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About The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923 | View Entire Issue (Feb. 17, 1911)
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WILLIAM J. BRYAN, EDITOR AND PROPRIETOR
VQL. 11, NO' 6
Lincoln, Nebraska, February 17, 1911
Whole Number 526
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The Democratic Party's Duty
Towards the close of his heroic career it was
one of the proud boasts of Saint Paul that ho
had "kept the .faith;" a boast amply justified
by the facts. We democrats should follow the
example and emulate the fidelity of the great
apostle, so far as in us lies. Last November
we captured one of the three citadels of repub
licanism, the house of representatives; two re
main in their possession, the White House and
the senate. The only way we can reasonably
hope to make a clean sweep in 1912 is to keep
faith with the people absolutely by religiously
fulfilling every promise that we made in order
to win the house. This should be done as a
matter of principle, simply because it is right.
JEven if we were not willing to do so as a mat
ter of principle, then, when we remember what
happened to the republicans last autumn .be
cause they failed to keep faith with the, people,
.weshould fulfill qujr, promise as a matter? of
expediency. ? J . ' - "i
, -sTlfe inasft.of, 'thd people Of all partieeOard
nonqst m ejppnucai opinions; ana, deserve
To be reat0d?hon68tly,;f airly,, and' calftiidly:
-They'arei entitled th' that-sq.ttare deal of "wtticQ
we" hear so much tind see. so. little. -They will
not be mocked. " The woeful plight of the re
publicans is directly tra'ceable to their broken
promises and should be a sufficient warning
and object lesson to us. The sin of the repub
lican party in that regard was as scarlet, and
Its punishment was swift, severe, and deserved.
To ohtain property under false pretenses is a,
penitentiary "offense. It's a pity that the same
pains' and penalties do not attach to obtaining
office under false pretenses. The law not per
mitting the imprisonment of the republicans
for carrying the election of 1908 by false pre
tenses, the people gave them a thorough drub
bing at the polls in 1910.
We have a golden opportunity coupled -with
grave responsibilities. To us success, not only
in 1912, but for years to come, is as easy as
falling, off a log, and a slippery log at that All
that we have to do is to fulfill our promises;
failing or neglecting to do that, it is back to
THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY'S DUTY.
THE ARIZONA CONSTITUTION
RECIPROCITY WITH CANADA
TRADING ON LEGISLATION
PROSPECTS FOR INCOME TAX LAW
CHAMP CLARK'S PRESIDENTIAL BOOM
NEW YORK POLITICS
. . ' CUHRENT TOPICS
WHETHER COMMON OR NOT
NEWS OF THE WEEK
Written for The Commoner by Champ Clark
the wilderness for us. Most assuredly we have
had our quantum siifflclt, more' than our
quantum meruit of wandering in tho wilderness.
Men should say what they mean and mean
what they say. Normal minds dissent from the
immoral dictum that everything is fair in war,
love and politics.
. The promises most frequently made in the
last campaign were:
First, To revise "the tariff down to a reason
able, or revenue basis.
Second, To abolish Cannonism.
, Third, To submit a constitutional amendment
providing for the election of United States sen
ators by popular vdte.
Fourth, To cut appropriations to the needs of
the government economically administered.
. There are pther promises to which I may re
fer in. a future article, but th four which. I have
mentiopoia wereI thjtnk, most frequently ginada ;
nd if era unnnips.t th?-juWlcnJl.Oi the
lour,- tno r revision oirine'tarnirwas.Dy aongastfcw
vI'lmhitDyHb Say'that democrats ard already
gins, for the purpose of expediting taflff reform
promptly, thoroughly, and Intelligently, and
thereby hastening the redemption of our prom
ises. All sorts of lurid prophesies had been in
dulged in by hostile papers and hostile men
about how wd would go to pieces at that caucus,
and act tho part of the Kilkenny cats. As a
matter of fact it was ond of the, most harmo
nious caucuses ever hold in Washington, a sort
of democratic love-feast, whore speech was abso
lutely free. There was much speech, but It was
all in a good natured way. That caucus did
much to puzzle and confound our en&mfe&.jriso
much to please and encourage democrat.' b
it Is clear that we are keeping tho faith as to
reforming both the tariff and the rules.
Over in the senate, the democrats, aided by "
a' handful pf insurgent rebublicansf ar keeping
tfio. .faith by-a'Jion and arneit dQr$fr
fiuJbniapnstltutlonftl amendment- ptovHWng""
ityrry.hig- out their anteelection promises. We
have appointed a committee on committees. I
cheerfully assisted in that reform, though it will
somewhat curtail the power of the speaker. The
house should be a self-governing body and not
an autocracy. The establishment of a commit
tee on committees together with other reforms
in the rules wrought in this congress by the
coalition of democrats and Insurgent republi
cans has overthrown Cannonism and will, I be
lieve, be of great benefit in securing good
legislation. At our caucus on January 19, we elected the
chairman and the democratic members of 'the
committee on ways and means, who are also
to constitute the committee on committees. We
did the unprecedented thing of calling a caucus
of the democrats of the Sixty-second congress
six weeks before the life of that congress be-
tWmmfoi 'dbiieTn Iven-rressel
Tjhere never has been a. sound or sensible argu
ment advanced against that proposition. "The
closer every political function is brought tothe
great body of the, people, the better for, all con
cerned... JPhe people 'can be trusted. There is
.something"wrong with the man afraid to trust
them. Such a man is a very unreliable guide,
counselor and friend. Should the standpatters
defbat this resolution, democratic legislatures
.will do the next best thing by adopting the.
Oregon plan until election' by popular vote can
be legalized by congress, which is certain to
happen eventually as the sun is to rfse again.
In both houses democrats are trying .td , en
force "economy in the public expense that labor
may be lightly, burdened" the old and correct
So I report progress to the American people,
confident that from time to time I can report
more progress the more the better.
The Arizona Constitution
The people of Arizona have ratified their con
stitution and await the approval of the authori
ties at Washington. That approval cannot be
withheld; the constitution suits the people of
the new state' and does not violate the federal
constitution that is all hat can be required.
.The people of Arizona think it good, but wheth
er ttfe Washington authorities like it or not they
have no reasonable excuse for delaying state
hood. If there is any provision in the constitu
tion which is objectionable to the people of
Arizona' it can be easily removed through the
initiative and referendum what more can
President Taft ask?
During the recent campaign some of the office
holders, who are about to lose their salaries;
some of the corporations that do not like to bo
regulated, and some of the newspapers that are
controlled by foreign capital assumed to speak
for the president and threaten disapproval, but
it would be a reflection on the chief executive
to believe that he would permit these self-appointed
mouth-pieces to speak for him. Mr.
Taft has read the constitution; If he had intend
ed to disapprove it he should have said so and
pointed out the parts to which he objected. It
Is hardly good" faith certainly not generous
to keep silent until the people speak and then
withhold statehood because of personal objec
tion to one or more provisions.
IF HE THINKS THAT ANY PROVISIONS
ARE OBJECTIONABLE LET HIM POINT OUT
THOSE PROVISIONS AND ASK CONGRESS TO
AUTHORIZE A SEPARATE VOTE ON THOSE
PROPOSITIONS AT THE TIME STATE AND
LOCAL OFFICIALS ARE ELECTED.
This will give the peojle a chance to vote
on those particular propositions, and he would
hardly take the position that the people should
not be allowed to have them' if they desire them
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