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About The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923 | View Entire Issue (Aug. 18, 1911)
WILLIAM J. BRYAN, EDITOR AND PROPRIETOR
VOll 11, NO. 32
Lincoln, Nebraska, August 18, 1911
Whole Number 552
The Secret Caucus Must Go
(Editorial in the Nashville Tennestean)
One of the things indicated by the Vardaman election in Mississippi is that the secret caucus is objectionable to the people of that state.
When a secret caucus was held to nominate Senator McLaurin's successor it was loudly objected to, but it was deemed expedient to
hold one by the party leaders and though it was stubbornly opposed by many, a small majority favored it, with the result that it was
held and a nomination made.
The caucus was so roundly condemned that its nominee, Senator Percy, made a proposition to run it out before the people, stating
that he did not want to hold an office unless the people wanted him to have it. However, no such test was ever made and the first time the
people of Mississippi have had a chance to strike at the secret caucus was in the senatorial primary, when Mr. Vardaman received more
votes than both Mr. Percy and Alexander combined.
When we consider the fact that both Senator Percy and Mr. Alexander are high-class men, worthy of the confidence and respect of tht
people, we are impelled to look for a public rather than an individual or personal evil that tended to influence the election.
It is clear that the people will no longer submit to public representatives covering up their public acts in any land of secret combine
tion or compact. It is all very well and proper for an individual voter to cast a secret ballot. This is his right and it is expedient to do so,
but for a legislator to cast a secret vote on a question that affects his service as a public representative is an unwarranted practice that
will no longer be tolerated. The individual voter is answerable alone to his own conscience as to how he votes, while the legislator is
answerable to his constituents as well as to his conscience in all his public acts, and they will not excuse him when he makes a secret of
any part of his public service.
The people must know what is going on. They no longer trust the public servant who does things behind closed doors. The public
business-must be transactedihHhepen. '
The following Is from the New York World:
"The process of de-BryanizIng the democratic
party has been apparent throughout the present
session of congress. It began with the refusal
of the democrats to accept Mr. Bryan's dictation
on the wool bill. Its progress has heen marked
by open criticism of Mr. Bryan's utterances and
by defiance of his assumed authority. The
climax was reached in the enthusiastic applause
and congratulation of 95 per cent of the house
democrats over the branding of Mr. Bryan as a
disseminator of unfounded accusations. The
end of the Bryan dictatorship is at hand. It
is an essential step to continued democratic
So Mr. Bryan is buried again. How mortify
ing it must be to the World to have to announce
the burying so often, and yet it brings out its
stereotyped obituary notice again if it were a
first bit of news. The World stabbed and
stabbed in its revengeful way during the cam
paign of 1896. After the election it exulted
over Mr. Bryan's death and felt that its Wall
street friends were secure. It was amazed to
see Mr. Bryan recover from his injuries and
receive a unanimous renomination. After the
1900 election it buried him again and proceeded
to nominate a ticket. During the 1904 conven
tion the Post-Dispatch the St. Louis edition
of the World had a two column editorial on
"The Passing of Bryan" and the World spent
most of the campaign rejoicing over the final
elimination of Bryan and the repudiation of
Bryanism. After 1908 it renewed its dance
over his grave and now it is sure that ho has
been covered so deep that he can not get out.
The World ought to know that it can not kill a
man until it kills the things ho stands for, and
the things that Mr. Bryan stands for are alive
SECRET CAUCUS MUST GO
- THE UNDERWOOD INCIDENT ' '
MR. ALDRICH THINKS SO, TOO r
WHY NOT PROBE IT?
EXPLAIN, MR. UNDERWOOD
THE PEACE TREATIES
THAT IRON AND STEEL CAUCUS
THE JAMES-UNDERWOOD INCIDENT
THE WILSON BOOM IN TEXAS
VICTORY OF THE COMMONS
OLDFIELD SEEKS TO CURE DEFECT
SENATOR KERN'S STRONG LETTER
WHERE THE RANK AND FILE STAND
WHAT HAPPENED TO THE NEW YORK
, HOME DEPARTMENT
WHETHER COMMON OR NOT
NEWS OF THE WEEK
The plutocratic papers now tell us that there
Is a united and harmonious democracy behind
Mr. Underwood in his determination to delay
tho passage of a bill reducing the tariff on
iron and steel. But will they explain the fol
lowing dispatch which appeared in the Chicago
Tribune on the 26th of July (and other papers
had similar reports) :
- "The bill was not ratified without protest and
a VIGOROUS effort was made by MANY demo
crats to upset the party legislation program and
to prevent adjournment of the special session
of congress-by blazing away with tariff revision.-
.'all along the line, even if such action would
throw the session into the late fall."
And yet the Wall street press tells us that
-95. per cent of the democrats stood on their feet
and shouted: "Great is Underwood of the Revisionists!"
Chairman Underwood has coined a now
phrase. Ho accused Congressman Jamca
of "playing to tho galleries." Ho withdrew tho
language and apologized, but those who belong
to Mr. Underwood's class will hardly give up tho
use of tho term. Wo may expect to hear tho
defenders of tho public denounced as gallery
statesmen just as wo have heard them denounced
as demagogues. But wo know things by con
trast. We can not think of a gallery statesman
without thinking of tho statesman who does NOT
play to the gallery. What shall we call them?
How would "parquet statesmen" do? As Mr.
Underwood prides himself that he does not play
to the galleries it Is not unfair to assume that
he plays to those who occupy seats In the parquet
and in the private boxes. If he can afford to
bo a parquet statesman Mr. James can afford
to bo a gallery statesman. How would it do
to have an Investigating committee make in
quiry and seo how many of the democratic mem
bers take tho galleries Into consideration and
how many give their attention exclusively to
those who occupy the high-priced seats?
THE SOUL VISION
The Storm Child ran screaming Into tho
house. "Oh, mamma," she sobbed, holding up
a lacerated hand, "our. rose bush has thorns
And while mamma was comforting her, tho
Sunshine Child burs.t into the room. "Oh, mam
ma, mamma," sho cried, "look out In tho yard.
Our thorn bush is all covered with roses."
Toledo (Ohio) News Bee.
WRITE YOUR CONGRESSMAN
'- If tho democratic members of the
house did not submit to secret caucuses
on public affairs there would be no
doubt concerning any of their proceed
ings. Why should any democratic member
submit to the secret caucus? Why
should not the public business which
these men have to do be transacted In
the open so that their constituents may
be able to fix responsibility for all that
they do and for all that they fail to do?
The secret caucus Is one of the worst
foes of popular government. If you
are opposed to it write your member of
congress and urge him to protest against
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