The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923, January 01, 1915, Page 4, Image 4

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The Commoner
YOL. 15, NO. 1
President Wilson Defends Democratic Record
President Wilson addreaaed a largo crowd of
people at Tomlinson hall, Indianapolis, January
8, on tlio occaalon of the Jackaon day celebra
tion. The preaidont was introduced by Governor
Ralston of Indiana. Hia speech, as reported by
the Chicago Herald, follows:
Governor Ralston, Ladies and Gentlemen:
You havo given mo a moat royal welcome, for
Which I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
It la rather lonely living in Waahington. I havo
been confined for two yeara at hard labor and
even now I feel that I am simply out on parole.
You will notice that one of the most distinguish
ed members of the United States aenato is hero
to see that I go back. And yet with sincere apol
ogies to the senate and house of representatives,
I want to say that I draw more inspiration from
you than I do from them.
They, like myself, are only servants of the
people of the United States. Our sinews consist
in your sympathy and support, and our renewal
comes from contact with you and with the strong
movements of public opinion in this country.
That is tho roason why I for one would prefer
that our thoughts should not too often cross the
ocean, but should center themselves upon the
policies and duties of the United States. If we
think of tho United States, when tho time comes
we shall know how this country can serve the
world. I will borrow a very interesting phrase
from a distinguished gentleman of my acquaint
ance, and beg that you will keep your moral
powder dry.
But I havo come here on Jackson day. If there
are republicans present, I hope they will feel
tho compelling influences of such a day. There
was nothing mild about Androw Jackson; that
Is the reason I spoke of the 'compelling influences
of the day.' Androw Jackson was a forthright
man, who believed everything he did believe in
in fighting earnest. And really, ladies and gentle
men, in public life that Is the only sort of nian
worth thinking about for a moment. '
If I waft not ready to light Tor everything I
belidve In I would think it my duty to go
and take a back seat. I like, therefore, to breathe
the air of Jackson day.' I like to be reminded
of the old militant hosts of democracy which I
believe have come to life again in our time.
Tho United States had almost forgotten that
it must keep its fighting ardor in behalf of man
kind when Andrew Jackson became president,
and you will notice that whenever the United
States forgets its ardor for mankind, a democrat
is elected president.
The trouble with the republican party is that
it has not had a now idea for thirty years. I am
not speaking as a politician; I am speaking as
an historian. I have lpoked for now ideas in the
records and I have not found any proceeding
from tho republican, ranks. They have had lead
ers from time to time who suggested new ideas,
but they never did anything to carry them out.
I suppose there was no harm in their talking,
provided they could not do anything. Therefore,
when it was necessary to say that we have talked
about things long enough, which it was neces
sary to do, and the time had come to do them, it
was indispensable that a democrat should be
ele'cted president.
I would not speak with disrespect of the re
publican party. I always speak with great re
spect for the past, Tho past was necessary to
, the present; and was a sure prediction of the fu
ture. The republican party is still a covert and ref
uge for those who are afraid, for those who want
' to consult their grandfathers about "everything.
You will notice that most of the advice taken by
the. republican party is taken from gentlemen old
t enough to be grandfathers, and that when they
claim that a reaction has taken place they react
to tne re-eioction or the oldest members of their
party. They will not trust the youngsters. They
are. afraid the youngsters may have something
up their sleeve.
You will see, therefore, that I have come to
on in the spirit of Jackson day. I got very tired
staying In Washington and saying sweet things.
"I would prefer that our thoughts
should not too often cross the ocean, but
should center themselves upon the pol
icies and duties of the United States."
"There may come a time when the
American people will have to judge
whether I know what I am talking about
or not."
"As long as I am president nobody
shall interfere with the efforts of the
Mexicans to get liberty. Have not Euro
pean nations taken as long as they want
ed and spilled as much blood as they
pleased to settle their own affairs? And
shall wo deny the same right to Mexico?
No, I say."
VEvery time tho country really wants
something done it returns the democratic
party to power."
"This country is now guided by the in
dependent voter."
)ft Jp J(f
"We have laid the lines now upon
which business designed to do the coun
try harm shall be stopped and an econ
omic control which was intolerable shall
be broken up."
"There is nothing the matter' with
American business except a state of
"There is a very simple way co help
the workingmen. If you were simply, to
establish a great federal employment bu
reau it would do a vast deal."
"I do know that the United States in
its judicial procedure is many decades
behind every other civilized government
in the world."
May we not look forward to the time
when wo shall be called blessed among
the nations because we succored the na
tions of the world in their time of dis
tress and dismay?"
I wanted to come out and get in contact with you
once more and say what I really thought.
My friends, what I particularly want you to
observe is this, that politics In this country does,
not depend any longer upon the regular mem
bers of either party. There are not enough reg
ular republicans In this country to take and hold
national power; and I must Immediately add
there are not enough regular democrats in this
country to do it either. s
This country is guided and its policy is deter
mined by the independent voter; and I have pome
to ask you how we can best prove to the inde
pendent voter that tho instrument he needs is
the democratic party and that it would b.e hope
less for him to attempt to use the republican
party. I do not have to prove it; I admit It.
What seems to me perfectly evident is this
that if you made a rough reckoning, you would
have to admit that only about one-third of tho
republican party is progressive; and you would
also have to admit that about two-thirds" of tho
democratic party is progressive. Therefore the
Independent progressive voter finds a great'deal
more company in the democratic ranks 'than in
the republican ranks. I say a great deal more
because there are democrats who are sitting on
the breeching-strap; there are democrats who
are holding back. There are democrats who are
nervous. I dare-say they were bom with thai
. And I respect the conservative temper. I claim
to be an animated conservative myself; becauaa
being conservative I understand to mean a man
not only who preserves what is best In the nation
but who sees that in order to preserve it you
dare not stand still, but must move forward.
For the virtue of America it is not statical; it is
dynamic. AH the forces of America are forces
in action or else they are forces of inertion.
What I want to point out to you, and I believe
that this is what the whole country is beginning
to perceive, is this, that there is a larger body of
men in the. regular ranks of the democratic party
who believe in the progressive policies of our day
and mean to see them carried forward and per
petuated than there is in the ranks of the re
publican party. How can you be otherwise, gen
The democratic party, and only the democratic
party, has carried out the policies which the pro
greaaive people of this country have desired
There is not a single great act of this present
great congress which has not been carried out in
obedience to the public opinion of America; and
the public opinion of America is not going to per
mit any body of men to go backward with regard
to these great matters.
Let me instance a single thing: I want to ask
the business men here present if this is' not the
first January in their recollection' that did not
bring a money stringency for the time being, be
cause of the necessity of paying out great sums
of money Ty way of dividends and tti other set
tlements which come at the first of the year?
I have asked the bankers if that happened this
year and they say, "No, it did not happen; it
could not happen under the federal reserve act."
We have emancipated the credits, of this country.
And is there anybody here, who will doubt that
the other policies that have given guarantee to
this country that there will be free competition
are policies which this country will never allow
to be reversed?
I have taken a long time, ladies and gentle
men, to select the federal trade commission, be-.
cause I wanted to choose men and be.. sure that
I had chosen men who would be really service
able to tbe business men of this country, great as
well as small, the rank and the file. These things
have been done and will never be undone. They
were talked about and talked about with futility
until a democratic congress attempted and
achieved them.
But the democratic party is not to suppose that
it is done with the business. The democratic
party has to prove to the independent voters of
this country not only that it believes in these
things, but that it will continue to work along
these lines and that it will not allow any enemy
of these things to break its ranks.
This country is not going to use any party that
can not do continuous and consistent teamwork.
If any group of, men should dare to break the
solidarity of the democratic team for any pur
pose or from any motive, theirs will be a most
unenviable notoriety and a responsibility which
will bring deep bitterness to them. The only
party that is serviceable to a nation is a party
that can hold absolutely together and march
with the discipline and with the zest of a con
quering host. I am not saying these things be
cause I doubt that the democratic party will be
able to do these things, hut because I believe
that as leader for the time being of that party, I
can promise that country that it will do these
things. I know my colleagues at Washington, I
know their spirit, and their purpose, and I know
that they have the same emotion, the same high
emotion of public service, that I hope I have."
I want at this juncture to pay my tribute of
respect and of affectionate admiration for the
two great democratic senators from the state of
Indiana. I have never had to lie awake nights
wondering what they were going to do. And
the country is not going to trouble itself, ladles
and gentlemen, to He awake nights and wonder
what men are going to do.
If they have to do that they will choose other
mf1J(.and that is a11 to the business. Team work
all the time is what they are going to demand of
us, and that is our individual, as well as our
collective responsibility. That is what Jackson
stands for.
If a man will not play in the team, then he
does not belong to the team. You see, I have
spent a large part of my life in college and I