The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923, October 21, 1904, Page 11, Image 11

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    OCTOBER 21, 1304
The Commoner.
Loiter of Thomo.8 E. Watson
(Continued from page 7.)
choes, rivets, tacks, screws, pJpe. fluwl
and wire. They doubled the tax on
molasses, and put an addition of forty
five million dollars to the price which
the people were paying for sugar un
der the "culminating atrocity or class
legislation," tho McKInley act. Ihey
pitied the laoorer ana pronmcu to ue ,
his friend, and they let the Pullman I
Palace Car company have the use of
tho army to compel the submiosiun of
laborers to a' cut in wages. They prem
ised to abolish child labor, and in those
states of the south. where the demo
cratic party is most absolute, child
slavery is most immovably planted.
They promised tho people a graduated
income tax, which should compel the
millionaires and tho gigantic coipora
tions to contribute something to the
support of the government upon which
they fatten; but-now they have given
up the contest." Tho income tax no
longer appears in their platform. The
millionaires and corporations support
ing Parker are not tho kind of demo
crats to clamor for a graduated in
come tax.
How any party which has for recent
years stood for so many different
things and broken so many contracts
can now expect,to be trusted, is a puz
zle in politics. The manner in which
tho platform of 1904 was evolved, the
manner in which Parker's nomination
was brought about, ought to intensify
the distrust which the bad record Of
the party, justly creates. Every line of
the platform seems to be in. a tremble,
lest it should displease the beneficiaries
of class-legislation. Every tone of its
quaking voice seems to say to the cor
porations. "Don't be afraid, I won't
hurt you." With the anxious fear of
Snug the Joiner in "Midsummer
Night's Dream," the apparent lion
kindly dissipates the fear of his audi
ence by .assuring them in advance that
its roar Is only for stage purposes. If
that platform had been meant to please
the people, how easy it would have
been to write it But it was meant to
delude the people and to please the
corporations; hence its wonderful con
tortions in verbiage, its agonized ef
forts to. use much language and say
nothing. This much must be admitted,
however, the candidate fits the plat
form as though, a political taixor had
measured him for it. Parker can
probably use more words and say less
that you are certain of than any man
in America.
The people's party is Jeffnisonlan
to the core. It has never emasculated
its creed to curry favor. It has pre
ferred to win, its way into minds and
hearts by earnest advocacy of fixed
principles. Its chief reliance lias been
on political education. It assails the
evils of class-legislation, and for every
abuse oilers a remedy. It does not
blindly seek to tear down. It seeks to
reform, to repair, to renovate, to re
store. "We would, if we could, go back
to the system of our forefathers. The
class-legislation which is the bane of
our government, at this time, obtained
the upper hand in our republic twice
before, and was twice driven out. Jef
ferson did it once; then Jackson de
mocracy in Jackson's day paid oC the
national debt, overthrew the national
bank, revoked many of the privileges
of favored classes, and put the 'reins
of power back into the hands ot the
People. The protective principle was
struck down; and the Walker tariff in
augurated an era of great prosperity.
Charles Dickens, who visited this
country previous to the civil war,
wrote back to his home that a flam
ing sword in the air would not excite
more amazement than a beggar in the
streets of Boston; and he expressed his
astonishment at the general piosperity
of the people.
That was when genuine democracy
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Tbe Leading Catalogue House in the World
was ruling the land and insp.ring ita
legislation. This prosperous conaitlon
continued, in the main, until our civil
war. That deplorable conflict was
hardly less terrible in loss of life than
in the legislation to which it gave
provocation and opportunity. Natioual
banks gained foothold once moie; a
mountain of bonds arose; monstrous
tariffs, framed with the view of enrich
ing favored industries, were imposed;
corporations seized upon the public
lands; the money power .began that se
ries of "forays upon the government
and upon tho producing classes4 which
has transferred almost the whole of
the wealth of the country to those who
never bravely fought for the govern
ment in time of war, nor honestly
served it in time of peace. . The grand
arin'es of Industry win the ycarlv vic
tory over nature by toil, producing the
wealth which the captains of industry
appropriate to themselves by subtle
chicanery. The vastly greatei part of
the wealth of this country is enjoyed
by men who never produced a dollar
m their lives.
No War Upon Private Property
The people's party makes no war
upon private ownership, upon honest
wealth, or legitimate profits. It simply
combats the legislation which builds
up one man at the expense of an
other, which gives special privileges to
ono class at the expense of another,
which discriminates against a citizen
or a class of citizens in favor ot oth
ers. In short, the people's party de
clares its hostility to privilege, and de
mands legislation whose motto shull be
'Equal and exact justice to nil, with
out favors to any."
Such rascality as those of the copper
trust, or the steel combine should
either be made impossible, or th6 ad
ministration of law so invlgoraied that
the criminals who steal millions shall
wear the ball and chain side oy side
with the thief who stole a pig;
We believe in the monpy of the con
stitution. We do not bend in super
stitious reverence to silver and gold.
We believe that any currency which
the government declares to be legal
tender, will be "sound money" as long
as the government Is "sounJ." We
have less fear that the government will
ever Issue too many paper dollars than
we have that It will issue too many
bonds. A government must govern;
and the creation of money is a part
of the sovereign power. The govern
ment must decide how many soldiers
shall come to the flag; must decide
how many battleships shall hold "the
ocean lists against the world in mail."
it is no more likely to make a mistake
by issuing too much money than it is
to make a worse mistake by calling
too many bread-winners into the mili
tary service.
"Rag baby!" cries the editor; "Rag
baby!" cries the fossil in the academy.
Yet that same editor, and that sanio
acadomic fossil, Is quick to approve
when the government makes a bond
out of rags, and allows the baukei to
issue rag notes on the rag bonds. What
children we are, after all! Smc men
go around in mental swaddling clothes
all the days of their blessed lives.
The people's party favora the pub
lic ownership of public utilities. In
nearly every civilized country tho gov
ernment owns the railways, the tele
graphs and tho telephones. The last
two should be a part of our postofllco
system,, to which should be added the
parcel post, to free our people from
the extortionate charges of the express
The people's party has always ear
nestly advocated the graduated income
tax. This would not only throwf the
support of the government upon the
rich, where it should be, but wouid, Jn
a great measure, prevent the accumu
lation of huge, unnecessary 'and dan
gerous fortunes. We favor the e.ght
hour law, and the abolition of child
labor in factories, where the unhealthy
moral and physical conditions are air
most certain to destroy the child. Wo
(Continued on page 12:)
and tb4 IltietiHi&tlun's gima.