The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923, October 14, 1910, Image 1

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The Commoner.
VOL. 10, NO. 40
Lincoln, Nebraska, October 14, 1910
Whole Number 508
The New Nationalism
Somo surprise has been expressed that Mr.
Roosevelt should have selected tho name, "new
nationalism," for tho creed promulgated at Osa
watomlo. Tho parts that attracted moBt atten
tion wore those in which ho endorsed doctrines
for which the democratic party has been fight
ing for years. The Outlook, however, makes
the matter clear. 'It says that the essence of
tho new nationalism is to be found in a few
sentences, among which the following starid out
most prominently:
"Tho new nationalism Is impatient of tho utter
confusion that results from local legislatures
attempting to treat national issues as local
''It is still more impatient of tho impotence
which springs from tho over-division of govern
ment powers."
"This new nationalism regards tho executive
power as tho steward of the public welfare."
It seems that the ex-president regards as
minor matters the Income tax, publicity as to
campaign contributions, the domination of poli
tics by corporations, etc., while he lays great
stress on the centralizing propositions which
he sets forth. He raises an issue which must in
time separate him from most of the insurgents
"and alienate' such sympathy as won 'from demo
crats by his endorsement of a part of the demo
cratic program. The country will not take kind
ly to his attempt to revive" discarded Hamilton
Ian, doctrines He can not popularize them.
Tffft.trPdMW toward democracy and away from
'the aristocratic ideas of Alexander Hamilton.
- Mr. Roosevelt is mistaken when ho thinks
,that .there is "utter confusion" bqcaUso tho
states insist upon dealing with questions that
concern them. It remains to be seen what he
.had in mind when he made this indictment
against state legislatures. If he had reference
to conservation, he ought to read the New York
.platform. Ho will find that oven in New York
the convention over which he presided was care
ful to safeguard the interests of the states. But
.it is probable that he had in mind tho national
.incorporation of railroads which he has urged
and the national incorporation of industrial en-
terprises which both he and President Taft favor.
.The purpose of national Incorporation is not to
increase national supervision but to leave Incor
poration to state supervision. It is not In tho
.interest of the people but in the interest of am
bltious corporations which are anxious to re
.move tho center of control as far away from
the people as possible. When Mr. Roosevelt
.descends from generalities to the outlining of
specific measures, he will find that Jeffersonian
ism is in the ascendency in this country by an
overwhelming majority and that that Jefferson
ianlsm will thwart any attempt that he may
make to obliterate state lines and concentrate
all power in -Washington . whore arsenate con
trolled by a predatory interest can obstruct
remedial legislation.
His second plank recalls tho restivoncss which
ho has ever shown when confronted by consti
tutional limitations. Here again ho discloses
the Hamiltonian bent of his mind. Hamilton
was a believer in .centralization. Ho views
society from an aristocratic standpoint while
those who framed our constitution justly recog
nized' the impossibility of securing justico ex
cept by a proper distribution of power. Mr.
Roosevelt will have hard work convincing the
public that It would bo wise to go backward and
consolidate tho departments of our government.
The third plank is really a corollary of tho
second. It is a sort of an apology as well as
an explanation. If tho executive Is to bo every
thing under new nationalism, Mr. Roosevelt
wants It understood that he Is to recognize him
self as a steward of tho public welfare. Why
single out tho executive? Are not all public
officials stewards of the public welfare in tho
same sense? If tho word steward is Intended
to mean tho same as the word representative,
then the legislative and judicial departments
should feel the same responsibility as tho execu
tive department. If, however, Mr. Roosevelt
Uses tho word steward in a different sense and
ineans that while other departments of govern
ment are to be representative, the executive
department is to exorcise a fatherly Interest
and act Independently o tho wishes of tho
people but for- their good, of course ho is
advancing a doctrine that is as dangerous as
it is strringo to our people. That is the doctrine
bf monarchies, not the doctrine of republics.
But we shall see as time goes on Just how far
Mr. Roosevelt's creed Is to bo nationalistic and
how far it is to be really new. If It means cen
tralization, it ought not to be called new because
centralization is the. old system from which ho
has departed, not a new system toward which
we are advancing.
R, i".nMi..MirM mirrMirtwninnwin; -inn.. . f j
In an Interview given to tho Harrison (Ark.)
correspondent for tho St. Louis Republican, Mr.
Bryan said:
"The prospects for a democratic victory in
1912 look good, and seem to be growing better.
The first element of strength is tho spread of
ideas that are distinctively democratic. Demo
cratic policies are being taken up by progres
sive republicans, and many republicans feel that
if democratic policies are to bo put into opera
tion they should bo intrusted to democratic
"Tho second source of democratic strength
at this time is found In tho radical division in
tho republican party. The epithets which In
surgents arid standpatters apply to each other
aro more severe than the average criticism a
democrat would mako against tho average re
publican. This division runs from the head of
the party down to the precinct.
"With former President Roosevelt and Vice
President Sherman rival candidates for the tem
porary chairmanship of the state convention
of the largest 'state in the union, with insur
gents and standpatters opposing each other as
candidates for senate and congress, tho demo
crats can not but gain largely, and it now
seems probable that we shall havo a majority
in tho house.
"We shall gain several members of the sen
ate, and tho progressives will gain several more.
It is entirely possible that the democrats and
progressive republicans may control the senate.
When we look back at the unexpected things
that have happened within tho last two years
-wo get somo Idea of what Is possible within
the next two years, with a democratic house
and an antl-stand-pat senate."
"Who do you regard as the leader among
the insurgent?",
"Former President Roosevelt Is, of course, ,
tho most prominent, but the real loader of tha
insurgent movement is Sonator LaFollotto. He
has boon at it longer, has worked harder and
has insurged In more different directions than
any of tho rest of thom. Ho was turned out
of tho convention that nominated Roosovelt In
1904, but was olected governor by his people,
and afterwards sent to tho sonato.
"Tho republicans of tho senate attempted to
Ignoro him, and to mako thoir opposition to him
moro marked they ostontntlously walkod out
of tho sonato whon ho began to speak. Ho
notlcod it and warned -them that tho chairs
which they voluntarily deserted that day they
would later leave under compulsion from thoir
constituents. His prophecy has been strikingly
realized. Ono after another of tho conspicuous
standpatters has been forced into retirement.
"Aldrich did not wait for a summons. Halo
Baw that an opponent would dofoat him and
retired from tho contest. Burrows had less dis
cretion, and waited until ho was pushed. Curtis
of Kansas has received a two years' notice and
several other standpatters aro trying to gdt
both ears to tho ground. Groat changes Boom
to bo Impending. Democratic spirit is making
itself felt."
"What do you think of Roosevelt's action in
rof using to sit at a banquet tablo with Lorlmor?"
"Ho was entirely right. Tho Lorimor elec
tion was probably tho most corrupt senatorial
election ever held in the country. At least, it
vas tho boldest in Its corruption, and If Lorl
moj; was not. totally unfit for tho place, and in
capable of shame ho would rcfdse to hold-th's
office". Mr, Roosdvolt's action in oponly rebuk
ing him will receive tho commendation of people
of all parties. It is not always easy to establish
guilt under tho rules of evidence, oven whon
there is moral certainty of guilt, and It would
help in tho purification of politics If tho rule
applied by Roosevelt were applied universally."
"Who do you think will bo tho republican
"It seems probable that Mr. Taft will bo re
nominated, a second nomination being custom
ary, but -it is too early to mako predictions and
tho situation is so chaotic that tho ordinary
rules do not apply. If, for Instance, tho fight
between the insurgents and tho standpatters
reaches tho national convention and Roosevelt
leads tho fight, it Is hard to say at this time
which sido would win.
"Wo are not informed yet as to whether
Roosevelt will bo a candidate. My own opinion
is ho would bo stronger advocating some other
progressive than ho would be as a candidate
himself. If ho becomes a candidate the third
term issue will bo raised against him and ho
would find it difficult to overcome the precedent
of a century.
"If, however, ho espouses the cause of some
progressive he might be able to secure his nom
ination. You see how much there is to specu
late on In the political situation and what inter
esting times we have before us."
"What do you think the democrats will .do?"
"That depends a great deal upon tho action
of the next congress. If it is democratic the
next campaign will have to bo fought on tho
record made by congress and our chances will be
good or bad in proportion as that record is sat
isfactory or unsatisfactory. Wall Street will
make the usual attempt to writo tho platform
and nominate the ticket, but X think It will find
it impossible to do so.
"The growth of radicalism In the republican
party makes it expedient as well as right that
tho democrats shall stand for progressive meas
ures. No matter whether the republicans nom
inate a standpatter or progressive It will bo
necessary for the democrats to nominate a radi
cal. If the republicans nominate a standpatter
a radical democrat would draw to his standard
a great many progressive republicans.
"If, on the other hand, the republicans nomi
nate an insurgent it will be necessary to nomi
nate a radical democrat in order to hold th
democratic vote." ,
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