The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923, October 29, 1909, Image 1

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The Commoner.
VOL. 9, NO. 42
Lincoln, Nebraska, October 29, 1909
Whole Number 458
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Tho congressional campaign of 1,910 will soon
be upon us and wo ought to bogin NOW to plan
tor It. Whether w ahall secure a democratic
majority in the next, congress depends largely
upon the character of the democrats nominated
and upon tho platform on which they run.
There may bo districts in which the demo
cratic candidate will have so large a personal fol
lowing that his constituents will trust him with
out a platform, but these districts are, fortunate
ly, very few. As a rule, tho man who objects to a
platform is the very man who needs to bo
pledged to a platform. If a candidate is in sym
pathy with his people and shares their senti
ments ho will not hesitate to state his position
frankly and fully. When a candidate refuses
to take the people into his confidence on a ques
tion at Issue it Is usually because he Is conscious
of holding opinions adverse to the interests of
those whose votSs be asks.
Tho first thing, therefore, is to find a demo
cratic candidate in each congressional district
who believes In platforms and who is willing
to let the voters know wbero ho stands.
The next thing is to find a democratic can
didate whoso platform is acceptable to the voters
of his party, and a platform to bo acceptablo
must represent tho Interests of the voters. Thero
Is scarcely a district In tho United States where
the INTERESTS of a MAJORITY of tho Voters
aTe on thp side of PROTECTION. The trouble
la that the protected industries are actlvd and
clamorous. .The democratic candidate should
have the cpurago to protect the SILENT MA
JORITY .against the demandsuofnhtf4OISy
MINORITY, ... . -, . . .
fTa'Ke1the wool question, for- illustration. There
Is probably hot a district in the United States
where the owners of sheep constitute one-tenth
of the voting population, but that less than one
tenth ofton has more influence on the congress
man than .the more than nine-tenths. Why?
Bepause the sheep owners are organized and
active while the rest of tho people are often
In Texas, for Instance, about eleven hundred
men own all the sheep InHbo state (1,600,000)
and fifty men own about half tho total number.
Counting the clip at G pounds to the sheep
the annual wool crop would amount to about
10,000,00 pounds and be worth about $2,000,
000. If the sheep owners get the benefit of tho
'40 per cent duty on wool then the eleven hun
dred Bbeep owners in Texas receive about
$800,000 from the tariff on wool and, of this.
fifty men recolve about $400,000 or $8,000
apidco. Fifty men can afford to mako a good
deal of noise for $8,000 per year each; thoy
can afford .to subsidize newspapers and to oub
scribo to campaign funds.
But tho .,500.000 people-In, Texas who pay
at least 40 per. cent (probably GO or 00) more
on, woolen goqds, than they would with froo
wool, pay, each a little, and, therefore, db hot
tako as active an interest In tho subject. But
a democratic candidate for congress ought to
take the side of tho many in spito of tho threats
of tho greedy few.
Tho Commoner uses Texas as an illustration
because it has the figures in regard to that state.
In Arizona about 300 men own the 1,250,000
sheep In tho territory. The Commoner will bo
glad to have its readora send in tho statistics
from other states thoy can probably bo ob
tained at tho state capital.
Tho samo Is true of tho tariff on lumber, Iron
ore, coal, etc. Protection Is tho fight of a few
for privileges at the expense of tho many; tariff
reform Is the fight of tho many to keop the
hands of the few out of their pockets.
The Commoner has prosonted a sample plat
form and it asks democratic candidates for con
gress t6 accept, reject or amend it to suit them
selves, and it asks tho democratic voters to seo
to It that democratic candidates aro selected who
really reflect the sentiment of the people of their
district. Lot the fight begin now and bo con
tinued In the open until we have a democratic
congress made up of men who will put the in
terests of the masses above the clamor of th030 favors.
Wanted Men who dare to stand for tho Jef
fersonlan doctrine of equal rights to all and
pycuiHi iitivinsfcwii .to IfOpw.
Tariff reformers are Just now laughing at tho
Joke that the western railroads have played upon
the fruit growers of California. The senators
and members from California demanded an In
crease In the tariff on citrus fruits, and finally
secured an increase In the tariff rate. Where
upon tho railroads raised their rates and greedily
grabbed up the exact increase. Of course tho
fruit growers are very Indignant, and Senator
Flint is making the air blue with threats. Ho
says: "The question that confronts us in this
case is whether a combination of railroads can
nullify the act of congress and destroy a great
Industry that congress has, by legislation, en
deavored to protect." And then ho adds this
note of warning: "I feel that the protective
tariff system can not be maintained and that
wo will be placed in an indefensible position if
we permit one penny raised by this tariff to go
to the railroad corporations of this country."
If Senator Flint will investigate the matter,
he will find that a considerable portion of tho
tariff is levied for the benefit of the railroads.
Take the tariff on coal for Instance; who gets
the benefit of It? We export coal and It simply
enables the railroads to charge a higher rate for
coal used at the seaboard than for coal sent to
the seaboard for export.
The more protection Is studied, the more
glaring its iniquities become. Possibly a part
of the wool tariff Is absorbed by the railroads.
Mr. Crane says that the president told him to
utilize all the opportunities offered to speak on
the eastern situation and to give it to them
"red hot." Just what red hot means has now
become a matter of Inquiry. If Mr. Crane did
only what he was directed to do ho ought not
to be dismissed but that is a matte of degree.
He may have raised tho temperature to white
heat when he was authorized to go no farther
than red hot. At least, the brown people and
the yellow people were stirred up. Possibly
thej)hrase "red hot" is like tho word "revise"
It needs to be defined. If the president had
givep' It to Aldrich republicans "red hot" he
might. have accomplished something. ,
Unique Defense
; Tho Chicago Trlbuno (rep.) rushes to Mr. ,
Taft'o dofoiiHO, seeking to Justify tho president's
falluro to recommend an amendment providing
for tho-elcctlon of sonatora by popular vote. The
Trlbuno says;
"Mr. Bryan know full well whon ho wrote
his lottor that not ovon tho most passionate ap
peal by tho proaldont would havo moved con
gress or at loast tho souato to Bubmlt to tho
states tho amondmont in question. But ho
thought ho saw a chanco to put tho president
In a hole, for Mr. Taft had said during tho
campaign that ho was personally Inclined to
favor tho direct olection f sonatora. He did
not say, howovcr, that if elected ho would waste
himself by urging congress to do something he
knew it would not do."
That is very much like tho claim that whon
Mr. Taft promised tho people tariff rovisfon ho
did not say that if oloctod ho would wnoto him
self by urging congress to rovlso tho tariff down
wardsomething ho know it would not do.
It Is noticeable, howover, thnt Mr. Taft is
not so careful on quostlonn like ship subsidy
and central bank- Tho things that Mr. Aldrich
wants done may bo recommended because per
sistent recommcndalion may result finally In
The defense mad by tho Trlbuno is un
worthy a great newspaper. Editors devoted to
a .cause do not refrain' frdm advowttlnfLtWat .,..
cause on the theory that tue&roMrpefcJjDaift
tytyfo &$)&& W&to authority or. even tho
mjmg tths K WW thinking. Men tSlwhom
thMsbpId have Vrlght to look tor coiBhphdd
ridt "wdsto themselves' wfion thoy urge pluu
Which they concpivo to be for tho public wel
fare. "Agitation," said Wendell Phillips, "Is
the method that plants tho school by the sldo
of the ballot box." And surely tho president of
tho United States need not fear to advocate a
great reform on tho theory that by doing no "he
would wasto himself by urging congress to do
something ho knew it would not do."
That sort of argument carried to its logical
conclusion would cause the peoplo to lose In
terest in public questions and would result In
tho ovorthrow of popular government.
Tho Dallas (Texas) Times-Herald prints a
letter from James T. Stacoy In which that gen
tleman, taking Issuo with Mr. Bryan's tariff
views, says:
"It is not difficult to make a prediction as
to tho final outcome of this friendly rivalry be
tween tho north and tho south for commercial
Supremacy. When tho mills and factories of
the south are able to consume the entire pro
duct of southern fields and mines, I predict that
a complete reversal on the tariff will have taken
place. The north and cast will stand for the
views of Watterson and Morrison, while the
south will stand for those enunciated by Randall
and Reed."
But Is tho south ready to turn "protection?"
If Mr. Bryan were a republican ho would
probaoly construe "revise" to mean to take
tho tariff off what the manufacturer buys and
leave it on the things tho people buy. Fort
Worth (Texas) Record.
But Mr Bryan does not propose "to take the
tariff off what the manufacturers buy and leave
it on tho things the people buy." When he
speaks for free hides ho speaks also for free
leather, free harness, free boots and free shoes,
and the free raw material tax which Mr. Bryam
would abolish Is paid in the end by the people.
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