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About The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923 | View Entire Issue (Sept. 1, 1905)
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WILLIAM J, BRYAN, EDITOR AND PROPRIETOR
VoL.5. No. 33
Lincoln, Nebraska, September 1, 1905
Whoie Number 241 $
Time for Repentance
The President's Opportunity
Here is a Ciia.noe
Taft to Filipinos
,Tiie Power of Persistence
The Literature of the Children
The President on Temperance
They are not Entirely Philanthropic
, Comment on Current Topics
The Primary Pledge
News of the Week
THE PRESIDENT'S OPPORTUNITY
At the Chicago tariff revision convention Ed
itor Rosewater, of, the Omaha Bee, pointed out
that it is, necessary to reform the methods of
electing United States senators before anything
can be dqnetoward securing economic reform?"
He said he had called the president's attention
to. the subject. Mr. Rosewater has struck the
keynote. The popular election of senators is
the gateway to other reforms. Two democratic
national platforms have demanded this reform,
but this should not keep the republicans from
favoring it. Two populist platforms endorsed the
change before the democratic conventions acted
on it, but that did not deter the democrats. Two
democratic congresses (the Fifty-second and
Fifty-third) passed the necessary -resolution
through the lower house and afterward two re
publican houses the (Fifty-Sixth and Fifty-seventh)
did the same. More than two-thirds of the states
have already endorsed the reform through their
Thus it will be seen that no party can claim
it as a partisan movement. The president has a
great opportunity to strike a blow at corporate
domination. Let him send a ringing message
to congress recommending this reform and with
the democrats already for it his personal influ
ence would be sufficient to force it through the
senate. If it did fail of passage through the
senate the president's action would insure a
plank in the next republican national convention
endorsing the reform.
Will the president improve the opportunity?
This reform is so important that the credit of
securing it would be glory enough for one ad
ministration. Will the president act or leave his
successor to secure the honor?
A .Chicago judge declares that the boy who
fights and scrapsthe "rough house" boy will
"under proper restraint" make a better citizen
than the "good" boy. There are two objections
to this logic. First it may be difficult to bring
him under "proper restraint" end no parent is
willing to risk the ruin of his son In the hope
that his fighting qualities may finally be turned
to advantage. And, second, it is not true that
a useful life can be grafted upon a bad character
easier than upon a good character. The judge
seems to adopt, the strenuous view of life which
assumes that one will become a degenerate un
less he engages in a fight every few days.
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TIME FOR REPENTANCE
Bishop Fallows thus speaks of the possibili
ties of a Rockefeller conversion:
Governor La Folletto, my fellow univer
sity student, has declared, according to re
port, Rockefeller is the greatest criminal of
the age. Miss Tarbcll has said he is money
mad. Taking it for granted that his con
duct has been correctly stated, there is not
a doubt that money madness has seized him
through and through.
In that madness he has bitten tens of
thousands of youths and grown-up men. I
cannot help believing that the graft mad
ness so widely prevailing has an intimate
relationship to the baleful influence he has so
widely exerted. There are insane persons
and criminally insane characters. We make
a fundamental distinction between the two.
Which class of money mad people does Mr.
Rockefeller belong to? The ordinary Insane
person has lost the faculty of judgment. He
can not discern correctly. He can not dis
tinguish between right and wrong.
I believe Rockefeller to be mentally de
fective and color-blind in his makeup. He is
a religious man. He is a member In good
standing in the Baptist church. But he has
put religion in one compartment of his be
ing and business in another." He has seen
no moral connection between them. St.
Paul's eyes were opened to the fearful mis
take he had been ignorantly niaklng. From
being a red-handed murderer by law he went
to the front rank as a benefactor of mankind.
But he confessed his guilt, incurred through
ignorance. Let Mr. Rockefeller do the same.
'Let him boldly and at once say "the things I
have done were wrong." Let him use his im
mense wealth at the same time in undoing
that wrong as far as possible and in blessing
his fellowmen. Fully forgiven, both by God
and man, he will rise at once to be the St.
John of the twentieth century. No other
man now living has such an opportunity.
What a prospect! Rockefeller repentant and
endeavoring to atone for the sins of the past!
And yet such a reformation is not without paral
lel. The conscience can do wonders when
aroused. The heart Is ever in search of peace
and It can not find it except in "the conscience
void of offense toward God and man." Rockefeller
is growing old; he realizes that ho has but a
short time to live. He is a believer In Immor
tality anJ he is beginning to think more and more
of that future life whose realities he must soon
try. When he was younger ho may have de
rived some- pleasure Trom bankrupting a rival.
Even the suicide bf a broken hearted competitor
may not have disturbed him, but he is soon to
meet some of his victims. Will he enjoy tho
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