The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923, January 01, 1914, Page 2, Image 2

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The Commoner
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The Reactionary's Last Stand
Ono by ono tho outposts of tho predatory in
tercuts havo boon taken by tho people.
First, camo' tho change In tho rules of tho
liouso which enabled a majority to rule. For
years tho speaker had been able to throttle legis
lation through power of appointment.
Second, camo tho change in, tho rules of tho
eonate, which made them moro democratic, if
possible, than tho rules of tho house, thus assur
ing tho control of that body by tho majority.
Third, and most important, camo tho change
in tho method of election of United States sen
ators olection by popular vote being substi
tuted for election by legislatures. This "was de
scribed in tho domocratic platform of 1908 as
,4tho gateway of othor reforms." It makes it
possiblo for tho people to select whom they will
and to punish as thoy please those who betray
Tloro are throo groat steps In advance, each
ono bringing us nearer to government of tho
pooplo, by tho people, and for tho people.
But there is ono moro reform necessary be
fore tho voicq of tho people will bo supreme in
national legislation, namely, tho adoption of a
cloiuro rule which will permit tho majority to
closo debate and vote on a proposition. Wo
hoar a groat deal about tho advantage of
. thorough discussion, but that is not tho question
to bo considered. Cloture does not moan that
thoro shall not bo all tho time necessary for
discussion; cloture simply moans that there
, shall bo a process within roach of tho majority
for tho closing of debate and for, tho securing
of a vote; and now is tho time to make the
lx change. We have a reform administration, and
reform moans affirmative action, Tho preda-
.,', tory interests hav boon in control.of the govorn-
mont for a generation and their only hope now
is in preventing legislation. They were .able to
"l unnecessarily prolong tho debate on tho tariff
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bin tho delay being worth an enormous sum to
the tariff barons. They were able, also, to un
necessarily prolong the debate on the money
question thus embarrassing business and caus
ing groat loss to the country. And while thoy
were delaying action on both these measures,
they were making it impossible for action to be
taken on any other measure, however important.
Undor the rules as they now stand, it is im
possible to paBs a resolution, even though every
member of tho senate may favor it, if for any
reason a minority of tho senate desire to debate
the resolution indefinitely in order to prevent
action upon some other measure. A treaty, for
instance, although approved by the necessary
two-thirds, rannot be presented when any im
portant measure is under consideration, because
it opens tho door to endless debate. There is
no doubt that the senate will ultimately come to
tho cloture rule why not now? Why permit an
obstructive minority to shorten the democratic
program or to obstruct the passage of laws for
which the people have voted. Care will, of
course, be taken to safeguard legitimate discus
sion, but when sufficient time has been allowed
for tho. expression of every shade of opinion and
for the consideration of every objection that may
be offered, there is no possible excuse for further
delay. Tho present rules of the senate are built
upon the aristocratic theory that there is more
intelligence and patriotism in an obstructive
minority than in a progressive majority. The
present rule enables a stubborn minority to
exert an influence so potent as to greatly impair
the power of the people to secure the legislation
which they desire. As every measure has to
pass the senate, as well as the house, reforms in
l other legislative methods largely lose "their
.power to aid so long as this one barrier remains.
As a chain is no stronger than its weakest link,
so government, no matter how popular in other
respects, is obstructed by limitations, restric
. tions, and restraints that still remain. The hour '
ds ripe for the completion of the work which the
vivoters' have undertaken "let the .people rule."
. W. J. BRYAN.
practical philanthropy
This is a practical age and even philanthropy
. 1b, becoming organized. Giving demoralizes tho
recipient if it results in destroying self-respectr
and in encouraging a spirit of dependence but
v. there aro many kinds of helpfulness which
strengthen while they aid.
Julius Rosenwald is backing such an effort
and has tho support of Carnegie and Vincent
Astor. An account of a poor man's bank will
bo found on another page. It is an experiment
well worth trying in fact, it has already been
tried successfully in St. Louis. Why can not
these banks bo duplicated in every community?
They not only rescue the poor from the loan
shark but thoy stimulate thrift and put tho un
fortunate upon their feet. Here is a field for
tho church. Why not organize Good Samaritan
banks for the benefit of those who havo "fallen
among thieves?" If Christians who hold watered
stock will dispose of it and use the money to
make life brighter for the worthy poor the
churches will be brought nearer to the struggling
masses and the day of universal brotherhood will
be hastened. "Philanthropy and five per cent"
may yet go hand in hand, for Good Samaritan
banks would yield a reasonable profit besides
rendering service. W. J. BRYAN.
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The subscriptions of those who became
subscribers with the first issue of The
Commoner and have renewed at the close
of each year, expire with tho January
issue. In order to facilitate tho work
of changing and re-entering tho ad
dresses upon our subscription books and
mailing lists and obviate tho expense
of sending out personal statements an
nouncing that renewals are due, sub
scribers aro urgently requested to renew
with as little delay as possible, Tho
work of correcting tho stencils entails
an enormous amount of labor and tho
publisher asks subscribers to assist as
much as possible by making their re
newals promptly.
Do you notice the difference? Bofore the cur
rency bill passed tho big bankers and their satel
lites wanted a central bank or, not more than
four regional banks at most. Now all the
large cities are clamoring for a regional bank.
Their second, thought is better. The more re
gional banks there are the greater the con
venience to the public and the less will be
Wall street's control over the nation's finances.
And do you note also that the bunk- are coming
into the systom? They threatened not to said
they would give up their charters first. But the
bluff did not work and they are marching up .to
take their medicine. It is not bad medicino;
it is very palatable food but it was uot what
they ordered. The president underslnod their
protests and proceeded to insist upon ti bill that
would meet the needs of tho public, lie had his
way and now everybody is happy.
The secretary of state has signed the sixth
treaty of the series providing for investigation
in all cases. The first five were with the Latin
American republics Salvador, Guatamala, Pan
ama, Honduras and Nicaraugua. The sixth was
with Tho Netherlands.
It was appropriate that Tho Netherlands
should be the leader of Europe in this now move
ment in tho interest of universal peace, fo" he
Hague has become the capital of that invisible
government the republic of publh opinion
which is constantly extending its authority over
the civilized world. Other treaties are being
prepared and it is only a question of time when
tho whole family of nations will bo linked to
ours by treaties which will, make war almost impossible.
It would look like the New York financiers
ought to have learned something of public senti
ment by this time but they seem to be as blind
as bats. At the New York hearing the big mag
nates filed in before Secretaries McAdoo and
Houston and seriously advocated the formation
of one big-reserve bank in the northeast to in
clude New York, New England and northern
New Jersey. They wanted some forty per cent
of tho entire banking capital of "the country in
cluded in this one district so that it would over
shadow all the other reserve banks. In other
words, having failed to get the central bank for
which they contended, they now want to Gonvert
one of the -reserve banks into a great, central
bank and put it in control of more than one-third
of the financial resources of the nation.. The
money trust is dying hard and the ruling passion
is strong In death.
The average man's idea that the democratic,
administration, has accomplished but two note
worthy feats in its three-quarters of a year of
complete power falls short of the facts. It does
not take into consideration the fact that in that
time the first two amendments to the constitu
tion made since 1870 were perfected, and these
were vitally important, a$ well as distinctly
democratic the income tax and direct election
of senators. It also fails to include the develop
ment of the parcel post and the inauguration of
a physical valuation of the railroads of ' the
Senator Bristow (of Kansas) has announced
his candidacy for re-election,, and in doing so
allies himself with the standpat wing pC.the re
publican party. Having failed to reform the re
publican party he returns to it. He reminds one
of the drunkard who was staggering along
toward home and came to a friend lying in the
gutter. "Help me up," pleaded the friend. "I
can't do it," he replied, "but I will lie down
with you."
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v Among the- Now'Year rea'olutidng'ithati'so ''far
has not b,een anyjfc.jth.e, newspapers one by. Mr, Taft, to refrain from . dis
cussing national policies that he might have in
stituted if he had not been deceived by the re
publican newspapers into thinking he was a
Some gentlemen who will be forced under the
income law to contribute mora substantially to
the expenses of government than they ever did
before are very sure that it will prove a very
unpopular enactment. They seem to have over
looked the unanimity with which it was adopted
by nearly forty state legislatures.
The democratic administration has so success
fully redeemed the pledges it made to the people
in the last national campaign that even the
standpat republicans are forced to reply, when
asked what they think of President Wilson:
"I am afraid he is going to make good."
When President Wilson was asked what he
thought of the action of the Morgan group in
resigning from a lot of companies, he replied
that it was ."interesting." He might have made
it even stronger it is intensely gratifying
Are you aware of the fact that there
has been persistent effort on foot to brine -about
an artificial financial depression in
this country? Do you know that by this
means the vested interests, as well as
political narties. hnno tn ii i ,
condition of affairs that ili cause a halt
in the progressive program that the
democratic party has already so success
ful ly inaugurated. Do you know that by
this means they seek to bring about the
repeal of reform legislation already en
acted? Do you know that the only way
to check this is to make the next con
gress democratic? A democratic con
gress n 1914 is the hest answer to the
special interest "calamity howlers" if
you wish to join in the movement to. this
end, read page 5. . s
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