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About The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923 | View Entire Issue (May 24, 1912)
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WILLIAM J. BRYAN, EDITOR AND PROPRIETOR
vol; 12, NO. 20
Lincoln, Nebraska, May 24, 1912
Whole Number 592 "'
MR. BRYAN AND CONGRESS
Mr. Hearst seems to think that he can render Mr. Clark a ser
vice by representing the speaker and Mr. Bryan as widely sepa
rated in their views upon public questions. An editorial in the New "
York'Evening American of May 1, says : ' ' Clark and Bryan are two
exceedingly different men, so different that the defeat of one is
almost sufficient to infer the election of the other." The editorial
then proceeds to draw a contrast between Mr. Clark and Mr. Bryan
and asserts that the congressional program, is repugnant to Mr.
Bryan's views as to what ought to be done. Mr. Hearst's hostility
to Mr. Bryan makes it easy for Mr. Hearst to be misled in regard
to Mr. Bryan's attitude, but it does not excuse him from gross mis
representation of Mr. Bryan's position on public questions. If he
.were as well informed as he should be he would know that Mr,
Bryan has been in hearty accord with the present congress on nearly
all questions, and has differed with the members of congress on very
few issues. For instance, when the original program was outlined
it was not only approved by Mr. Bryan but carried out specifically
the reforms demanded in the platform upon which Mr. Bryan ran
in 1908. . . '
Mr. Bryan advocated in 1908, and also through The Commoner,
the overthrow of Cannonism and the,.substitutiojDuof thsystem
rivpi'imMjf-mmffiMitteeHt ' thEouse wimfdTeiSed by
the house instead of by the speaker The amendment providing for
the election of senators by the people was indorsed in two of the
national platforms on which Mr. Bryan ran, and was in the plat
form upon which he first ran for congress in 1890.
The admission of Arizona was also demanded in Mr. Bryan's
platform of 1908, and he had the honor of suggesting the plan
finally adopted for securing the admission of the state.
The publicity law, which was also a part of the congressional
program, carried out another plank of Mr. Bryan's platform, a
plank inserted in the platform athis request.
Mr. Bryan indorsed the action of congress in ratifying the
reciprocity treaty, not because he approved of the treaty in detail,
but because he favored anything in the line of tariff reduction.
The plan of reducing the tariff schedule by schedule rather than
by a general bill also had his approval; he was a members of the
ways and means committee when this plan was adopted twenty
years ago. x
Mr. Bryan favored the open caucus and the open caucus was
adopted after the secret caucus had given rise to widespread complaint.
Mr. Bryan commended the farmers' free list bill, the metal
schedule bill, the chemical schedule bill, and the cotton schedule
bill, the free sugar bill and the income tax bill. Ho also urged the
passage of the woolen schedule bill, although he protested against
any tariff being left upon wool. Free wool would have permitted a
still greater reduction in the tariff on woolen goods, and he was
for a greater reduction than the bin provided, but favored the bill
as a great improvement over the present law, and as a great deal
better than anything that can be expected from a republican con
gress. " f
Mr. Bryan urged publicity as to the recommendation of judges",
and the democratic house passed the bill.
He favored publicity as to contributions made to nominate
presidential candidates, and the house passed the. bill,
He favored publicity as to newspaper ownership, and the house
passed the bill.
He favored relief to the laboring men in the restriction of the
issuance of injunctions, and the house has passed this measure. Ho
favored election of senators by the people and the house acted on
that reform. In fact, Mr. Bryan and the house have been moving
along together very harmoniously. . ,,,
"r He did noT'agree with the caucus in turning the money trust
investigation over to the Pujo committee, and the caucus would
not do it again if it 'had it to do over. The democrats of the house
have already virtually adopted Mr, Henry's plan, and the investi
gation will therefore be a satisfactory one that is all that Mr.
Bryan has contended for.
There are other questions before the house wh6re the house is
preparing to carry out other planks of the Denver platform. Mr.
Bryan has .every reason to be satisfied with the record of the demo
cratic congress, and Mr. Hearst should inform himself before h
attempts to represent Mr. Bryan as disappointed by the action of
congress. Some six and a half millions of democrats voted for Mr.
Bryan nearly all of them because they really wanted to do so, and
as neither they nor Mr. Bryan have changed their views on public
questions they will also be glad to approve of what congress has
Mr. Bryan has exercised the right of criticising members of
congress who have not stood by the pledges of the party, or who
have permitted Wall street to frighten them, but on most questions
the members criticised have been in a very small minority; the great
majority of the members of congress have lived up to their pledges
like men and Mr. Bryan has been glad to commend them.
A BAD SIGN
Whenever you . see a democrat devoting his
time to warning the people against the "pas
sion of the mob" and the "thoughtlessness of
the multitude" and the "ignorance of tho
masses," beware of him. There are a great
many dangers that are more menacing than any
of these. The cunning of the greedy, the un
scrupulousness of the predatory and the avarice
of the beneficiary of special privilege these are
real dangers, and a democrat who does not see
them, confesses that ho is among them while the
man who warns the public against the people in
effect declares that he does not consider him
self one of the people. Th.ere, Js np doubt that
the masses might err if ther we.ijei caUed upon
to act while angry or without, jtlme fori investi
gation but does not the sme 4objec.tion apply
o any faction. of the. public as well ias to tho.
whole public? Our elections are held at stated
times or after a sufficient notice so that the
people have a chance to act deliberately. If you
can not trust the sense of justice among tho
people, there is nothing that you can trust. As
Bancroft says, the universal conscience is tho
strongest approach that we have to tho voice
It is a bad sign when a democrat begins to
hedge on the doctrines of popular government
and to become frightened at the placing of
power in the people's hands. Beware of him no
matter what he calls himself and what his past
record may have been.
COMMERCE COURT DEAD
idongress has killed tho commerce court, and
there are few mourners. Tho court "has', .been
an .obstruction rather than an aid because a
majority ,of its members, seemed to be Jiased
i against public, interests,. &.-
Chairman Jones of tho insular affairs com
mittee of the house has introduced a bill grant
ing to the Philippines for eight years a qualified
independence, and after that complete indepen
dence. The bill reserved to tho United States
such ownership, control and sovereignty over
such lands as a commission appointed for tho
purpose may regard as necessary as coaling and
naval stations, and terminal points for cables.
The bill carries out the promises of the demo
cratic platforms of 1900, 1904 and 1908. Whilo
tho platform did not fix a definite time for in
dependence the time fixed In the Jones bill is.
not too short, it having been now over twelve
"years since Anierican occupation began. Con
gress has made a splendid record in carrying
ut the promises of the platform. It ought not
. fe.filtourn until hs promise is fulfilled.
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