The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923, July 12, 1912, Page 2, Image 2

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The Commoner.
Greatest Triumph in Mr. Bryan's Career
Joseph L. Brlstow, republican United States
senator from Kansas, sent to the St. Louis Post
Dispatch, the following report: Washington,
July 4. The nomination of Woodrow Wilson
by the democratic convention is the greatest
triumph that has come to William J. Bryan in
his careor, far greator than his first nomina
tion, which was the result of his speech to the,
Chicago convention. Then the delegates were
In condition to ho moved by the spectacular
demonstration of his oratorical powers. His
fight for a progressive platform at St. Louis up
to this tlmo probably showed his greatest
strongth as a tenacious fighter. His nomination
for tho third time vas not opposed seriously, be-,
cause It was not believed that tho democratic,
party had a chance f,or success.
But with flattering prospects this year, that
tho nominee would be elected, the enemies of,
Mr. Bryan's theories of government have made,
every effort to guard against control of the con
vention, so that no one In accord with his views,
and purposes could bo nominated. Indeed, it ,
appeared that they had paved an easy way for' .
tho nomination of Speaker Clark, but they had , ,
not reckoned with tho power of Bryan's per
sonality as a delegate in tho convention.
For a week I watched closely his masterful
hand. Beaton on tho first day for temporary
chairman by a decisive vote, it cloarly appeared
that he did not control a majority of tho dele
gates to the convention. His enemies, the re
actionaries in tho democratic party, were elated,
but Bryan was calm in defeat and confident of
ultimate success. He rolled on that irresistible
influonco in American politics, which he termed
tho "folks at home," but which I shall style
public opinion.
No convention or legislative body in this coun
try can stand a great while against concentrated
public opinion. And while the reactionary
democrats gnashed their teeth furiously at
Bryan, sent forth their prize orators to denounce
him, and vented their hatred and anger, insult
ing remarks and jeers, yet, he in tho midst of
all the rancorous turmoil, cool and self-possessed,,
continued with a masterful hand to
wield his tremendous powor over the conven
tion. Ho relied with supreme confidence on tho
force of public opinion to bring the convention
to his feet, and he succeeded, In my judgment,
beyond his expectations.
Governor Wilson is under obligations to
many friends who have worked for his' nomina
tion with an ardor that should be exceedingly
gratifying to him, yet there is one man whose
support and dominating force gave him the nomi
nation, and today towering , above other party
leaders In American politics, stands the gigantic
figure of William J. Bryan. By this I do not
mean to place Mr. Bryan, in point of ability or
as an effective moral or political leader, ahead
of Colonel Roosevelt. While he struggled at
Baltimore against powerful forces, yet his
battle was not nearly so difficult as that which
confronted Mr. Roosevelt at Chicago.
Roosevelt had to dislodge a person who was
in power, who had more than a hundred thous
and officeholders "whose political fortunes were
welded to his success. These officeholders we're
in absolute command of one-third of the dele
gates to the convention. He had also1 against
him tho sentiment in favor of giving a 'presi
dent a second term and in addition 'to these
powerful and controlling influences, he 'had the
same organization working in Chicago against
him that Mr. Bryan contended against at Baltimore.
Mount Wattorson is again in eruption. This
timo tho hidden firqs burst; .wijth more than usual, t
fiiry. Tho burning laya, descending to the plain,:
has formed Itself into characters that, as. nearly
as they can be read through the smoke, read '
as follows:
"The mask which in his unguarded fury Mr.
Bryan has allowed to slip away from tho slqek
and smug visage that has so long deceived
superficial observers into the belief that, though
solfish and commonplace, he was still a sincere
and amiable man, shows tho world at last the
very embodiment of prosperous hypocrisy and
successful malice.
."The literature of every nation has its type' of
thq unprincipled charlatan. He is depicted ini'
various degrees and kinds of turpitude, but al
ways as shallow and heartless. Of Tartuffo, we
read with dismay; of Pecksniff and Chadband,
Wfth disgust
"How shall wo classify and what shall be the' '
measure of detestation in which not only all good
democrats but all good men must hereafter and
forever hold the sardonic figure at Baltimore"'
in, his rage and spleen throwing off all disguise, .
of prudence and showing himself in his true'
character of ingrate, traitor and Pharisee; the
baffled demagogue spitting upon hands that had
befriended him; tho beaten mountebank, balked .
or his prey; the rattlesnake revealed, exuding
poison that disease and death may follow in the:
wako of his tortuous pourse? ,'
"It Is most painful to write and to print this
Indictment of a man. the , Courier-Journal has
tried to believe an honeBt though misguided
man. The seven days' performance at Balti
more, with its horrible spectacle of rule or
ruin, duplicating tho equally horrible spectacle' '
r5,08,evelt at ChicaEo, leaves us no recourse."
.'Tills is certainly a sbvere charge for one man'1
tb bring against another, but even violent lan
guage can lose its forc6 by its' 'repetition, and Mr;
Wttttorson's fury has been Jiurled at Mr. Bryan'
16 frequently that it is'becdming each time more;
easy to withstand tho shock. k
Mr. Wattorson's forked tongue to change
the figureattempted. -to. inject its venom into
Mr. Bryan's political fleshy. us far back as 1896,
No compromise wih, dishonor," he hissed
through the cable but,fco, found on investigation!
that he had bitten the qash box of his-paper in,
stead.. of the democratic candidate. But, jubi
lant over the prospeAtiyv0 defeat of the demo
cratic party, he thus disposed of Mr. Bryan In
auditorial printed -uftoMp. Bryan's Kentucky"
"Mr. William J. Bryari has Homo to Kentucky :
and Kentucklans have taken his measure He
is a boy orator. He is a dishonest dodger. 'He
is a daring adventurer. He is a political fakir.
He is not of the material of which the pebple of
tho XJnited States 'have' ever made , a pre'sideriti
nor is he even of the material of which any
party has ever before made a candidate." '
His next chance for attack was when imper
ialism was the issue. Mr. Bryan was accused
of being a moral philosopher instead of a states
man, and was warned that his idealism was
not suited to this commercial age.
As the national platform, just adopted, with
out opposition, repeats FOR THE THIRD TIME
the declaration against imperialism written by
Mr. Bryan for the platform of 1900, it is hardly
necepsary for Mr. Bryan to defend his position.
In the spring of 1904 Mr. Watterson felt it
his patriotic duty to denounce Mr. Bryan for
opposing Mr. Parker. He even accused Mr.
Bryan of supporting Mr. Hearst and he has never
had tho fairness to commend Mr. Bryan for re
fusing to second tho nomination of Mr. Hearst
a refusal which explains Mr. Hearst's hatred
ever since.
In 1908 Mr, Watterson led Wall street in its
effort to defeat Mr. Bryan's third nomination
and only desisted when friends convinced him
that tho logic of the situation required Mr.
Bryan's nomination.
When the present campaign opened Mir. Wat
terson championed the cause of Mr. WHsqn but
repudiated him when Governor Wilson refused
to accept a campaign contribution from Thomas
F. Ryan, and admitted, on inquiry, that Mr.
Harvey's support was a liabiltiy instead of an
asset. After abandoning Mr. Wilson Mr. Wat
terson took up Mr. Clark, but gave him a tardy
and luke-warm support. Now that Mr, Clark
refused to take sides in tho temporary chair
manship fight botweon Mr. Parker and Mr.
Bryan, and more especially since ho (Mr. dark)
can see no reason for "insulting the ninety dele
gates from New York,"' whom Mr. Murphy used
to carry out the wishes of tho plunderbund
NOW the furnace of Mr. Watterson's wrath is
heated seven times hotter than before.
Well, Mr. Bryari confesses that he t has nbt
tried to please Mr. Watterson that 'may 'ac
count for any popularity Mr. Bryan enjoys. He
confesses that ho did not consult Mr. Watter
son when he made his fight against Judgfc
Parker for temporary chairman. He did not
consult Mr. Watterson when he introduced, the
resolution against Morgan, Ryan and Belmont
(wonder if Mr. Watterson feels slighted like
on,e of the financiers did, becatise he was not in
cluded) and Mr. Bryan did not consult Mr
Watterson when he declined to join with Mr
Murphy in nominating a candidate for presi
dent. Mr. Bryan has pursued tho course which
seemed to him most calculated to advance the
interests of the democratic party and through
the democratic party the interests of the coun
try. Ho has done most of his work, not only
without Mr. Watterson's aid but In spite of his
opposition: He has lived to see the things ho
has advocated become tho accepted doctrines of
a great nation and he awaits without fear the
verdict of the people upon his work at Baltimore.
The following news item appeared "in the Chi
cago Tribune on last Thursday morning. It was
sent from Sea Girt, N. J., and tells a brief, but
far-reaching story.
All minutes are of. equal duration,, measured
on the limitless line of time, but the decisions
made in them are not of equal importance. The
item above referred to tells of Governor Wil
son's decision, made In a moment, which won
him tho presidential nomination. The Tribune
correspondent says:
"Governor Wilson did not stutter when Wil
liam Jennings Bryan put up to him the question
of a reactionary or a progressive temporary
chairman of the Baltimore convention.
"Without hesitation and against the advice
of his campaign managers,' he chose the Ne
braskan's course. This decision of the governor
became known today through Joseph P. Tumul
ty, his secretary. .
"Mr. Tumulty told of the telegram sent to
Bryan in answer to the' latter's message de
claring against the selection of Alton B. Parker
as temporary chairman.
." 'As soon as Mr. Bryan's message became
public, oven before it reached the governor,' the
secretary said, 'the Wilson managers -at Balti
more got the governor on the telephone.
" ' 'Don't answer the message until you hear
from us they begged. And the governor said
ho wouldn't.
'l 'Down at Baltimore they rigged 'up a rough
draft of h. reply and sent it to the governor. He ,
TOttrl 'If firwV 1l o -n rt n ,1 II- . T'A J.j-.'.l n
he'saicL as, lie, to re it Into .
'He took a pad and nlacod it. across tils
knee and wrote his answer to Mr. Bryan with
out crossing out a single word he had' put
down.' "
The same opportunity came to Speaker Clark
Mr. Bryan sent identically the same telegram
to both but Mr. Clark listened to tils' advisors,
and destiny's lniock was unanswered 'by' him.
One has only himself to blame if' ', he allows
such an opportunity to pass unimproved. " "
-i v1 '
Mr. Bryan does not .deserve, (however pleas
ant the; compliments may be) the credit he is
receiving .for, what was done at Baltimore. His
part was reajly, ,a modest one; he simply turned
the. faucet and, allowed a great moral force to
flow in iUpon. ,the convention. He did not
CREATE the,, force, but ho knew where tho
faucet was and estimated more accurately than
some others did the height of the stand-pipe from
which the. forco came. If he had had the fore
sight to hang oyer the platform. the motto, "Re
member, .J;he Folks at Home,"- illumined by elec
tncltyhe need, not have spoken at all. He
could by turning on the light, have made really
half the delegates hide under the chairs. The
fear of the people is the beginning of wisdom,
if one may be permitted to paraphrase a pro
verb, and no convention ever better illustrated
this truth. ;
No one who looked upon tho tumult caused
by the anti-Morgan, Ryan, Belmont resolution
will ever "forget tho scene. Such a seething
mass of terror-stricken men has seldom been
on exhibition except when, during a battle, a
bursting shell has fallen, without warning, into
a camp; 'And yet, in a few minutes reason re
turned and men who had been cursing the
resolution fell over each other in their effort
to change their votes to "aye." It waB a great
separating of the sheep from the goats but
some of the goats slipped in at the last moment.
Co a'ilx4figure wax ll0t without danger to
itself? This is the question which 4nse in the
minds off the. delegates when they saw Mr.
Stanchfield pf ' 'New York fore but a tew
broken sentences ' In favor of one candidate,
while his Vote was being cast for another ca'ndi-.
date. i
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