The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923, April 01, 1916, Page 4, Image 4

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

The Commoner
VOL. 16, NO. 4
yoto for an attorney-general, who will havo
.much to do with enforcing tho lawn carrying out
tho amondment. Friends of tho prohibition
amendment should see that a dry democrat is
nominated for attorney general, and also a dry
republican, Voto for Georgo W. Bergo for at
torney general.
Whilo some of tho stato officers do not deal
diroctly with tho prohibiten amendment, tho
candidates who come out openly and givo their
aid to tho amendment ought to roceivo tho sup
port of thoso who deslro to see tho amondment
adopted. And thoso who are freo from obliga
tions to the liquor interests aro not likoly to bo
controlled by any other special interest.
(On another page will bo found tho names of
progressive democratic candidates for state and
national positions.)
Lot mo take, for instance, tho case of Mr.
Koith Neville of North Platto, and what I say of
him applies to democrats and republicans alike.
Mr. Neville, in his public statement, declared:
that ho was opposed to prohibition and would
voto against tho amendment, but said that if
electod ho would enforce tho law. This state
ment, however, does not add any strongth to his
oath of ofllco. Boforo becoming governor he
must raise his right hand and swear that he will
enforce tho law. Ho should be willing to make
tho fojlowing promises: First, that ho will not
veto any law passed by tho FRIENDS OF PRO
HIBITION to onforco tho amendment. Second,
that ho will not uso his influence to prevent tho
passage of such laws. Third, that ho will uso his
lnfluonco as governor to assist in tho passage of
such laws. In tho statomont which ho put out
. Mr. Neville did not mako any of thoso promises.
In one of his speeches ho says ho will favor legis
lation to mako it effective.
In case tho amondment carries, this is not
sufficient for a man who is himself against the
amondment, ho can not be trusted to decide
what legislation is necessary for the carrying
out of tho amondment.
In other words a man who is himself against
prohibition and who owes his nomination and
election to tho support of thoso favorable to the
liquor trafllc, can not bo trusted to join heartily
In tho passage of necessary legislation. He
would not bo trusted by the liquor Interests if
he was likoly to join tho frlonds of prohibition
in making tho law effective. If tho people of
Nebraska aro in favor of tho prohibition amend
ment they should select a governor who is in
favor of it, and who will look at that question
from tho standpoint of a friend. I therefore
urgo both democrats and republicans favorable
to prohibition to support candidates who are
themselves In favor of the amondment so that
which ever party wins, the governor will be in
favor of prohibition.
I could speak more freely about tho dry can
didate for governor at the democratic primaries
if he were not my brother, but It is only justice
to him to say that we have been associated to
gether in business and politics for twenty years
Ho has published my paper, Tho Commoner
for 11 f teen years and before that was my secre
tary for five years. Wo havo worked together
,on all political questions, stato and national
during that period. '
If I have been right on these reforms, he has
been right also.
While I havo been discussing public ques
tions by pen and voice, he has been busy organ
izing our forces, and tho work of organization
as you know, is scarcely less important than
public discussion. But while he has shared my
work in stato and nation ho has mado a record
..of his own in the matter of municipal reform
He has taken tho side of tho public against
the schemes of franchise-holding corporations
and has won victories for tho people.
Whon he could not find a candidate to make,
the fight for mayor on a reform platform he
made the fight himself, and you may be inter
ested to know that he carried the city of Lin
coln by a larger majority than I have ever been
able to carry it. The best I have done after
several trials was to get a majority of 780 in
the city in 1908. He won by 1,400 on a plat
form of his own. That platform has been car
ried out, and tho city commissioners havo joined
unanimously in approving it. J
With this record you may rest assured that
if nominated and elected he will join heart and
soul in the enactment of all laws necessary to
make, the prohibition amendment effective, if
adopted, and will then execute thoso laws after
they aro enacted.
You can count on his opposing tho special
interests on all subjects, as he has for twenty
Let me now call your attention to the differ
ence between conditions today and 26 years ago,
when a similar amendment was before the peo
ple. Those who voted for tho prohibition
amendment in 1890, will of course voto for it
now. I will address myself, therefore, to those
who voted against the amendment at that time
or, who have become voters in the state since
that time. I was one of those who voted
against the amendment in 1890, but who will
voto for prohibition this year.
Wo have a great deal more light on this sub
ject than wo had 26 years ago. In 1890 the
"Slocum law" had just gone into effect and we
believed it to bo the best high license law in the
United States, and many thought it only fair to
givo it a trial. You remember, too, at that time
only very few states had adopted prohibition,
and tho law was not fully enforced. Since that
time the "Webb-Kenyon" act has been passed,
making it easier to enforce the prohibition laws
than it was 26 years ago. Liquor advertisements
are excluded from the newspapers of dry states,
and thisjs not only helping to enforce the law
but it releases the newspapers from the influ
ence of the liquor interests, and gives them an
opportunity to tell tho truth about prohibition.
Twontv-six years ago we were in the foremost
rank among the states on liquor legislation, to
day wo aro in the rear rank. Seventeen states
'have adopted county option, which gives to the
farmers a voice in determining whether towns
in their county shall have saloons. Nineteen
states havo adopted state prohibition.
Twenty-six years ago the saloon was gener
ally owned by some one in town amenable to
public opinion; today nearly all of the saloons
are owned by breweries or holding companies,
who send agents into a town to operate their sa
loons, and who care little or nothing for public
opinion. Twenty-six years ago, the fight in a
town was between the wets and the drys of that
town, but today the fight is between the drys of
the town and the great .National Liquor organ
ization with unlimited money.
Then we know more about the political records
of the liquor interests than we did 26 years
ago, at least I do. Seven years ago I
learned that the liquor interest controlled a
sufficient number of state senators to prevent
J Passage of the initiative and referendum. In
1910 a democrat whose name you would know
if I gave it to you, came to my house and told me
that he had been offered $10,000 by a national
llauor organization for ten months' work, ana
?IL ? !lttd t0 dQ was t0 pick out candidates
for the state senate who would be friendly to
the liquor interests, and after elecMon betray
the people i who had elected them. Whn I pro
posed that our party take a stand against the
liquor interest I found that democrats who had
stood with me for sixteen years on every na
tonal issue were with me no longer. Since
then, if any democrats aspire to any office in the
democratic party from constable to governor
without first asking permission of the HqJor in
terests he faces their onnositlon. The Tacer
of this crowd, Satnr Hitchock. evn objpet-d
vendSnin delegat? to the national con-
? i 1912 because I had refused to take
mv opinions ready made from the brewers. Un
til the liquor interests aro driven out of the
wnrrf "?, aild reul)lican Parties in Nebraska,
JZi ? flPB Ca? not be free t0 work fr the
good of the people.
The Pennsylvania legislature was at one time
described as a body of men, owned by a Penn
sylvania railroad and loaned to Standard Oil
when the railroad did not need them. And so
when a legislature is controlled by the liquo?
interests, the members are loaned to any other
ZTIT when th0 liquor intsthdeor
We shall not be able to secure any reforms
until Nebraska is set free from the influenced
the liquor interests, Tt will then be easv to
es?s the StatG frm the other sPiaTrin
gainlvn?te tlle difference between tho alter
natives that are presented today and 26 years
ago. A majority in the national houtfetof rep
resentatives has voted, for the submission i o 'an
SfSTJ p,rohJbitin ie manufacture and
sale of intoxicating liquor as a beverage, and
the amendment will be even stronger in the
senate when it comes to a vote there! The fed
eral government would now be closing saloons
but for the constitutional provision which re
quires a two-thirds vote for a resolution sub
mitting an amendment. A minority is now able
to resist the will of the majority because of this
constitutional requirement, but if there is any
moral force in the doctrine 'that the people have
a right to rule, the saloon is now an outlaw,
and must be considered as a fugitive from jus
tice until the majority is able to secure a two
thirds vote in both houses and put an end to its
' The question before Nebraska now is, there
fore, whether the state will join the posse which
is pursuing the fugitive, or join the fugitive in
resisting the posse. Senator Hitchcock, Mr.
Neville, and Mr. Mullen want to make Nebraska
the partner of the outlaw, while the dry demo
crats desire to put the state on the side of home
and humanity.
I remind you, also, that the war in Europe has
furnished new evidence against the evils of al
cohol. It has been found that patriotism is no
match for alcohol, even -when the nations are
in a death grapple. Russia has abolished the
sale of alcohol, preferring to surrender in time
of war the $450,000,000 formerly derived from
the sale of alcohol rather than risk its evil influ
ence. France has prohibited the sale of
absinthe; Germany has shortened tho hours of
the saloon,- rind lowered the alcoholic contents
in beer, and Great Britain has issued order af
ter order, one forbidding treating, and the last
one taking over the distilleries for munition
factories. Why not profit in peace by the bitter
lessons which they have learned in war? If
any enemy ever attacks us, our supreme need
will be men men whose brains are clear, men
whose nerves are steady, men who have no ap
petite, that will rob them of their love of coun
try in their nation's crucial hour? I think the
fear of attack is groundless, but there is one
kind of preparedness that would be good in
peace or war let us drive alcohol out of the
United States and then, whether war .comes or
not2 every American will bea man.
But this kind of preparedness does not appeal
to the manufacturers of munitions. They are
selling more than three hundred millions of war
material a year to Europe, selling it at an enor.
mous profit, and they know that their dividends
will dwindle when this war ends unless thv
)can fasten themselves on the taxpayers of this
country and grow fat as the people grow poor.
No preparedness appeals to them unless it gives
the few a profit at the expense of the many.
Opposition to the manufacture and sale of in
toxicating liquors rests upon the proposition that
alcohol is a poison which, taken into the system,
weakens the body, impairs the strength of the
mind, and menaces the morals. This proposi
tion is either true or false; if it is false, then
the cause of prohibition fails," and not only the
cause of prohibition, but all regulation of the
liquor traffic. If this proposition is sound, it
will be difficult to find a valid reason for per
mitting the manufacture and sale of alcoholic
liquors as a beverage.
We challenge the opponents of prohibition to
meet us on this fundamental proposition. Will
they accept the challenge? No! Because all
history supports the doctrine that alcoholic
drinks are injurious. If you will consult your
Bibles, you will find that 2,600 years ago Daniel,
LHA i?W capt,ive in Babylon, asked that he
mo?l Permitted to prove the superiority of
m? i?Ver Win.e The Prince who was charged
3nJ ! Ca? Daniel and his three companions
JK .UC!ed.,t0 feed tliem with the meat from
n.tJJ iBB table and to furnish them wine such
oLlJ? in U?ed' but' yWing to the eloquent
?5? ti1 ft?aniei' prince ave them 10 days
nino,? ' an,d When the time s up he was
iZPwird ? fdmit that DanIel and his compan
S5ldeJwal,refnd fatter in fleah tuan all the
meat" P 2Id- ?at tbe portl011 of the king's
?? nn m that day to this tne test has been
Favot oahoT nC6 !t been decided in
ii?SL??U need not rest on the experience of
SfinPfrLy0UCan test lt tod' Select 100 young
Sn I? ny country or from any clime no
UvJ wwri What form' of government they
SnTi1 language they speak. Divide them
ioio'e0uPB of 5, each let one group use alco
on y anTt'ho J?6 ?thT group Mnk water
SSid in 8e nli0 drink water will win the
honors in the colleges, take the prizes on the
-T-. 'ski 3 1 ,