The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923, June 16, 1911, Image 1

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The Commoner
VOL. 11, NO, 23
Lincoln, Nebraska, June 16, 1911
'Wfiole Number 543
Far Reaching Influence
The democrats who are interested In the
future of the party ought to consider the far
reaching influence that the party's action on the
wool bill will exert. It must be remembered
also that our party is poorly supplied with news
papers and that we have great difficulty in
answering the misrepresentation of the republi
can press. The public is being informed that
the caucus unanimously indorsed the tax on
wool. The fact is that a very large element of
the caucus opposed the tax on wool. The party
is being put, therefore, in a false attitude.
The supporters of the Underwood bill con
sented to a resolution declaring that the bill
should not be construed as a surrender of the
party platform, but anyone can find by talking
to these men that they do intend to surrender
the principle of free raw material so far as it
applies to wool. The action of the caucus was
due not to revenue necessities but to the fact
that the wool men had by log-rolling and by the
aid of lobbyists secured a majority in favor of
the tariff on wool, and no relief is to be expected
from those who led the fight against free wool
no matter how soon a surplus revenue is secured.
The action of the caucus is heralded as a vic
tory for the protectionist element of the party,
and It will assist the candidates who represent
that element in the pending contest within the
party. Every advocate of free wool who is a
candidate for the senate or congress will be
charged with favoring a policy that congress has
turned down. He will be accused of disturbing
the harmony of the party ,if hedvocates free -raw
material, and all the- power that the pro
tectionist influences can bring to bear will bo
exerted in favor of democrats who will consult
the financiers of protection instead of the masses
of the people, and we have seen how potent those
Influences are. They can supply campaign funds;
they can spread misrepresentations broadcast,
and they can' assail every defender of the public
interests. When the democratic party takes up
the protectionist idea, it must expect the Intro
duction of the corrupting methods that protec
tion has brought in the republican party.
The same influences that led to the imposition
of a tax upon wool will be active when other
schedules are being prepared. Good men will
be misled by the specious arguments that are
being used. Governor Wilson, for instance,
while stating he is for free wool, Is quoted as
saying that the schedule by schedule plan
limited the freedom of congress in the matter of
tariff rates. He was persuaded that, the wool
schedule had to be so revised to raise practically
as much revenue as it did before. This argu
ment, however plausible, Is absolutely unsound,
and we have recently seen -a demonstration of
its unsoundness. The farmers' free list bill
made a reduction of ten millions in the customs
receipts. If the' theory which Govornor Wilson
has been led to apply to the wool schedulo had
been applied to the farmers' free list, it would
have been necessary to have rearranged tho tax
upon enough articles to make up for the ton mil
lions lost by putting articles on the free list.
But the object of this editorial is not to dis
cuss tho details of any plan but merely to call
attention to the fact that the protectionists
have won a victory which they will use to tho
limit in tho effort to pack congress with pro
tectionist democrats. It behooves tho people to
be on their guard. The democrats responsible
for the party's apostasy ought to be held to ac
count if, as The Commoner believes, they mis
represent the sentiment of tho voters. A secret
caucus in which the decision was reached without
a record vote makes it difficult for the consti
tuents to locate the responsibility and raises the
question whether a secret caucus is defensible
from a democratic standpoint. If the constitu
tion requires a record vote for tho passage of
bills when that record vote is demanded, why
should the rule not be applied to caucuses which
determine tho party's position.
But whether It Is difficult or easy to fasten
responsibility upon those who have forced tho
party into its present attitude, the readers of
The Commoner are warned against an effect
which must already be apparent to those who
read the papers. Tho democrats who are opposed
to the principle of prbtection ought to be on
the alert; they must be vigilant if they would
protect themselves from misrepresentation and
their party from disaster.
President JzjibiqaJtesjiniLsjJJs.for Snajn,
thus concluding the insurrection begun some'
six months ago. For several weeks the Uprising
seemed to make but little progress; It was not
until the cabinet resigned and the president
promised several important reforms that the
outside world became aware of the seriousness
of the struggle. The letter of President Diaz
in which he presented the resignation which tho
insurgents forced from him is a pathetic docu
ment and touches the hearts of those who
appreciate the great service he has ren
dered his country. He is a great man
and history will award him a high place
among the heroes of Mexico. His chief
fault was that he did not fully recognize the
advance that Mexico has made that ho at
tempted to rule modern Mexico by the rules
which he applied before education had enlarged
the capacity of tho people. It was a fatal mis
take and his career ends in exile, but when tho
lapse of time separates his faults and failures
from his virtues ho will stand with Hidalgo and
Juarez. May "his life be spared to realize his
laBt wish: "I hope, gentlemen, that when the
, passions which are inherent to all revolutions
have been calmed, a more conscientious and
justified study will bring out In the national
mind a correct acknowledgement, which will
allow me to die carrying engraved in my soul
a just impression of the estimation of my life,
which throughout I have devoted and will devote
to my countrymen."
The Houston Post devotes a column to four
quotations from newspapers attacking Mr.
Bryan's position on the wool question. Three of
the quotations are from papers which opposed the
democratic ticket in 1896, and the fourth is
from a paper whose editor was a member of
one of the two delegations that at Denver refused
to vote for Mr. Bryan even when he had nearly
nine-.tenths of the convention. It would seem
from this that Mr. Bryan still falls to please
the men who have been unfriendly in the past.
A Washington correspondent says free wool
would have hurt Governor Harmon's chances.
Is it possible that the chances of presidential
candidates were considered as well as revenue
A Word as to Dictation
Tho protectionist domocrats, instead of de
fending the principle of protection, are now
spending their time in charging Mr. Bryan with
an attempt at dictation. While every so-called
democratic paper which is opposed to Mr. Bryan
as a candidato is at liberty to discuss public
questions, it seems that Mr. Bryan Is, in tho eyes
of tho protectionist domocrats, estopped from
saying anything. Some of tho papers Invito him
to retire to Nebraska and keep silent. That tho
readers of Tho Commoner may know what to
expect, a word Is submitted in reply to theco
Mr. Bryan has never attempted to dictate to
tho democratic party and has no desire to do so,
but as a member of tho democratic party Mr.
Bryan has exercised tho right to express an
opinion upon public questions and upon public
men, and this right ho expects to continue to
exercise. He will not bo deterred from dis
charging what he regards as a sacred duty by
abuse, but ho is accustomed to abuse. His body,
politically speaking, is scarred all over by tho
knives that have been wielded by the represen
tatives of plutocracy inside of tho democratic
party and outside. Ho has made three cam-
palgns and in' dyeryj jine of them ho has had to
meet treachery within tho party -as wollas
assailed from without. Ho has had to conduct
his campaigns "through committeemen, some of
whom were in league with tho opposition and in
secret correspondence with tho enemy. Ho has
had to meet false and malicious misrepresent-
- tlon on-the part of papers subsIdIzed"br1irirer',
datory interests. Ho has seen the party platform
attacked, sometimes openly and sometimes by
innuendo, by those protending to support tho
ticket, and he has seen tho platform repudiated
immediately after the election by papers who
professed to support it during tho campaign.
He has had to oppose distinguished members of
his own party when those members attempted
to insert weasel words in tho platform and
make it ambiguous and uncertain. He has had
to contend with timid politicians who professed
friendship only out of fear of their constituents
and only so long as that pretended friendship
would help them. But ho has found tho heart
of tho party sound. He has found tho rank and
file of the party true. To this multitude of
. democrats, uncorrupted and undefiled, he owes
whatever strength ho has. He is indebted to
them for tho honors which have come to him,
and he will spend the remainder of his days
guarding their interests as best ho can.' Ho is
In a position to speak with freedom, and ho
' will be free to speak. He knows tho record of
the public men of the country democrats and
, republicans and this knowledge is at tho ser
vice of the party. He is In favor of harmony
when harmony means honest, straightforward
democracy, but he is opposed to a harmony that
Is built upon false pretenses and used for the
purpose of deception. He believes' tlfat the
democratic party must deserve to win In order
to win, and he believes it is better to oppose
evils in the beginning than when they are full
grown. He asks no one to accept his opinion,
but he has no reason to doubt that the facts
which influence him will influence others when
they are known. He expects differences of
opinion even among friends, and he knows that
honest differences of opinion do not keep men
from acting together when they agree in pur-
" pose, but ho knows that people who differ in
purpose cannot be expected to agree on plans.
In other words, Mr. Bryan Is a citizen of the
United States, and expects to live up to the re
sponsibilities of a citizen as best he can. He
is a member of the democratic party, and he
expects to live up to the responsibilities of the
position. The fact that he has been the party's
candidate does not deprive him of the freedom
to think and to speak. On the contrary, his
' responsibility is the greater because of the con
fidence reposed in him. He asks no favors, and
he will show no favors to those who are identl-
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