The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923, May 06, 1910, Page 3, Image 3

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    MAY C, 19iO
The Commoner.
Indiana Democrats to the Front
The Commoner feels like congratulating the
democracy of Indiana upon the results of the
state convention. There was a close fight over
the 'question of nominating a senator by the
convention. Governor Marshall led the fight
( lor a nomination and was ably- assisted by John
33." Lamb, of Torre Haute and a number of other
. leaders. It would have been a groat misfortune
. to the party had Marshall's fight failed, for
. with Beveridge nominated by the republicans,
the democrats would have been at a great dis
advantage had they shown an unwillingness to
present their candidate to the voters. Governor
. Marshall's attitude on this subject and the
ability and courage which he showed in tho
matter have focused public attention upon him
. and brought into prominence his qualities of
The nomination of John W. Kern for the sen
. ate is what might have been expected. He is
. a most lovable character and for a generation
has been active in the affairs of his party. He
has made many sacrifices for his party, and
his friends will rejoice that he seems now on
, tho eve of a victory which will not only add to
his prestige but give him an opportunity to
t render effective service to his party and to his
state. "While Senator Beveridge has earned the
respect of progressive democrats by his attack
upon certain features of the republican policy,
he can not expect .to draw democratic votes from
such a man as Kern. Beveridge's nomination
in fact made it necessary to nominate a man
like Kern, for had the democrats put up a can
didate who was suspected of intimacy with the
Bp'ecial interests, Beveridge would have made
large inroads on the democratic votes, but with
Kern as the party leader and the party's in
tegrity demonstrated, the democrats ought to
. be able to make, a' winning fight.- The Indiana
platform follows-:
"Democracy fixes no limits to honest accumu
lation of capital, but it denies that wealth and
cunning, leagued together, may lawfully con
centrate into a' few hands the fruits of the pro
ductive energy of the world.
"We denounce the Payne-Aldrich tariff act
as a masterpiece of injustice, involving remorse
less exactions from tho many to enrich tho fow,
through tho trusts and monopolies which it
fosters. Tariff taxation, llko othor taxation,
should bo for public purposes only and not for
private profit and should bo so levied as not to
, discriminate against any section, class, industry
or occupation and limited to tho actual necessi
ties of tho government, economically admin
istered. "We condemn tho cowardice of tho republi
can party in Indiana in failing to meet tho
issues in a fair and manly way; that, in its en
deavor to gain democratic votes, it has on tho
tariff question one proposition in state plat
forms and different and opposing propositions in
congressional platforms; that by indorsement
it commends President Taft, who approved the
Payne-Aldrich tariff law, and in tho same com
mends Senator Beveridge, who voted against
, the same measure, for his course in opposing
such a tariff law.
"We favor the immediate enactment of a pen
sion law by congress providing for a pension of
. not less than one ($1) dollar a day for all union
i veterans of tho civil war.
"We most heartily favor the ratification of
' the proposed amendment to the constitution of
the United States authorizing congress to levy
an income tax.
"Wo are opposed to all subsidies by the gov
ernment and we especially condemn tho present
ship subsidy bill.
"We condemn tho extravagant administra
tion of affairs of the nation by tho republican
"We favor the conservation of our natural
resources and demand tho withdrawal from en
try of our remaining timber, coal and Iron lands
and water rights.
"We favor an amendment to the constitution
of the United States providing for the election
of United States senators by direct vote of the
The platform heartily commends United States
Senator B. F. Shively and the Indiana demo
cratic representatives in congress and tho ad
ministration of the affairs of tho state by Gov
ernor Marshall.
Democracy's Opportunity and Duty
Hon. Jerry B. Sullivan of Iowa has written
a letter to The Commoner which should be
read by democrats everywhere:
Des Moines, Iowa, April 26, Tho unrest in
the public mind is an answer to the work of the
republican party. There never was a time when
the enactment- of legislation along the lino of
true democracy was as needed as the present
liour. The republican party is doing its utmost
to repeal the legislation it enacted In tho last
twenty-five years. It has demonstrated it is
not worthy of the confidence of the people. The
democratic party must solve the questions now
It is not a question of party politics, it is a
question of the welfare of the government, and
the prosperity of the people. Every democratic
candidate for congress, should be pledged to
carry out the principles of the platform. A
platform is a contract between the candidate
and the people, and its violation is as much a
.wrong, as the violation of any instrument is a
breach of contract. Therefore in the coming
campaign, state and congressional, the platform
should emphasize the following principles and
require the candidate to subscribe thereto:
1. Economy in the expenditure of public
2.. The fulfillment of party pledges.
3. The election of United States senators by
the people.
4. The enactment of an income tax law.
5. The elimination of combinations and
6. The reduction of the tariff and especially
ton the necessaries of life.
These propositions are crystalized this hour
in the mind of tho voters of the nation. The
nominee who sincerely believes in these prin
ciples, will carry out the platform declarations
'and will seek election because he believes these
propositions should be enacted into law.
The democratic party is not entitled to power
or confidence if its candidates are unwilling to
be Instructed by the party. A refusal to obey
.the party platform; opposition to tho election
of tho United States senators by the people;
opposition to tho voter having the right to ex
press his choice at a primary election; unwilling
to destroy combinations that control prices; un
willing to give to tho interstate commerce com
mission the right of initiative as to rates of
transportation on the highways of tho nation;
unwilling to reduce tho tariff on tho necessaries
of life; such men should not bo nominated and
if successful at the primary should be defeated
at tho polls.
The party that believes In these fundamental
truths and will seek their enactment into law
without fear and without favor, will receive the
confidence of the people at the November elec
tion, 1910. The republican party as now con
stituted, has violated that confidence.
Democracy must arise to the occasion and
place as Its candidates only those who are will
ing to abide by the party platform. Unless it
does it will not have the confidence of the peo
ple, and if received, it will not be continued.
The democratic party must be democratic. It
can not become tho party of vested rights. Tho
issue Is clearly defined, it is system and privilege
on one side and opportunities and equal rights
on the other. The boldness of Congressman
Foss of tho old colony district in Boston, Mass.,
should encourage every lover of the right to be
true to his convictions. It should be notice to
progressive republicans that there Is no hope
of salvation in the republican party controlled
by Aldrich, Cannon & Co.
Unity of thought and purpose should guide
those of the same opinion into one party. Tho
party that gives the greatest hope of tho suc
cess of these principles, Is the democratic party.
Its success means progress, its defeat the
triumph of privilege and vested rights. Tho
forces seeking to control prices, enacting legis
lation in the Interest of privileges, who believe
party is superior to principle, can not find a
home in the democratic party. Those who favor
equal rights believe In equal opportunities can.
This class is sufficient in number to control legis
lation. They now .have tho opportunity by as
sisting In the election of democrats to congross.
Let tho democratic party bo worthy of tholr as
sistance, that ultimate success will not bo for a
day, but for all time.
Tho Christian Scienco Monitor of Boston quotes
. George W. Perkins, partner of J. P. Morgan, as
saying at Harvard University: "Great corpora
tions would not bo a menace, but a great public
benefit if managed under laws that would com
pel proper publicity and punish- officers for Im
proper methods." "How can this bo done?" lio
asks and answers that it is only attainable
through national control, adding: "Stato con
trol is impossible because steam and electricity
have largely wiped out state lines in commercial
This is tho trust program; center everything
at Washington. Take tho control of corpora
tions out of tho hands of tho states and then
wait for congress to act. If tho trusts can con
trol tho president, tho sonnto or tho house any
ono of the three they can prevent regulation.
They have for more than fifteen years provonted
the reformation of the senate because they can
'control tho senate now more easily than they
could if senators were elected by popular vote.
It is difficult enough to regulate "great corpora
tions" when both the stato and tho federal gov
ernments have a right to regulate it will bo
still harder if tho federal government is given
exclusive control. Every democrat will opposo
this scheme tho fact that It Is advanced by
trust magnates Is conclusive proof that it is an
tagonistic to tho interests of tho public. Tho
democratic position is that federal remedies
should be added to, not substituted for, stato
County option is a direct challongo to. the
liquor business in politics. That business Is
so mixed up with corporation influence that to
attack the ono involves tho othor. The two
stand cheek by jowl In legislation. Tho repre
sentative of corporate interests may be depend
ed upon to render valued service, public or
secret, In behalf of the liquor trust, and it need
not surprise a constituency electing a man on
an anti-option platform to find him working
for tho corporations as against tho interests of
the people.
Tho situation calls for the election of men who
will go further than a mere passive acquiescenco
in the action of their party. Elected, they tem
porarily constitute tho party. Every man seek
ing office at tho disposal of the people must be
put on record, for or against this proposition.
Then if we are beaten if a majority of tho peo
ple of the state say by their vote that they pre
fer liquor-corporation control, well and good.
We will accept tho verdict with what grace we
can, and prepare for another battle. But thero
must be no hedging, no beating about the bush,
no "gentleman's agreement" to send a man to
St. Paul pledged only to use his discretion. Such
a vote will go to the liquor interests. Tho com
ing, campaign is one of serious political and busi
ness and moral Import to tho state. Pledge your
candidate to a clean-cut declaration, not of what
he will approve, but of what he is willing and
ready to work for. Although we lack the refer
endum, the voters of Minnesota can compel
action on any measure they desire by the simple
expedient of calling for tho candidate's platform
at every public meeting he addresses, and by
making him go on record.
County option goes farther than the mere
passing issue, important as the latter may be.
It is essential democracy in government. It
gives into the hands of the people control of
their own business. It breaks down one side
of the wall that has grown up between the peo
ple and their affairs. It strikes a blow at tho
boss system of party control. It removes from
the counters of state-wide bargain and sale tho
health and welfare and happiness of the locality
concerned with a problem entirely local to its
own interests. It is a direct-acting, powerful
instrument in the hands of the people to bring
back into their possession, out of the hands of
the interests and the party caucus, direct mu
nicipal control. It Is right in principle. It Is
efficient in practice. The only serious objection
that can bo raised to it is that it lessens the in
fluence of the' least desirable elements in our
political life an objection which should win
for it the firm support of all who desire tho
democracy pf direct, untrammeled rule by tho
people. Farm, Stock and Home, Minneapolis,
.-V.AjM'jg- . -.etK-tK