The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923, February 01, 1916, Image 1

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The Commoner
VOL. 16, NO. 2
. Lincoln, Nebraska, February, 1916
Whole Number 682
The Duty of a Friend
Among the many wise utterances of Presi
dent Wilson, none are stronger or more beauti
ful than the following:
"True friendship is of royal lineage. It is
of the same kith and breeding as loyalty and
self-forgetting devotion, and proceeds upon a
higher principle even than they. For loyalty
may be blind and friendship must not be; de
votion may sacrifice principles of right cjioice
which friendship must guard with an excellent
and watchful care. You must act in your friend's
interest whether it please him or not. The ob
ject of love is to serve, not to win."
Who will say that this is not a true defini
tion of friendship? And, if true, who are the
friends of the President? Those who encourage
him in an unwise course or those who warn him
against the rocks ahead?
The Presidents vpreparedness program is
tey(riutomr.yib'&an abandonment, of. the his
toric policy ofhfe party .and the traditions of
Serpctry.-TIe has departed from the safe path
of experience and- is- following the devious ways
pointed out by the big papers which voice the
wishes of the manufacturers of munitions. He
is joy-riding with the jingoes and is applauded
by grand-standers whose voices are unfamiliar
lo democratic ears. He is being praised by mil
itarists who seldom, if ever, vote the ticket of
his party, and he is grieving those to whom dem
ocracy is a religion.
What is the cause of this change of attitude?
He has recently declared that WE ARE NOT
THREATENED FROM ANY QUARTER, that
we ARE AT PEACE WITH ALL THE WORLD
and that THERE IS NO FEAR AMONG US.
What, then, is the cause of the change? Is he
diplomatically so close to the European war
that its uproars prevent his hearing "the still,
small voice" of the people? Has he, gazed upon
the floor of the trans-Atlantic slaughter house
until the soil of his country looks red?
In an address to the consulting experts he
declared himself CONVINCED THAT THE PEO
PLE WANT PREPAREDNESS; where did he
obtain this information? Not from senators and
representatives, for congress was not in session
and he had not consulted them. Not from the
people themselves, because he had not heard
from any considerable number. His only sources
of information were a metropolitan press, sub
servient to big business; and "Navy" leagues,
"Defense" leagues and "Security" leagues, offi
cered by representatives of big business. He had
not heard from those disinterested citizens who
produce the nation's wealth in time of peace and
fight the nation's battles in time of war.
He had heard the "murmuring" of the "shal
lows," but the "depths" had been "dumb." The
"depths" speak on election day, why not consult
them NOW? And the masses is it not better
for them to advise beforehand than to punish
afterwards? Every friend of the President
not those mercenary friends who flock around
DIFFERENCES NOT PERSONAL
For the benefit of those who seem un
able to understand disagreements as to
principle, I venture to bring down to
date the personal relations between tho
President and myself. The lettors that
passed between us at the time of my
resignation ought to be accepted by
friends of both as sufficient proof that
there were no personal differences be
tween us at that time. No personal dif
ferences have arisen since. Tho Presi
dent is doing his duty as he sees it. Act
ing under tho responsibility of a citizen
and under a sense of obligation to those
who have trusted me I am do'ng my
duty as I see it. I am opposing Uie plan
to increase the appropriations for the
army and navy, just as I wouid expect
the President to do if our positions were
reversed and he looked upon tho subject
as I do. W. J. BRYAN.
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him foi pecuniary favors but his real friends
who gave him their votes in 1912 and who have
loyally supported him in every effort he has
made to fulfill the pledges of his platform
these should write to him; they should write
now and write often.
Remember, "you must act in your friend's
interest whether it pleases him or not.' The
object of love is to serve, not to win."
W. J. BRYAN.
PHILIPPINE PROMISE KEPT
Four times in 1900, 1904, 1908 and 1912
the democratic national platform pledged the
party to the policy of giving to the Filipinos a
promise of ultimate independence. The house
passed a bill in 1914 embodying this promise,
but it was not reached in the senate. The sen
ate has just passed a similar bill, and the house
will soon pass it. This will give effect to another
plank, do justice to the Filipinos and add a new
star to the nation's crown of honor.
CONTENTS
' THE DUTY OF A FRIEND
DO YOU WANT WAR?
INCOME TAX SUSTAINED
AMERICANS ON BELLIGERENT SHIPS
QUESTIONS RAISED BY THE PRESI
DENT SECRETARY GARRISON'S RESIGNA
TION EXPERTS
PROHIBITION IN NEBRASKA
WHY NOT A REFERENDUM?
THE YOUNG MAN'S OPPORTUNITY
LET THE PEOPLE RULE
AMERICANISM
CHRISTIAN PREPAREDNESS
CONGRESSMAN BAILEY'S LOGIC
DUNN AGAINST MILITARISM
CIVILIZATION AT THE CROSS-ROADS
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Do You Want War?
Tho President's speeches in the west indicate
a complete- change of base on his part, or else
they show that he has all along entertained
a purposo not revealed in his previous utter
ances. He is now asking the people to furnish
. liini with a lurgor army and navy with which to
enforce American rights. At Des Moines he
said :
"Do you want tho situation to be such that all
the President can do is to write messages; to ut
. ter words of protest? If these breaches of In
ternational law, which arc In daily danger of
occurring, should touch the very vital interests
and honor of the United States, do you wish mo
to do nothing?"
If this language means anything at all It
means that the preparedness for which ho asks
Is not for the purpose of preventing future wars,
BUT IS FOR USE IN THE PRESENT WAR, if
tfhVthfnkn it necessary. ,. ... - . ' . -
He4herefore brinfcTOifcc to fafo
witli a hew .proposition: foVyo?ftn'war? . If
the people give a favorable response to tho Pres
ident's request for an increase in the army and
navy, will he not construe their support as a
command from ihem to proceed to the use of
force? He does not tell us which side he is
likely to take, but we can not wage war against
a belligerent without taking one side as agalnsf
the other.
Do the American people desire to enter into
thlB war? And If so, are they willing to allow
accident or chance to determine the side on
which they will enter? Are they willing to take
part in the settlement of the European quarrels,
rivalries and ambitions which are at the root of
the present war?
The President's recent speeches have raised
a much more serious question than that raised
by the manufacturers of munitions. These traf
fickers in war supplies simply want the money
that can be made out of "getting ready"; -they
expect to coin a profit out of the policy of keep
ing the country In fighting trim. But the Pres
ident's speeches indicate that he is actually con
sidering a state of war in which the United
States will be the aggressor; THAT IS, WILL
GO TO WAR FOR THE ENFORCEMENT OF
INTERNATIONAL RIGHTS.
If support of the President's position means
that WAR IS TO BE MADE MORE PROBABLE,
it Is time for the people to protest with an earn
estness which can not be misunderstood time
for them to notify their congressmen and sen
ators that THE COUNTRY DOES NOT WANT
TO ENTER THIS WAR. If we have disputes
which can not be settled by diplomacy we have
the treaty plan which was offered to all the na
tions and endorsed by three-fourths ' of the
world. Why not use it? Why does the Pres
ident fail to refer to these treaties? If this
treaty plan fails we have our choice between en
tering the present war and the postponement of
the final settlement of fhe dispute until after
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