The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923, August 01, 1915, Page 15, Image 15

Below is the OCR text representation for this newspapers page. It is also available as plain text as well as XML.

i j ,
AUGUST; 1915
The Commoner
Peace and Poltroon
ism From the San Francisco Chron
In branding anti-militarists ao pol
: ' I i-i-i -, f
, x I S
7 'a .-it u: I tZ. r
troons and in coming out flat-footed.
for compulsory military service in
America, jjCJolonelopsevelt has gone
the limit of his moral courage. So
bravo are thoge,, utterances they
might , taken as an indica
tion that the speaker has no intention
of becoming a presidential candidate
next year. 'He Js far too wise to be
lieve that anything so reactionary as
conscription can be made a winning
policy at the. coming elections, and
he must be fully aware of the fact
that an, open confession of faith in
such a principle is a serious political,
handicap. ,
It is not too much , to say- that
world-wide 'interest will be -aroused
by this remarkable outspokenness on
the part of one who if he has no re
sponsibility has considerable power
in -American politics In many .foreign
countries - he is regarded as one of
the most representative of- United
States leaders'. If they think of
President-Wilson as our restraining
influence-ttieywthink: of Roosevelt as
a great motive .power, in- American
thought, and ..hip 'latest, declaration
will provoke unlimited discussion.
Indeed, "this informal, long-range
debate, betweqn Roosevelt and Bryan
will give the exposition cityjn -vvhich
it has' Deen held an enor.mous amount
of publicity. , ',
As ' for the merits of Rodsevelt's
new programme, it may be said that
charging anti-militarists with, polr'
troonism is .aSj unfair as, conscription
to prefer the machinery of justice to
the duqling pistol in a case of ' slan;
der. v .. '. ,
Public opinion suppressed the duel
because it ivasbsurd and unjust to
match, the slanderer who was a good
shot with .the honorable man who
was 'not, Public opinion may yet take
on siicH .an. international character will see the absurdity and in
justice of matching a militaristic na
tion against' a(small, peace-loving, in
dustrial community. . ,
Dueling was not killed by ridicule
in a day, and warfare may die much
harder, .but it can lie killed by the
education of international public
Coming to -compulsory military
service as the only efficient means of
defending this country, it should be
borne in mind that this would not
be the sanitf 'Ainerida with conscrip
tion. ' It would still be the land of
our living, Wt a people who have for
so long enjoyed the blessings of lib
erty and who have so long been free
from the depressive 'burdens of debt's
for war preparation would not feel
the same' cause' for pride in their
country. We are' the-most patriotic
of peoples because we are the most
free. Destroy that freedom and you
will not Entirely destroy patriotism
for the veriest slave has something
of that instinct hut-Americans would
not feel "that they werf, sacrificing so
much -when they left their native land
io live elsewhere;
"The man who refuses to perform
i -t a "VAVTy i jam m
. w m ..j y ,fi -'.', mr ,'j
" ' ' Sr fsttoK . . IM i- H
V .,; t' a-i:" ": V fuf&j&- V 111
V . I I ti y X i Hi ' -
.;: -..rsLj . . 111) . wv " -
Des Moines (Iowa) Register and Leader
.-..-I lAntrop tii a frpR-linrn.
military service should not have the living -American citizen, but the
nght to vote," says Roosevelt. Is m "vl?&n tQ compuisory military
there not a grave danger in handing
over political power to the soldier in
a land where liberty has been the
national ideal from the beginning? If
the rifle is to be the means of regis
tratlon.will there not be the possibil
ity of bullets being used when bal
lots fail? We pride ourselves oh
emancipation from the conditions
which promote revolutions, but if we
return to a military basis of govern
ment we might easily. have such rev
olutions. It is one thing to have compulsory
military service in Europe, the land
of social and political inequalities,
and quite another in America, the
land of n.o class or political distinc
tions. ,
However, it should be set down to
Roosevelt's credit that he lets us
know precisely what h6 means, that
cow nnd all the despotic discipline
without which the soldier is not an
efficient unit of national defense.
BRYAflb L'MlMKjiMrxiiza
Francisco on the fifth of July, were
moved by various motives. Some
came from affection, others out of
curiosity. Some were critical, oth
ers cynical. On the whole it was a
hostile audience which the Nebraskan
But he won that crowd, not by
gifts of eloquence, not by spread
eagle oratory," rtot by word painting,
but by his sincerity. As he told of
his vision of a great America, the
A'merica giving forth Ideas fruitful
with blessing to all mankind, the
American which may lift the world
out of the bondage of hate and lust
for power and conquest, the America
which will obey the moral law and
loye her neighbors as herself, the
soul of all that is best and noblest in
the country sppke through him unto
the masses before him.
.xft nnn nunnie who turned' out While we -regret Bryan's decision
ui. William J. Bryan in San to -leave President Wilson's cabinet,
IU us
the good he may do for his country
In his role of peace evangelist may
be of more lasting value. Others may
Rerform the tasks of the diplomat as
well as, he but none can surpass him
in stirring the emotions and directing
the thought ol the, common men and
women of America. They know he is
their map. He has won their con
fidence and trust through long years
of, faithful service.
The world does move. The Bryan
isms of twenty years ago are now
written into the statutes of the na
tion. No man was more bitterly
maligned than the Bryan of that
day. Perhaps again he has sensed
correctly a coming world in which
fellowship and understanding be
tween all peoples shall take N the
place'of strife and in which the great
human family will practice the prin
ciples of the Nazarene. Watsonrill
(California) Register;
i 'C