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About The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923 | View Entire Issue (May 24, 1912)
MAY 24, 191-2
Popular Election of Senators
The senate and house have agreed upon a resolution submitting
for the ratification of the states an amendment to the federal consti
tution providing for the election of United States senators by direct
vote. It is public regret that the resolution was not so worded as
to secure unanimous support on the democratic side. Some of the
southern democrats are so much afraid of a force bill that they pre
fer to leave the method of election of senators unchanged rather
than risk interference with local laws. Then, too, there being no re
publican party in the south, senators are selected at the primaries
and the people do not, therefore, feel the need of popular election as
much as the need is felt in the north. These two reasons, taken
together, account for the opposition of a number of southern mem
bers in the house upon the final passage of the resolution.
Mr. Bryan, while he regards the possibility of a force bill as
exceedingly remote, recognizes that the fear is honestly entertained
by a great many southern democrats, and tried when in congress
to secure such a wording of the amendment as would permit any
state to protect itself against a force bill, if one was ever passed,
by returning to the present method, and he renewed the effort to
secure such an amendment when the house and senate disagreed
as to the phraseology of the amendment. Mr. Bryan's plan, how
ever, was not aocepted by the southern representatives in the house
at least not by enough of them to bring it before either body so
the issue was finally joined between the house plan which specifically
reserved to the states control over senatorial elections and the
senate plan which did not. After a year had been spent in efforts
at reconciling the difference between the senate and house the demo
crats of the senate tried to change the Bristow amendment by add
ing a clause proposed by Senator Bacon. The failure of this amend
ment alarmed the democrats of the house and rather than risk of
possible failure to submit the amendment, after the senate had at
last been forced to consent to the reform, they decided to accept the
senate resolution and thus put the amendment before the states for
ratification without further action on the part of the senate.
The house acted wisely in so doing and Congressman Rucker
of Missouri, who has led the fight, is to be congratulated upon his
success in securing to the people an opportunity to accomplish this
far-reaching reform. If the democrats retain their majority in the
next congress and secure control of the senate they may be able to
add the provision desired by the southern statesmen who fear a
force bill. But it would have been difficult to make a successful
campaign this year if the democratic party had permitted df-'eat or
delay in the submission of the amendment. Now let the matter of
ratification be taken up and pressed in every state as soon as the
legislatures convene. In every convention democrats and republi
cans should indorse this amendment and demand its ratification.
Mr. Bryan has been advocating the popular election- of senators for
twenty-two years, and he rejoices- that with the senate responsive
to the people's will remedial legislation will be made easier.
Did you read that latest thing from the great
soul of William Jennings Bryan, delivered in
"Let.no man bring to my deathbed for my
consolation Darwin's' 'Descent of Man'.'' Rather,
lot my friend read to me the Twenty-third
Psalm: 'The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not
To all people who think for themselves thQ.ro
comes, at some time in life, this proposition:
Either I am descended from a soulless,
stomachless', brainless, spineless germ, as
science declares, or I am from God.
The 'study of tho scientific side of this propo
sition is fascinating, the argument full of logic.
Tho end arrived at is a blank wall, with no
hope, no consolation. We're simply soulless
brutes of high degree and life is but a con
temptible joke on the spermatozoa. We go
down in Titanics and that's the last of us, so
far as our widows, orphans and loved friends
are concerned. Disbelief, hopelessness, des
pair! But when a man has reached Bryan's age, he
sees that all the happiness 'possible in this life .
does not suffice, with Death and Eternity knock
ing at the door; that all the force of reason, all
the deductions of logic fall short of what think
ing men must have.
Face to 'face with Forever, man turns from
the deep hole which logic has dug downward
and turns his face upward to catch the blessed
satisfying 'rays of faith from on high. The pic
ture of his child's cold corpse knocking about
with the cadavers in tho Titanic coffin, down
there in the sea, gives place to a picture of a
child, happy, safe, at peace on the breast of
God the Father.
Let science gnaw her husks. The Lord is the
shepherd of those we've "loved and lost awhile"
and Bis rod and His staff shall comfort us.
JOHN W. KERN
Plymouth, Ind., May 13, 1912 Editor of Tho
Commoner: If the national democratic conven
tion should nominate the Hon. John W. Kern
for president, victory for the people would be
assured. Because of his ability to determine
the needs of the people, through a life of ser
vice with them, Mr. Kern is unquestionably
their choice for president. If nominated he
would carry Indiana by a sweeping vote and
would stand a half million vdtes stronger than
any other; candidate in the democratic party.!..
Mr. Kern has the distinction of being the only,
member of tho United States senate who.Jiaa
been sought by the office. The scene of his
nomination for United States senator in the
state convention was one never to be' forgotten
by those .present. When My.. Kern, rose to pro
test after the nomination, had. three, times been
tendered him,, the .entir.e. convention rose to the
floor and demanded that ho "accept tho nomi
nation. It was his name that secured Indiana
for the democratic ticket that fall.
Furthermore, in view of Mr. Kern's name
having been affiliated with that of Mr. Bryan on
the national ticket, his nomination would inspire
a greater number of people for tho success of
the democratic party than any other candidate.
Mr. Kern's nomination would mean an over
whelming democratic victory.
RELATION OF EMPLOYER TO EMPLOYE
News item in Pittsburg Sun: Tho relation
ship of the employer and the employe, and tho
duty of each in the factory, in society and in
religion, formed the basis of a highly interest
ing and Instructive talk given by William Jen
nings Bryan before about 1,500 employes of
the H. J. Heinz company, on the Northside.
The speech was a mixture of wit, epigrams and
solid advice to all his listeners.
For the first time in the history of the Heinz
plant, the workers were given an "hour's time to
assemble in the auditorium of the plant to hear
any speaker. When Mr. Bryan arrived the' hall
was filled to its capacity, and a mighty cheer
arose as he entered the hall, and continued until
long after he had taken a seat on the stage.
A girl pianist played "America" as the dis
tinguished guest entered the hall. Ho was ac
companied on the trip to the Heinz works by
H. C. Anderson, of the Heinz works; Dr. Sol
C. Dickey, of Winona Lake, Ind.; M. J. Caton,
and Frank Wilbur Main, .both of Pittsburgh. It
was through Mr. Main's efforts that Mr. Bryan
is paying this visit to Pittsburgh.
Mr. Bryan was Introduced by Howard Heinz.
When Mr. Bryan arose to speak he took occa
sion to draw some witticisms about the cucum
ber and the pickle, and stated that with a good
foundation any "green" man or woman' could
become as necessary in life as a pickle is to the
Mr. Bryan said in part: "Employers and em
ployes should be on friendly terms and I am
happy to state that I have never been connected
with any movement which did not tend to bring
a'bout a closer relationship between the em
ployer and the: employed. The content of our
masses depends upon-the fostering of. the? good
will between ddpltal and labor. r . Mo -n-i.
i -''.'There1 are threo' thoughts ' which" J I 'Mould
like to have you remember which will not only
enhance your value as workers, but will make
our country grow stronger and better from day
to day. It is only through contented workmen
that tho country ,can maintain Its supremacy as
tho greatest nation on tho top of the earth.
"You can not bo a good citizen or a good
workman unless you give to society as much as
you take from it. Tills is tho economic founda
tion upon which society should bo founded. It
is God's law. And, as to tho employer, I would
say that the moment you depress a man's ambi
tion by telling him he can not have what ho
rightfully earns, you cause him to lose his In
terest in tho business, and both he and society
"Then, again, you can not expect this govern
ment to go on unless you take an interest in it.
Tho government belongs to the people, and you
ignore it at your peril.
"Thirdly, you can not deny that a good re
ligion is the real basis upon which all law, all'
business and all pockotbooks must rest. With
out a heart, what good is a mind? Give a man
a sense of responsibility to God and you can
repeal all the laws. Conscience is tho greatest
force of which man has knowledge from the
cradle to the grave. Conscience rears about its
stronger walls than walls of stone."
A LITTLE PLEASANTRY
The Springfield (Mass.) Republican relieves
the strain of the political situation as follows:
Public life is not without Its pleasantries of
course, as was Instanced recently when Senator
Lodge and Colonel Bryan met In tho lobby of
tho senate. "Hello! 'senator," said the No
braskan, shaking tho hands of tho Massachu
setts man. "I see we are rivals," continued tho
colonel. "How so?" asked tho senator. "You
are being mentioned as a mighty good dark
horse for the Chicago convention. You know
I have had mention that way," said Colonel'
"I am so dark," answered the senator, "that
I am mentioned only In London. But I tell you,
your chances for being nominated at Chicago
are better than mine." Both men laughed.
"But ttiero is one thing about this republican
fight I do not like," added tho colonel. "They
aro standardizing mo in no flattering manner.
The Roosevelt people say that they will vote
for Bryan before they will vote for Taft and the
Taft people say tfiey will vote for Bryan before
they- will vote for ;Roosevelt. Now that is not
t,heihind of standard I'd like to be." "Itt might
bo one-way of getting elected' replied Senator
Lodge , with a fine.. thrust. ,.j
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