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About The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923 | View Entire Issue (July 21, 1911)
WILLIAM J. BRYAN, EDITOR AND PROPRIETOR
I : if
VOL. 11, NO. 28
Lincoln, Nebraska, July 21, 1911
Whole Number 545
Predatory Interests Are Always at Work
Let Every True Democrat Lend a Hand
The friends of predatory interests the beneficiaries of special
privilege and governmental favoritism are always at work. They
never sleep. With them politics is a business because they make
the government a business asset. Before .they give their favor to a
party they must know the tendency of the leaders of that party.
Before they give their support to a candidate for office they must
know just where that candidate stands upon every public question.
Democrats will profit by the "1908 lesson" taught to republicans
since that year. The republicans took Mr. Roosevelt's word for the
political disposition of the republican candidate for the presidency
and they have been, naturally, greatly disappointed.
; The only way to learn the opinions of a public man is eithervfrom
his public record or from himself.
However promising to democrats the situation may at this time be,
it can not be expected that the party will win a victory unless .it
democratic nomination. If their answers are uncertain and ambig
uous they may be set down as friendly to some particular interests.
The genuine reformer is not afraid to speak out. Every candidate
is, to be sure, entitled to his opinion, but the people have the right to
know what it is in order that they may act intelligently when they
come to chooso their party's candidates for tho presidency.
Commoner readers everywhere are advised to submit to the
various presidential candidates questions something like the fol
lowing: Do you favor tariff for revenue only?
Do you favor free raw material and the placing of a rovenue duty
only on manufactured goods?
Do you believe that in the revision of the tariff tho element of
protection should be given consideration?
Do you believe that the three branches of government arc co-ordinate
and that each one should keep within its constitutional sphere?-
-uvivwv w ww.iA a,kV.'Ai, w ,, 'cioi ttU-Vttf'-.; v -Do vou approve the recent Standard Oil decision wherein th:
ttawiw. aaL . rJu n,r legislated the word "unreasonable
into tne snerman anti-trust act?
platf6lnM&hat deals frankly with public questions? and with a candi
date whose record and present day attitude justify the hope that
the people may fairly count upon the party in the inevitable contest
between the public interests and special interests.
The San Francisco Star recently said: "Working quietly and
practically unnoticed by the body of the American people, the
special interests are already more than a year in advance of the
national conventions, planning to bring about the nomination of a
republican and democratic candidate for the presidency. Big busi
ness, naturally enough, prefers to have a candidate in both parties,
so that no matter which way the wind blows, it will win."
A number of men are being mentioned as presidential candidates
and several of them have admitted that they will be pleased to
accept the democratic nomination. The president1 may exert great
influence over legislation and the formation of policies for the
public good. He appoints judges of the supreme court and of the
lower courts He selects inter-state commerce commissioners who
have considerable control over railroad rates. Upon his bent of
mind politically the people must depend largely for the character of
the public policies they are to have during his official term.
Some men imagine that the office of president is such a high one
that the candidate for that office should not be catechised. As a
matter of fact the voters ought to find out just where every candi
date for the presidency stands upon the important public questions;
and no man who is in any degree worthy of that high office will
refuse to give candid answers to courteous questions put to him con
cerning his attitude on current public affairs.
The Commoner suggests that its readers put questions to those
who are in the attitude of candidate for the democratic presidential
nomination. Every student of public affairs will be able to frame
his own questions, but for convenience sake and by way of sugges
tion The Commoner submits some of the queries that may in all fair
ness be offered to every man who is regarded as a candidate for the
Do you favor the repeal of the criminal clause of the anti-trust law
or do you believe that in view of supreme court legislation congress
should make it clear that all restraint of trade is unreasonable? -
Do you favor the election of senators by the people?
Do you favor the income tax?
Do you believe that it is the duty of the American people to
promise independence to the Filipinos immediately and to give it
in the same way in which they gave independence to the Cubans?
Do you believe in the publicity of campaign contributions and
expenditures both before and after election day in order that the
people may know in advance the character of support each party
and candidate receives.
Are you willing that the source of every dollar of contribution
made to your campaign fund either after your nomination or during
the contest for the nomination shall be made public prior to elec
Do you believe in the support of state governments in all their
Do you indorse the labor planks of the 1908 platform?
Do you believe in the strict regulation of railroads?
Do you indorse the democratic platform of 1908 respecting trusts
wherein it declares that "a private monopoly is indefensible and
and intolerable" and presents a remedy?
Do you approve the plan known as the Aldrich currency scheme?
Do you favor asset currency in any form?
Do you believe in the establishment of what is known as a cen
Do you favor legislation compelling banks to insure depositors?
Let democrats everywhere ask questions and secure answers, thus
finding out just what every candidate stands for. In this way demo
crats may be able to determine with some degree of intelligence as
to the available candidate.
The Commoner will be glad to print the replies made to these
questions by gentlemen whose names have been mentioned in con
nection with the democratic presidential nomination.
ASK THE CANDIDATECut the Question Blank from Page 4
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