The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923, March 01, 1915, Page 10, Image 10

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The Commoner
VOL. 15, NO. 3
I v
Mr. Bryan to Indiana Editors
Secretary Bryan was a guest at the banquet of
the Indiana Democratic Editorial association,
at the Denlson hotel, Indianapolis, Indiana, on
Thursday evening, February 4, 1915. He was
introduced by Mrs. Mindwell Crampton-Wilson,
of Delphi, Indiana, who spoke as follows:
"In looking over the history of the Indiana
Democratic Editorial association, I find that its
real birthday was on January 5, 1881. The first
meeting of editors was called, so the records tell
us, for tho purposo of bringing into closer rela
tion these moulders of public opinion and for tho
purpose of promoting the welfare of the party.
Tho Indiana Democratic Editorial association,
from its birth to this time, has stood steadfastly
with tho people, by tho people, and for the peo
ple, maintaining that exact justice is the heritage
of all and special privileges are vouchsafed to
none. The democracy of Indiana has, in the past,
met many defeats, but invariably it has come up
smiling. Perseverance, you know, is one of the
main characteristics of the average Indianian.
This was demonstrated early in President Wil
son's administration, when a wiseacre of our
state, refusing to be disinherited, wrote to him
as follows: 'My dear Mr. President: I understand
you are going to take a month off to destroy the
great monument of letters asking you for jobs. If
everything else is gone, x would. like the job of
destroying thoso letters
"Year after year at these banquets, we have
sat enrapt, listening to tho words and addresses
of senators, national committeemen and legisla
tors, but it remained for the association in 1915
to succeed in bringing to Indiana the great star
of the international firmament, who socially lives
in the cause of the oppressed and downtrod
den. As a diplomat, he Is a Talleyrand; as an
orator, he Is a Gladstone, with the firm deter
mination of a Bismarck; as a statesman, he is a
Jefferson; as an editor, a Greeley; as an evangel-
- 1st, a Paul, and yet withal one who has the sweet
simplicity and loving kindness of a Lincoln. My
friends, it gives me great pleasure tonight to in
troduce to you a soldier, statesman, editor and
diplomat, and your own advocate of 'Peace on
, earth, good will to man,' and one who in purity
of purpose and honesty of conviction is ever a
domocrat, the Hon. William Jennings Bryan."
"Mr, Toastmaster, Ladies and Gentlemen, and
Fellow Journalists, or Editors, or Newspaper
Men and Women, whatever title is most pleas
ing to you, for I am in a mood to address you by
that which you like best:
"It is certainly a great pleasure to be here. I
can not say that I came from necessity, for it
seems to me that if there Is any one state In
which it is not necessary that one should come
from the outside to speak to you on democracy,
it is tho state of Indiana; you are so well sup
plied with those who can interpret to you dem
ocracy as it is written today.
"Down in Washington, we have a very high
opinion of Indiana democracy, for you know we
have an Indiana democrat who presides with
great, ability, and to the satisfaction of that
body, over the United States senate.
A man who as a candidate for vice
president, added great strength to the ticket; I
am sure that we can look back over the past and
say that we have seldom had, a candidate for
vlcti-president who was able to contribute more
upon t,he stump than our vice-president did to
the. success of the campaign, and I am sure that
we have not had one in recent years who meas
urerd up more fully to tlie requirements of tliat
great office. Wo are proud of Marshall. And
them, you know, the leader of the majority in
the senate, that is whett thb majority sticks to
gether, the leader of the majority in tiie sen
ate, is an Indiana man. 1 need not tell you that
as far' as I can give expression to democratic .sen
timent', he is a very satisfactory leader. Wd are
prbiid of Kern, also." ' He is representing not
merely the democracy of Indiana, but the dem
ocracy of the whole nation in the Bupport' he is
giving to the president. ( ;
, "And then last fall ypuje-ejecteo;, his colleague ,
Jn ;th senate, and . I, have' occasion, to know, of,,
Shtv.oly, too, because neujs Second upon, tlxe. com
mittee with which I have most to deal, the com?
mittee on foreign relations. I have always found
liim a very earnest supporter of 'tho' Important
policies that have been submitted to that com
mittee for its consideration.
So, with Marshall, and Kern, and Shively
there, we have a high opinion of the democracy
of Indiana, and I would bo ashamed to come
here under the pretense that you needed me. But
I am glad to come, because I am selfish enough
to want to enjoy myself. And I enjoy being
here. I have already commenced to enjoy my
self, and from the number of speeches they are
allowing me to make I know I am going to have
a good time.
"I arrived here just in time to see your gov
ernor helping to put the lobbyist where ho be
longs. I read his defense of that bill and I am
satisfied that the bill is right. 1 believed in it
even before I read the defense, but I can prob
ably give a better reason than I could have given
had I not read it, for it states the reason very
strongly. With those democrats whom you have
loaned to the national government and the demo
cratsyou keep rvith you here to tell you what dem
ocracy is, I am afraid my speech will be surplus
age; my only hope is that my remarks mdy be
what lawyers describe as 'surplusage that does
not vitiate.'
"I am very glad that the women are here with,
the men. I share my wife's views on this sub
ject. She never has understood why men should
want to attend banquets from which the women
are excluded,' and I-can not. see, either; I am
very sorry she could not come" with me. I can
see very readily why women are not excluded
here. I think I can say of these women here
what I can say of women in public life in Wash
ington.. We had some foreigners visiting in
Washington a year ago and a luncheon was given
in their honor. As they were all men, the wives'
of all the leading public men in Washington were
invited to the luncheon, and there were about
enough wives there to furnish table companions
for the foreigners Of course the foreigners
were surprised at the beauty and intelligence of
the ladies, and. as I am connected with the de
partment which deals with foreigners, I revealed a
state secret and told them why it is that the wives
of our public men are such remarkable women.
I explained that it is because when we pick out
public men, we pick out the women and then
take the husbands who happen to be attached to
"It is a very safe plan. It is a very safe plan,
why? Because woman's intelligence is at the
maximum when she selects a husband. And,
therefore, the modest, the beautiful and the in
telligent women naturally select the men who
are best fitted for public life, and then the men
have the advantage of all the training' that
these wives can give them before the public
takes them up.
"From what I have seen here tonight I might
judge that the editors of this state, instead of go
ing into the business upon their own volition,
have been selected because of their Vives. And
certainly you have an illustration of what, wo
men can do in the song that we heard from a
woman (referring to Mrs. Hazel Simmons
Bowles, who sang a solo) who can even vote
without being spoiled.
"And tlie speech with which 1 wus presented
to you, 1 wish I had heard that Speech when I
first began running for president. If J could
have sent my eloquent friend and sponsor around
to tell the people about me and then stayed at
home so that they Would nothave found me out
I might have been elected. But, my friends'
next to being great I know of nothing more de
lightful than to have friends so 'generous as to
thinkyoti great; I have found generous friends
everywhere, and nowhere have I found friends
more generous than in the state of Indiana And
I tell you truly that I -would rather have cone
down to defeat with the friends who supported'
me than "to have been elected to the hiehest
office in-the" gift of the people in the world' by'
those who were against us in these campaigns
and it IS 'my highest ambitiori tb ' retain' S
friendship that -I have won" from' those witS'
whom I have labored for-now- HnW w,J&
years. I I f'u
unn-j uwujr.-mB responsibility tharres'tf? WmV
the editors 'or bur' woeta!efliJii.ttCoater?fflfiS 5
... , :r.. V !-YUttf. w naye-iittle but" the
weekly press to support the democratic party
We have comparatively few great dailies on our
side, and it is not likely that we shall have any
more. The conditions are such that they do not
favor large democratic papers at present. What
are those conditions? Let me name them. In
the first place, the great daily is a big business
enterprise; it costs a great deal of money to run
a city daily,- and the men with a great deal of
money are not, as a rule, the men who take the
deepest interest in the welfare of the common
people. The men who own, the great dailies are
not associated with the people among whom
democratic principles are most admired, and even
if a good democrat with lots of money goes into
the newspaper field and purchases a daily paper,
there are certain influences that operate upon'
"In nearly all of our large cities there are lo
cal issues affecting municipal franchises; a large
amount of mpney is centralized in the hands of
a few people. They are constantly desiring
something from the city government, and it is so
valuable to thein to have the newspapers on their
side that in every great contest between the plain
people of the city and a favor-seeking corpora
tion, the big newspapers are generally secured
by the favor-seeking corporation. It is difficult,
therefore, for these papers to be democratic in
the true sense of the word, and as long as these
natural monopolies are controlled by franchise
holding corporations: you may expect to see these
tremendous pecuniary influences exerted against
the interests of the people, and the. -big papers
will generally be with the corporations. We have
to rely, therefore, largely upon our weekly pa
pers, for a weekly paper does not cost so much
but that the man who owns it can edit it. As a
rule, the man' who has money enough to own a
great .city paper has not sense, enough to. edit it.
Of course, I do not: use this word, in an offensive
sense. They have sense enough, financial sense;
they have business sense, but they have not the
editorial, talent. As a rule, these large papers
are owned by men who never write, and the men
who write for them can not-own them. Thus
you have, a condition that is not ideal. I insist
that no man can do his best writing when he has
to ask somebody-else. what he can say ,--'
The weekly paper can be owned and edited by
the same man. When you read an editorial in
one of the big daily papers you do not know who
wrote it; but when you read an editorial in a
country weekly, there is a personality back of the
editorial page, and the fact that such a paper
has a personality puts the responsibility upon its
owner and editor; the value of his paper will be
measured by the standing of the man;
"The first thing, therefore, that I ask you to
remember is the responsibility of the editor of
the weekly paper; If the editor of the weekly
paper is a man of character and conscience, if he
is a man whose word is accepted by the people of
his community as the word of a disinterested and
patriotic man, he can exert a powerful, influence
not only in his community but in moulding the
thought of his state.
"Now, my friends, I have but a short time to
speak to you and I must make ;that short time
pay. We won in the campaign two years ago,
but not because we had a majority, but because
of division in the republican party!' It was for
tunate for the country, for if there- ever was a
time when we needed in the white house a dem
ocrat like Woodrow Wilson, we need him now.
."H,e has more, than made gooj. He has not
only been true to the promises 'that we made;
he has not only stood steadfast by the.jpo'piti.ons
that were taken but he has helped every demo
crat In the United .States by answering for them
the Jaunts and jeers that dempctats us'd to have
to hear. There were lots of good '.people in all
the northern states who .seemed" to' have an idea
that a- democrat belonged to jthe lower 'order of
animals. That a democrat, someho, "tfas inferior
Tin intelligence, In 'morals, in" character, and in
standing, to the'republican. "". '
, "The republicans' 'had held tlie offices; they
had drawn the salaries and, they had, .used them
to make an Impr.essive showing.., When they had
campaigns they could adv.ertise speakers with big
titles, governors, ex-governors,' secretaries, ex
secretaries, ambassadors, 'former ambassadors,
etc' They .could, use? these djkinguished titles to
impress the people., but when, we introduced a
public speaker, we had to 'introduce liim 'as Mr.
so-and-so, who was once a candidate for some
thing.' The ytttlng 'people wereriiauraliy impress
ed' with the'dfgiiity1a'iid,prbmiijenc.e; arid there
fore, the iritelligtihcb' ana tud'staWding -of great
republicans.' But it will be a long while before