The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923, March 05, 1909, Image 1

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    The Commoner.
LVOL. 9, NO. 8
Lincoln, Nebraska, March 5, 1909
Whole Number 424
The Brooklyn Eagle recently contained an in-
rview with Senator Patrick McCarren, of
fboklvn. in which he savs:
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iat affords opportunity to the democratic party
make an issue on which it might successfully
peal to the people. We have not been on the
ght side of any public issue since the civil war.
For instance, we were on the wrong side of the
sivil war issue, because of the fact that so many
wZ the democratic states were opposed to the
ruition. Then, intervening between the period
of the war and the timo of Tilden, we were on
the wrong side of the tariff issue. Everybody
fknows that the election of Tilden was a protest
:against the methods of the republican party at
that time, and a declaration In favor of a change
in the methods of government.
"Since that time we have been on the wrong
Bide of every issue, with the exception of one
campaign in which Cleveland was elected. His
election was a repetition of the Tilden period.
It was an effort on the part of the people to
wrest the government from the hands of the
republicans, because of the belief that their
methods were high handed and detrimental to
the interests of the country;
"Then the Bryan period followed, beginning
with the declaration in favor of the unlimited
coinage of silver at an arbitrary ratio. It is
unnecessary to elaborate on recent happenings .
for the reason that every democrat today, young
and old, realizes the disastrous consequences
thathavQ-followedJth.Q.attitude of our party
on all the questions that presidential contests
are decided on. The patriotism of the country
was arrayed against us because of our attitude
on questions following the Spanish war. Our
anti-expansion stand lined up the young Amer
ican voters against us. While I have never
voted anything but a democratic ticket in my
life, and have worked for no other than the
candidates 6t democracy, I. did so in the belief
and with the feeling in many campaigns that
I was pursuing a forlorn hope because of the
realization of the fact that the position of our
party would not be indorsed by a majority of
"It is evident, to my mind, that we must put
ourselves on that side of national issues that
will be indorsed by the voters, and the sooner
we do it the better. The result of the last
election, it seems to me, is so pointed that there
can be no controverting the statement that the
American people will not stand for radical
theories In the affairs of our government. To
my mind, Mr. Taft waB elected because he was
suspected of being conservative."
Before commenting on this interview, The
Commoner took occasion to make Inquiry and
ascertain that Senator McCarren had been cor
rectly quoted, and it is brought to the attention
of the readers of The Commoner because It
illustrates the embarrassments under which the
democratic party has labored. In a war no
great hope of victory could be entertained if the
armies were officered by mon who. were opposed
to the principles for which the army was fight
ing. For instance, a man who believed in
monarchy would not be a' good person to lead
an army fighting to establish popular govern
ment, and so a man who believes that the dem
ocratic party has been on the wrong side of
every issue since the civil war is not a good
man to lead the democratic party. Assuming
that Senator McCarren honestly did the best
he could in the late campaign, it must bo ap
parent to every reasonable man that ho could
not arouse enthusiasm among his followers when
he confesses that "in many campaigns" ho
worked with the "feeling" that he was "pur
suing a forlorn hope."
The democratic party is entitled to leaders
who are in sympathy with the voters of the
party. Someone has defined a leader as one
who Is going in the same direction as the people,
BUT A LITTLE BIT AHEAD, and surely one
can not wisely, courageously or successfully lead
wlo is going in an opposite direction from those
whom he leads. The men who fight and die in
the trenches are entitled to leaders whoso hearts
aro-in the-fight and-who-belleve-that the success
of the party .will be good for the couritry.
The democratic party Iran boon, very much
handicapped for twelve years, first, by a lack
of newspapers in the eastern states. But few
of the large dailies have supported the demo
cratic party, and the largo dallies that have
supported the ticket have almost without ex
ception repudiated the platform either during
the campaign or immediately afterwards. In
like manner many of the men who have been
at the head of the organization in the cast have
promptly repudiated the platform as soon as
the campaign was over, and have, botwoon cam
paigns, lent their Influonco to those who have
condemned the democratic position on public
questions. Most of thom have not gono as far
as Sonator McCarren, and yet their influonco
has been cast against tho party rathof than for
it. In tho face of these continual assaults upon
tho policy of tho party, it is astonishing Vat
tho party has polled as largo a voto as It liafl.
It is ovidenco of tho Incorruptibility of tho dem
ocratic masses that thoy continuo to fight for
democratic principles in spite of tho flosertion
of the party's policies by those who control tho
A. permanent democratic club ought to bo
organized in every county of tho United States
a club committed unqualifiedly not merely to tho
name but to tho policies of the party. Such
a club Is needed more in tho east than in tho
west, but thero ought to be such a club In every
county, oven in tho west. Its mombers ought
to dovoto themselves to tho propagation of dem
ocratic doctrine; thoy ought to establish In
ovory county a local papor that will preach dem
ocratic doctrine all tho timo, and in ovory pri
mary contest they ought to labor to put tho
democratic organization in tho hands of those
who will make tho fight with earnestness and
with a' confidonco in final victory. Tho demo
cratic party has been a "house divided against
itself," and this has been and is its greatest
weakness. It would not strengthen tho party
for tho reform element to cease to fight, for
without the reform element tho democratic party
'would soon bo a thing of tho past. Will the
reform element take up tho fight and secure for
the noxt campaign not only a democratloJJcket ,.
and democratic candidates, vbut an organization
which believes in the. policies of tho party and
which will fight for those poUotod hvvuitse-ic:
believes In thom?
Tho national organization made a splendid
fight last year, but In some cases it had to work
through local organizations that were lukewarm
and through some which were unfriendly to
the general purpose of tho party. This ought
not to bo the case again, and it must not be
the case if the party is going to make a success
ful fight.
The evidence brought out before the investi
gation 'committee at Washington shows that
the steel trust did not deal candidly with tho
president; it used the panic to force tho presi
dent to allow the steel trust to swallow up its
largest competitor. The steel trust controlled
about 44 per cent of the supply of iron ore;
the Tennessee Coal and Iron company owned
about 18 per cent. When the steel trust
secured the holdings of the Tennessee Coal and
Iron company, it brought its proportion of the
entire iron ore of the country up to 62 per
cent. Controlling tho raw material it is able
to dictate terms to those who attempt to com
pete with it in the manufacture of steel and
From the data secured by tho industry com
mission from the Age of Iron and the Age of
Steel, and other trade journals, it has been
ascertained that tho steel trust controls 54 per
cent of the coke; 49 per cent of the pig iron;
GO per cent of the steel; 70 per cent of tho
steel rails; 60 per cent of finished iron and
steel products; 63 per cent of wire rodsf 94
per cent of wire; 95 per cent of wire and nails;
94 per cent of tubes and pipes; 95 per cent of
tin plate; 85 per cent of bridges and 66 per
cent of copperas.
This is the steel trust as we have It now.
The republican party has permitted this gigan
tic corporation to increase Its hold upon the
iron business of the country until it is now In
a position to dictate terms to its competitors.
If .a .competitor dares to cross, its track or to
interfere with its plans, tho competitor Is In
danger of being annihilated. Tho power of the
steel trust is so great that no small corporation
has any chanco whatever in competition, and in
many cases It controls so largo a proportion of
tho total supplythat no largo corporation could
be formed to compete with it.
Tho steel trust by its contributions to tho
campaign fund, and by the prominence of its
officials has succeeded in escaping prosecution
heretofore, but it can not escape much longer,
and when the facts aro known It will bo found
that it is as great a menace to the iron industry
of the country as tho oil trust is to the oil
, ( V W ijH
Senator Ellhu Root began his senatorial
career by condemnation of the popular election
of senators. This was unnecessary. The public
might have known from Mr. Root's professional
connections that ho was opposed to anything
that would give the people control of the United
States senate. Mr. Root's clients are too deeply
interested in preventing remedial legislation to
risk the popular election of senators. When
tho incoming president announces to the legis
lature that he is personally inclined to favor
tho election of senators by the people, Senator
Root can prepare the senate's response and point
to the rejection of the proposition in tho last
national republican convention as reason for
refusing to carry out tho president's suggestion.
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