here at
, home the principles of the Fourteenth and Fif
teenth amendments have been' in effect nullified ?'
and he says: "We at home can well profit hy the
example of those responsible for the actual man
agement of affairs in the Philippines;" also "In our
several- commonwealths here in the United States
we as a people how face tho complex problem of
securing fair treatment toeach man, regardless oC
Iii3 race or color." He adds that this problem
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