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

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The Commoner
VOL 16, NO. 5
Lincoln, Nebraska, May, 1916
Whole Number 685
The President's Op
portunity The Chicago Tribune, the most influential
republican paper west of New York, begins a
leading editorial in its issue of May 7 as follows:
"The meeting of the republican national con
vention, which will be in session in Chicago a
month from today, will be the most important
meeting of republican delegates since the party
was founded.
"The issues confronting the country today ara
fully as great as those which faced our fore
fathers in 1860, while the influence of the re
publican delegates will be greater this year than
it was at that time. In 1860 it was the division
of their opponents which gave the control of the
nation to the republicans. This year it will be
only a division of republicans which will permit
the government of the United States to remain
in the hands of the democrats.
"Mr. Wilson is a minority president. He
received a trifle under 6,300,000 votes, as com
pared to 7,600,000 and more cast for Roosevelt
and Taft together. Thus the progressive-republican
vote was more than 1,300,000 greater
than the democratic vote, while it is probable
that in their factional bitterness both repub
licans and progressives voted for Wilson in or
der to assure the defeat of their pet aversion.
"It therefore appears mathematically certain
that if a candidate can be found who will please
the voters who voted for Roosevelt and the
voters who voted for Taft this person will bs
the next president of the United States.
"If only one candidate is chosen to represent
progressives and republicans, Wilson will need
to hold his entire 1912 vote and approximately
700,000 votes from his opponents."
It is just as well to look the facts in the
face. The REPUBLICAN party, if united, can
enter the campaign with a popular majority of
1,300,000 votes on its side. As a portion of this
majority is made up of large majorities in a
few republican states, our party's handicap is
not Quite as great as it ippears, but it is still
enough to compel serious consideration.
To the normal republican advantage must be
added the disaffection among German and Irish
democrats. Without attempting to decide
whether the President was wise or unwise in
taking the course that alienated them, the
party is confronted with the FACT that this
alienation will cost it a large number of votes
enough to defeat the party in several close
states. ,
From what source can we draw the number
of recruits necessary to give the party a fighting
chance? From one source and from one source
only, namely; the PEACE ELEMENT of the
republican party; we can not draw votes from
the war element.
There is a peace element in the republican
party as shown by the vote cast for Henry
Ford in Michigan, Nebraska, and other states.
This is the only element to which the demo
cratic party can appeal, and to appeal to this
element it will be necessary to do more than
lias yet been done. If any considerable num-
9 3
0 Millions of men for defense against any
nation that ever attacks us, but not one
American boy to march under the ban-
nor of a foreign monarch or sacrifice his
life 1b the settlement of European (lis-
B pates.
& 0
ber of republicans felt friendly to . the Presi
dent they would have shown it by writing in
his name as their choice when they expressed
themselves at the primary.
If this element is to be conciliated it must
be done by a MOVE TOWARD PEACE. The
opportunity is here. The German government, in
accepting this government's position in the sub
marine controversy, gives as one of its reasons
for doing so its unwillingness to be responsible
for extending or spreading the war. It refers to
the fact that it has twice expressed a desire to
consider terms of peace. The way is open,
will the President take udvantage of the oppor
tunity? Failure to secure peace would bring
no humiliation, while success would be of TRE
MENDOUS advantage to him politically, as well
as a blessing to this country and the world.
He can at one stroke destroy all the advantage
the republican party now has and make the
race on the record of a peacemaker. Will ho
give voice to the world's conscience to human
ity's hopes? W. J. BRYAN.
The metropolitan press, the press directly
under the influence of money magnates of Wall
street, is doing its best to force this country into
a war with Germany. The financiers, having
by loaning five hundred millions to one side,
wagered their money on the result of the war,
the subsidized papers must help them safeguard
their money at the expense of the American
The Road to Peace
To the Readers of The Commoner:
The Amorican people do not want war. No,
by an overwhelming majority almost unani
mously they desire peace. Tho President prays
"God forbid that this nation should enter tha
war"; nearly every senator and congressman ex
presses himself as against going into this war
and, except tho subsidized metropolitan press,
tho entire press of tho country is against war.
Why, then, tho constant talk of war? It is duo
to the sham standard of honor which accom
panies tho policy of terrorism. The doctrlno
of preparedness rests upon the theory that force
and fear arc tho only foundation upon which tho
hope of peace can rest, and the diplomacy of tho
world is in harmony with this system of terror
ism. Present diplomacy is dressed in uniform
and carries a gun. Its tone has a rifle-ring to it.
"Wo are loath to disturb the friendship, but it
you do not comply with our demands within a
certain time, it will become our painful duty to
blow your ships out of the water, bombard
your seaports and put to death as many of your
people as possible." Thjs is the diplomacy of
tho past and present, tho diplomacy which has
filled the earth with blood and tears. It Is a
kinsman of "the spear that knows no brother" ?
it spurns friendship as a weakness. This is tho
diplomacy which led the nations of Europe into
tho present war, each one protesting its desiro
for peace; and this is the diplomacy which has
brought this nation face to face with war, not
withstanding the well nigh universal desire for
Is It not time for this great Christian nation
to set tho world an example, and establish a
new precedent? If the belligerent governments
can change the rules of international law to suit
the exigencies of war, why can not neutral na
tions change the rules of diplomacy to promote
There are three things that this government
can do to preserve peace with honor: 1st, lay
aside its threats and invite both sides to con
fer with it as friends real friends with whom
friendships are to continue. Let the presump
tion bo given to peace instead of to war. Is that
dishonorable? What sane sense of honor would
bo offended by such a policy?.
2nd. And why not apply tho treaty plan to
all disputes? It was offered to all the world
and the offer has not been withdrawn; it has
been embodied in treaties with thirty nations
representing three-fourths of the population of
the globe. Great Britain, France, Russia and
Italy are among the nations that signed theso
treaties, while Germany, Austria and Belgium
have formally endorsed tho principle. Thesa
treaties provide that ALL DISPUTES OP
be investigated by an international
tribunal. We are compelled by treaty
to adopt this course with Great Britain, France,
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