The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923, November 19, 1909, Image 1
4 t The Commoner. WILLIAM J. BRYAN, EDITOR AND PROPRIETOR VOL. 9, NO. 45 Lincoln, Nebraska, November 19, 1909 Whole Number 461 "Personal Liberty ' Tho liquor dealers, recognizing that their very obvious pecuniary interest would lessen tho weight of any argument which they might pub licly advance, are making their fight under cover of organizations purporting to represent those who use liquor. Many well-meaning men have been misled into believing that every attempt to lessen the evils of intemperance is a "fanati cal attack" on "personal liberty." It is time tho phrase "personal liberty" were defined. What is meant by "personal liberty?" Does it mean that a person has a right to drink in any quantity, at any time, and .in any place, no matter what injury ho may inflict upon others? If not, with whom rests the right to fix limitations? A drunken man is a menace to the lives and property of those about him; have his neighbors no right to protect themselves? A drunkard robs his wife and children, and . lie may finally make his family and himself a charge upon society; has society no right to protect itself? Tho saloon is next-of-kin to the brothel and the gambling hall; it is a rendezvous for tho criminal element and the willing tool of tho corrupt politician; has not the body politic a right to r protect Itself from tho demoralization,, which the saloon "works? . The right to drink does not necessarily in7 elude the right to demand the establishment of a saloon. Tho right to drink is sufficiently pro tected by any arrangement that permits the rea sonable use of liquor under reasonable condi tions; and it must be remembered that the right to drink, like any other right, can be forfeited. Nothing is more sacred than the right to life, and yet one may forfeit his right to life if he uses it in such a way as to threaten the life of ahother. So, the man who drinks to excess may forfeit the right to drink; even the moder ate drinker may forfeit the right to drink in moderation if, not content with reasonable reg ulation, he insists that liquor shall be sold under conditions that constitute a menace to the home and the state. The man who desires to drink moderately ought to join with those who seek to reduce the evils of drink to the' lowest possible point, Instead of allying himself with those who- ignore the evils of intemperance and resist every effort put forth for the protection of society. CONTENTS "PERSONAL LIBERTY" PRINCIPLES THAT MEANDER FREE SPEECH EDUCATIONAL SERIES EPOCH-MAKING GOVERNMENTAL REFORMS MR. BRYAN'S SPEECH BEFORE THE JAP ANESE COMMISSION AT OMAHA A LETTER FROM CONGRESSMAN HARDY DEMOCRACY AND THE TARIFF INEQUALITY, BY SAMUEL J. TILDEN PRACTICAL TARIFF TALKS A "FINE THOUGHT SHIP SUBSIDY EXPOSED A CENTRAL BANK OF ISSUE CURRENT TOPICS HOME DEPARTMENT WHETHER COMMON OR NOT LETTERS FROM THE PEOPLE NEWS OF THE WEEK 0000 PRINCIPLES THAT MEANDER "No platform can ever porsuado me to commit a crime against tho interest of the people of Texas." Senator Bailey at Pilot Point, August 12, 1909. "I simply desire to say, Mr. Speaker, in response to what has been said about my votes in tho Fifty-second and Fifty- third congresses I was not hero to lis- ten to this statement, but I was informed of it that when I cast those votes tho raw material doctrine was tho indorsed policy of my party, and as a loyal mem- bor of that party I subordinated my individual judgment to its platform." Senator Bailey in the house of ropresent- atives, July 19, 1897, first session, Fifty- fifth congress. . We may be permitted to say that these remarks, of an exculpatory nature, wero made during the consideration of tho Dingley bill in response to Benton Mc- Millan of Tennessee, who had called on the then Representative Bailey to explain why, when tho Wilson bill was being made, Mr. Bailey had voted for free coal, . free iron ore, free barbed wire, free sugar and free wool. . Tho last preceding national platform declaration on the subject was that of 1892, when it indorsed "tho efforts made by democrats of the present congress to modify its (tho McKlnley bill's) most oppressive features in tho diroction of free raw materials. " That was twelve years ago. . , WohpaftvWeJmR3Hallo'v'i8H:i)-ob serve that perhaps .Senator Bailey re ,jgards loyalty to party as one of tho follies of youth. For it appears, from a casual reference to the records, that Senator Bailey was, aforetime, loyal to the principles enunciated by his party in national convention assembled. He then , .declared himself so, unequivocally. What ' fc ny have served to change his views as to' what the representative owes to tho ' party can be left only to surmise. Dallas ( Texas) News. . WITH ALDRIOH OF COURSE ; Some republican editors are so simple as to wonder as to which side of tho Aldrlch-Cum-mlns controversy President Taft takes. Have they fprgotten that in his Boston speech Presi dent Taft paid a high tribute to Senator Aldrlch and announcing that the Rhode Island senator would make the trip ho Is now making in order to set tho people right added: "Mr. Aldrlch is the leader of the senate and cer tainly one of tho ablest statesmen in financial matters in either house. I believe it to be his earnest desire to aid the people and to crown his political career by tho preparation and pas sage of a bill which shall give us a sound and safe monetary and banking system. It would be a long step toward removing tho political obstacles to a proper solution of tho-question." SACRED? The Washington correspondent for the Chi cago Record-Herald says that some of Speaker Cannon's lieutenants are claiming that it is the purpose of Roosevelt's friends to aid in tho election of a democratic house in 1910 for tho purpose of developing a demand for Roosevelt In 1912. Can it bo possible that republican leaders are getting scared? APPROPRIATE In his speech at Chicago Senator Aldrlch made slighting reference to Andrew Jackson. It is just as appropriate that the Rhode Island sen ator entertain Nick Biddlo views of "Old Hickory" as that he should advocate tho Nick Biddlo banking system. Free Speech Tho affirmation of tho Judgment of tho lower court In tho caso against Gompors, Mitchell and Morrison, brings forcibly to tho attention of tho public tho consideration of tho subject of tho freedom of tho press. It may bo difficult to securo an impartial weighing of tho subject, sinco projudico against or partiality toward tho accused will afreet tho minds of many. But this Is a subject which ought to bo considered on Its merits, for it Is likely to exort a far reaching influenco If tho highest court In tho land sustains tho courts below, and punishment is finally Inflicted upon tho defendants. It will establish a new precedent, tho Influenco of which can hardly bo estimated. There was a tlmo In our nation's history when oncroachmoiit upon tho freedom of speech would liavo aroused im mediate and unanimous protest, but tho con flicts which wore necessary to establish tho right are long past, and those who took part in thoso contests are dead. The present generation camo into theso rights by inheritance, and seem to bo as indifferent to tho real value of tho inherit ance as tho rich man's son 1b to tho value of money which ho received without having to put forth any labor to cam it. In a speech at Chicago a year ago, Mr. Gom pers advanced a thought which ought not to bo overlooked. Ho said that freedom apeocn asguflanted51notnn"at tho- citizen jhight?say things pleasing toWthdM tftr'ctiChtfJtylriffttiMW? ho might any things displeasing:, Tho clllzon always had tho right to'oay pleasing things; In fact ho had every inducement to say ngreeablo things. Tho guarantees of freo speech aro of no value if they go no farther than to permit tho saying of tho things that aro pleasant. The right of freo speech includes tho right to criticise every department of government and every public official, whether that official bo ap pointed or elected, and whether ho serves for a term of years or for life. The judgo is no ex ception to the rule. Ho is no less a servant of tho people than the legislator or tho execu tive officer, and his official conduct is as much subject to scrutiny as tho conduct of tho humblest public servant. In matters of doubt tho doubt should bo re solved upon tho sldo of freedom in speech, not against it. In exercising tho right to criticlso tho business methods of a corporation tho labor ing man is as much within tho sphero of his rights as Is tho stockholder of a corporation when ho is speaking to other stockholders In regard to the conduct of employes. Tho officials of a corporation and tho stockholders of a cor poration do not hesitate to co-oporato against employes in any controversy between tho em ployes and the corporation they do not hesitate to prescribe terms upon which they will employ workmen. Why should tho workmen bo re strained from discussing tho conditions upon which they will accept employment? Tho only line that rests upon reason and can bo justified by argument is the lino separating persuasion from violence. As long as tho laboring man reasons with his co-laborer or presents an argu ment he Is within his rights, and tho one to whom tho argument is addressed has a right to hear. Tho business methods of a corporation are proper subjects of discussion by employes as well as by customers, and a decreo which de prives tho laboring man of this right Is a step toward industrial bondage. The dangers in volved in tho court's decision aro so great that tho laboring man ought not to be left to combat them alone. Every citizen interested in tho preserving of our institutions ought to feel a personal concern in maintaining inviolate tho right to think, and tho right to speak. Not only free government but civilization itself de pends upon freo speech as much as upon any other ono thing for its very existence. I 4 J rtilfriMnlllim;. in.y.liM.n.HtoiAGfc. ..