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About The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923 | View Entire Issue (Oct. 7, 1910)
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WILLIAM J. BRYAN, EDITOR AND PROPRIETOR
VOL. 10, NO. 39
Lincoln, Nebraska, October 7, 1910
Whole Number 507
; Discriminating Praise
Havo you read Mr. Roosevelt's endorsement
of President Taft? If not read it. It is a lit
erary gem. No one can hereaftor doubt Mr.
Roosevelt's skill in the selection of words; ho
is a master of nico distinction. According to the
press dispatches he said that the laws passed
during Mr. Taft's administration "reflect high
credit on all who succeeded in putting them In
their present shape." This is not praise for
Mr. Taft but praise for tho democrats and in
surgents who SUCCEEDED in putting them in
their PRESENT SHAPE- which is quite differ-
ent from the shape in which the president and
his attorney general recommended them.
Ho commends the laws as a "sample of tho
achievement which . is yet to come." - As a
SAMPLE is small in comparison with the thing
' it represents it would look as If tho things ac
complished during tho first half of tho term
wore somewhat disappointing. When ho speaks
of the credit "due to tho congress and- our able,
upright and distinguished president, "William
- Howard Taft," ho puts congress FIRST. And
what weak praise of the president!
The ex-president has an extended vocabulary;
could he not find a stronger adjective than "dis
tinguished?" Why did he not cay patriotic, or
loyal, or faithful, or vigorous, or steadfast, or
courageous, or progressive, or something indi
cating a successful administration? To call a
president distinguished is like introducing him
. as "one of whom you have all doubtless, heard"
- or as "a gentleman whose name is familiar to
you." But if there are several moro complimen
tary adjectives which ho might have used there
are t several leBB complimentary ones that ho
avoided; ' Ho did not call him a good looking,
jovial or a' healthy .president. Republicans often
. say of Mr. Bryan that he has "remarkable
-physical endurance;" tho ex-president did a little
better than that in commending the president
whom he nominated and elected but not much.
Eternal vigilance has been declared to bo tho
. price of liberty, and the voters ought to bo re
minded of this fact when they are selecting their
public officials. Governments are-administered
by human hands, and human beings are imper
fect. Even with the best intentions they often
. err in judgment, and when powerful interests
are on one side and the silent and unorganized
masses on tho other, the representative is some
times weaned away from his constituents and
their interests. The danger is the greater the
, farther tho individual is removed from the
. voters; even city councilmen occasionally be
tray their trust; state legislators more often do,
'. because they are not so carefully watched.
. United States senators and congressmen meet
- greater temptations and are less restrained by
. the eye of tho constituents. It is especially im-
H DISCRIMINATING PRAISE
.NEW YORK REPUBLICAN CONVENTION
' TARIFF CATECHISM
REPLIES TO "ASK YOUR CONGRESSMAN"
ROOSEVELT AND LAFOLLETTE PLAT
PRACTICAL TARIFF TALKS'
WHERE THE BATTLE IS RAGING
IF THE PEOPLE RULE WHY DON'T THEY
GET WHAT THEY WANT? .;'
WHETHER COMMON OR NOT
NEWS OF THE WEEK
port&nt, therefore, that In selecting congress
men and senators caro should bo takon to se
cure men with moral charactor men who ara
guided by conscience and aro afraid to do wrong.
If thero is djinger of a good man yielding to
tho temptations that besot our capitals, how
much greater tho danger whoro a man is biased
in favor of predatory corporations? This bias
Is sometimes an unconscious ono, and tho moro
dangerous bocauso unconscious. No man can
safely bo trusted to guard tho public interests
whoso business relations are such as to bias him
in favor of tho Interests that aro seeking advan
tage from tho operation of law. Tho tomptatlon
to make tho government a private asset in busi
ness can hardly be resisted by thoso who aro so
situated that their pecuniary interests blind them
to tho public welfare. Put only tho faithful on
. The editorof tho Omaha Bee pretends to bo
surprised because Mr. Bryan said that tho cor
porations were trying to pick a democratic can
didate for tho presidency. Tho Bee editor con
gratulates Mr. Bryan, saying that he has pro
gressed so far "from tho hide-bound bigotry of
partisan blindness" as to admit that tho inter
ests exert influence in the democratic party.
If the Bee editor would make a llttlo pro
gress on his own account from tho "hide-bound
bigotry of partisan blindness" ho would know
that Mr. Bryan has spent tho years of his public
' lifo in combatting the influence special interests
try to exert in the demodrtitlc party. As a rulo
these interests havo , no politics, but no confi
dence is violated when it is stated that whenever
Mr. Bryan has been tho candidate they havo
been republican and "hide-bound" at that.
THE NEW YORK REPUBLICAN CONVENTION
Mr. Roosevelt's speeches in tho New York con
vention were vigorous, but tho platform was
disappointing. Little In it that can be called
progressive except tho demand for direct pri
maries. The fulsome endorsement of tho presi
dent is in sharp contrast with progressive plat
forms in tho west.
The nominee for governor must be taken, if at
all, on Mr. Roosevelt's endorsement, and Mr.
Roosevelt guaranteed Mr. Taft. As a lawyer
hehas prosecuted the sugar trust, but that was
his legal duty it does not indicate his sym
pathies. He was trained in Senator Root's office
and has the senator's endorsement, and Senator
Root can hardly bo accepted as an authority on
The Pilot, the official organ of tho Catholic
archdlocese of' Boston gives Theodore Roosevelt
something to think about in the following edi
torial, printed in tho Pilot's September 24th
"Colonel Roosevelt once Insisted that ho could
nott as an American citizen, submit to any-condi-tions
when he asked for an audience with tho
pope. It is only two weeks ago since the same
colonel refused to attend a banquet except on
condition that a certain obnoxious United States
senator should not be there. Truly the colonel
THE ARKANSAS VICTORY
The initiative and referendum is adopted in
Arkansas by a majority of at least 12,080 votes.
The total vote cast was 158,564, making It
necessary for tho amendment to receive 79,283.
Tho vote on tho amendment was 91,3G3 for and
39,680 against a little moro than two and a
half to one. Good for Arkansas! Governor
Donaghey was re-elected by a vote of 101,557
to 39,880 for the republican candidate. The
fact that ho received within nine thousand of
the vote polled by .him in the presidential cam
paign shows his strength. Good for Arkansas!
Mr. Root as permanent chairman of a re
form convention and as tho instructor of the
reform candidate is not reassuring.
Q. What Is a tariff?
A. A duty collected on Imports.
Q. What is a protcctlvo tariff?
A. A duty imposed upon imports for tho Aid
of homo factorios producing compoting articles.
Q. What Is a rovonuo tariff?
A. A rovonuo tariff is a taTlff lovicd for th
purposo of raising a rovenuo.
Q. What is tho difference between tho two
kinds of tariff?
A. A revenue tariff is collected for tho boncflt
of tho wholo public, and tho government stops
when it gets enough. A protoctlvo tariff Is Im
posed for private benefit, may bo so lovled as to
impose a' heavy burden without raising much
rovonuo and there Is no limit to its .exactions ox
copt the greed of tho protected Interests and tha
patience of tho people.
Q. Who pays tho tariff?
A. Tho consumer.
Q. How can this fact bo established?
A. By reason, by observation and by experi
ence. If a' tariff were paid by tho foreigner it
would bo no protection to tho homo industry.
Only when the consumer must pay moro than
tho foreign price for an imported article can tho
homo producer charge moro than tho foreign
price for the domestic article. A tariff paid by
tho foreigner would give no protection to an
American manufacturer. Then, too, tho gov
ernment gives a rebate on raw material when
tho flninhud product la exported. Why does the
government pay the rebato to tho domestic man
ufacturer if the foreigner pays tho tariff? But
cxperionco is tho best test. Go abroad, buy In
tho open market, and when you return you will
pay tho duty and you can not find any foreigner
to rcimburso you.
Q. Is such a tax constitutional?
A. It violates tho spirit of tho constitution
for it collects from tho many and gives to tho
few, but as tho protective features aro concealed
in a rovenuo law it Is difficult to get a decision
on tho principle involved.
Q. Can tho wisdom of such a tax bo defended?
A. No; a, policy of favoritism is never wise in
a republic. A government of tho people, by tho
people and for tho peoplo should bo adminis
tered according to tho maxim: Equal rights to
all and special privileges to none."
Q. IsHho present protective tariff necessary?
A. No; it is about twice as high as would be
necessary to cover the entire labor cost of pro-
tectod manufactures. Tho fact that wo iiro ex
porting an increasing amount of manufactures
is proof that our industries do not need tho
present protection. And it must bo remembered
that our manufactures have tho benefit of tho
freight when the foreigner brings his goods hero,
while the foreign competitor has tho benefit of
thefrelght when wo export. And it must also
be remembered that the tariff on all kinds of
material, on machinery and on food and clothing
Increases tho cost of articles manufactured here.
If wo can now export in spito of these burdens
we could export more If the tariff were reduced.
Q. Does a high tariff make good wages?
A. No. If it is said that we pay higher wages
than they do in England a stock argument with
protectionists it Is a complete answer to say
that England, with no protective tariff, pays bet
ter wages than Germany does under protection.
Our best wages are paid In our unprotected in
dustries and the fact that we export goods mado
with our high priced labor Js positive proof that
good wages do not depend on protection. Tho
labor organizations have done far moro to in
crease wages than all tho tariff laws.
Q. What about tho home market argument?
A. The friends of protection claim that tho
fanner can afford to pay more when ho buys
because the manufacturers furnish him a home
market, but this Is a fallacy. The staples of
the farm are exported and the price received
for the surplus exported fixes the price received
for the part sold at home. As the farmer sells
in the unprotected maTkets of tho world and
buys 'in a protected market he is constantly
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