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

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    The Commoner
.YOL. 14, NO. 12
F 4
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Progressive Defeat
bvAmoo Pinchot, a brother of Gifford Pinchot,
late progressive candidate for United States sen
ato .In Pennsylvania, has given a very .interest
ing explanation of the decadence of the pro
gressive party. Ho. suggests three causes, 1st:
Personality instead of principle; 2nd, lack of
doflnlteness in platform, and 3d. too much. trust
Influonco in tho party management.
Tho first reason alone is sufficient. No per
manent party can bo built upon any man. Man
1s mortal and the fact that he may die at any
moment robs any party built upon him of the
element of permanence, A man may make an
effective protest against something done by an
other man, or group of men, but mere personal
influenco is necessarily temporary. Principles
only endure man is important as he espouses
and advances principles.
Tho second also sound. , The pro
gressive platform did not present any new and
clear-cut issues. In so far as it endorsed any
deflnito policies it declared for that which the
democratic party had advocated long before, but
on most questions it was indefinite, especially so
on tho tariff question, the currency question,
and the trust question. No one could tell by
reading the platform what tariff reduction to
expect, what changes to look for in the currency
system or what anti-truqt remedies to prepare
for, and it will be remembered that Mr. Roose
velt has failed to give the progressives in con
gross any interpretation of that (platform to
.guide them when these subjects were' under con
sideration. Tho third reason given by Mr. Pinchot oper
ated against the progressives, especially in the
middle west. Mr. Perkins was a liability in-'
stead of an asset - his cotitribulioflB ' to tile"
party's campaign fund could not overcome the
odium which his intimacy with Mr. Roosevelt
brought upon the party. The progressives lean
ed toward reforms and, had they joined the dem.
ooratic party, they would have strengthened the
reform element in that party, but Mr. Roosevelt
denounced the democratic party as bitterly as he
did the republican party. This tended to keep
his admirers from allying themselves with the
democrats. . -
It Is quite natural, therefore, that most of
those who, because of personal attachment, fol
lowed him out of the republican party should
now as they desert him go back, but we may
eocpect a considerable number of those 'who left
he republican party on PRINCIPLE to come to
the democratic party, now that they can no long
ir doubt its determination to consider all ques
tions from tho standpoint of the people. The
democratic party has been progressive since the
Chicago convention of 1890, but it has .not had
in opportunity to prove it until this administra
tion began. w. J. BRYAN.
The new reserve system has been in opera
tion for a month now, and while its machinery
has not yet been placed in the smoothest running
order, its value has already been made appar
ent. "When tho public understands that this is
not a. method of controlling bank reserves so
that everybody who wants to borrow money can
get what he thinks he wants, but a plan whereby
eyery man who is .entitled to a loan through the
possession of character and assets has the oppor
tunity to utilize his credit to his advantage
just as all other men in business are privileged
to do the real value of this new system will
become apparent. It will end the monopoly of
credit that has existed in this country and will
enable the money of the country to be put to
the use desired by its ownerp and not the use
that its temporary custodians find most profitable.
The New York World has begun a crusade
against what it terms the folly of spending mil
lions to value tho railroads of the country but
It has so far refrained from explaining how the
interstate commerce commission will justify as
it must under the law, any set Of rates as giving
an adequate return on the capital invested, un
less it first finds out what the investment
really is.
With the next issue of the paper, The ')
Commoner completes its fourteenth year
of service to what it believes is
the people's cause. Tho large number
of subscribers who started with the first
issue of the paper and have continued up
to the present time, or, in other words,
the charter subscribers, of The Common-
er, have been a great aid in helping the
paper fulfill its mission. The subscriptions ()
that commenced with the first issue of
The Commoner and have been renewed
each year since that time will expire
with the next issue of the -paper. The
prompt renewal of all charter subscrib-
ers will prevent the necessity of the
mailing of a separate notice from the
business office and will also be an addi-
tional evidence of the Interest and ap-
proval of The Commoner's course since
it was established. May we not receive
at once the renewal of. all subscribers
whose subscriptions expire with the De-
cember or January issue?
Probably at no other time during the past
twenty-five years has there been so much inter
est tnken by the tax payers of the country, re
gardless of party, in the running of the govern
ment, ci.ty, state, and national. The discussions
during the recent campaign, on the stump and
through the press, wherein charges and, counter
charges of extravagance and graft by the un
necessary and wasteful employment of a large
number of assistants in various capacities, by
the lonal, state, and national governments, with
no other apparent motive in view but finding
places for the friends of the various officials,
and in the making of appropriations that will
enable friends of various political workers to
secure, fat contracts at the expense of the public,
has aroused such indignation among the tax pay
ers that the. session of state legislatures and the
national -congress will be .watched more closely
in the future than they eyer have been in the
past. The number of members of the state legis
latures and members of congress, whose only
claim for public approval is the large number
of men they have been able 'to put on the pay
rolls and the number and amount of appropria
tions which they have secured for their states
or districts, are being rapidly -weeded out of
public life. The eyes" of the country will follow
the work of public officials, both state and na
tional, with great scrutiny this winter. The
amount of money spent through pork-barrel and
other classes of appropriations, does not meas
ure the efficiency of governmental machinery
In the campaign to be made two years from now'
democrats will have to answer to tho public for
the actions -of their party wherever in power,
and it behooves democratic public servants to
scrutinize most carefully all appropriations and
see that they are confined to the economical
needs of the government and the welfare of
the people as a- whole. President Wilson, in his
recent message to congress, points out the im
portance at this timo of carefully guarding the'
appropriations and expenditures by congress cov
ering the activities of the federal government
for the next two yearp. vmuweut
One of the big movements in education these
days is to shorten tho summer vacation period
of the public schools on the theory that the boys
and girls of the cities would be, better off in the
schools than on the streets. The long summe?
vacation is a hangover from the days when hots
had real chores to do, and summer was he time
they were most pressing. 6 ume
Republican statisticians who have been fieiir
ing it out conclude' that it will be pracUcallv i
possible for the republicans to regain control
the United States senate before 1918. wMch s
beyond the date of the next presidential bIp?
tion. Evidently the goddess of libeny is prt
paring herself against any accident at ailing
The doctors say that a blow on the heart n,
sudden shock often transforms a man of etoSm J
and foreboding cast of mind into a? active n J
alert citizen. While the opinion i igenenU tht
we have enough offices, it would no hJ ?am n
to obtain public approval i 3 I hlTcveJnTt
muSity. fflCial head tapper for eve'rycom!
In his speech before the Economic club, Rep
resentative Gardner of Massachusetts described"
the United States navyas consisting of "twelve
super-dreadnoughts, ten pretty fair battleships,
eight venerable relics and four floating masses
of scrap iron." As to the general condition of
these ships, "each commander in the navy, out
of pride. praises his own ship, but says most of
the rest are junk." .'
We have the solemn word of the representa
tive from Massachusetts that "we started to
have a navy, but we haven't got it."
If this be true, the -proper investigating au
thority .is. not a committee of congress but a
federal grand jury. If we have no navy, what
has become of the hundreds of millions of dol
lars that the American people have paid for a
navy? ,
During the last ten years of republican admin
istration under Rooseyelt and Taft the total an
propriations for the navy were nearly $1,200
000,000. Mr. Gardner assures us that we' have
no navy; so what became of the money?
The naval appropriations for 1914 were more
than $140,000,000. The total appropriations
made for the German navy in 1913 were only
$115,090,000. Our navy is costing as much as
the combined navies of Germany and Austria
Hungary cost in 1913, and Mr. Gardner tells us
that we have no navy. It is costing almost as
much, as the French navy cost in 1913 plus the
Italian navy and Mr, -.Gardner tells us that we
haye .no nayy. It is costing three-fifths as much
as the British navy cost in 1913, and Mr. Gard
ner tells us that we have no navy.
We have certainly paid forgone. We have
lavished more money upon sea power than any
other country except Great Britain, whose very
life is dependent upon sea power, and when Mr.
Gardner declares that we have little except junk
to show for it, he makes the most serious charge
against the Roosevelt and Taft administrations
that could wejl be made; for if we have no navy
to show for an expenditure of $1,200,000,000 in
ten years, the American people have not only
been robbed, . but shamelessly and treasonably
robbed. , , , , juc'tf
M$8l'$fr' Garnfcr is wp'efufiy mistaken in
hiestjfn'afe ;of the .efficiency. ,of the United
States' navy, or , the 'evidence of its inefficiency
which he claims to have should be presented
forthwith to the attorney 'general of the United
States. New York "Vyqrld. " , t,
Here is a page t from ' actu,al experienqe that
ought to hearten the. advocates of municipal own
ership! The City of Linqoln passed an ordinance
eight years ago reducing the ate, of gas to $1
per thousand, the" average price in. cities of sim
ilar size in the middle wes.t., .The" gas company
has held up thef ordinance through an appeal
to the courts, and,, the old rate, is still in force.
Desiring to reduce, electric .lighting rates, the
city cohimissloiadded the necessary, appartus for
generating, current to the machinery, at its cen
tral water works station, and strung wires upon
the same poles that carried its street lighting
distributing system. It passed no ordinance, as
it had a right to do,, to .compel the two other
companies" that do commercial lighting to reduce
rates, but put' in a lower rate of its own. After
six months time, in which the private companies
busied themselves declaring "ihat current could
not be furnished for the city rate and the city
busied itself hustling for customers, the private
companies have met the city rates, and. every
consumer in Lincoln gets the same rate for the
same class of service.
The report of the secretary oft 'the navy giving
the work contemplated by the department shows
that the navy propose? to spend nearly $500,000
less this year than last year if we exclude, as we
should, the expenditure of the money received
from the recent sale of two ships. The money
received from these ships will be put into one
ship which is intended to replace the two. The
public will be glad to know that the government
has not yielded to the clamor of those who start
ed the propaganda for an increase in our mili
tary and naval expenditures. This nation is
keeping its head moving along in the even, if
not noiseless tenor of its way. Its example was
never more heeded than now and it is fortunate
that those in authority represent the sober sense
of tho country and pot the "jingo" sentiment.
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