The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923, December 01, 1916, Page 11, Image 11
rrr-iww - f "wtj-'j tr- f.j Thfe Commoner DECEMBER, 1916 H Newspaper Comments on the 1916 Election Discussing Mr. Bryan's Connection With the Late Presidential Campaign and Its Influence on Future Politics MAX WHO CAUSED ALL TIIIS NERVE-RACKING NOT UNKNOWN From the Montgomery (Ala.) Journal. There has been a political revolution in the far west and middle west. It has disturbed the equanimity of the whole country. It has been a revelation. It has shocked the republicans, and surprised many democrats. It has caused a nerve-racking condition among both democrats and republicans. And what has caused all this? Who has been the greatest factor in the edu cation of the western farmer to the Ideals of the democracy? Who has since 1896 been constantly at work among the western farmers trying to convince them that the republican party was the party of predatory wealth, by and for predatory wealth, and the democratic party was the party of the people, by the people, and for the people? Who has soughtto show them it was a party of the masses and not of special interests? Who is the man who has been the chief fac tor in this great work of education? the people are asking. They know something has happened out there to change the political views and complexion of the farmers and business men, that has made a wonderful conversion, a conversion that means a new era has dawned in American politics, and that the one man who has been the enemyot Wall street and who Wall street has sought to destroy and who they have declared "politically dead and buried," time after time, may yet achieve an ambition, if he yet has it, to be elect ed to the highest office within the gift of the American people without their vote and despite their opposition and their money. That man said .at the St. Louis convention, to the confusion of Wall street and his enemies: ' "I have no planks to offer but one, and that is the President's. Determine what he wants and his plank his mine. I expect to go before the people in his behalf." And he went. He did not go to the east. He went to the west. For seven weeks prior to the election he made from two to a half or a dozen speeches a day to the farmers and business men of the west. In an interview during the campaign he de clared that heretofore he could "speak of prom ises only" but now he could speak of "the good actually accomplished by a democratic admin istration of promises fulfilled." "All of these elements," he said, referring to the farmers and business men of the west, "unite in warm approval of the foreign poli cies of the administration, whereby peace has been preserved with our stricken neighbor, Mexico, and America has been spared the hor rors of participation in the European war. It is no idle thing to say that the west is literally aflame with sentiment, for Wilson because of the successful and honorable manner in which he has preserved the peace. Nor is it idle to say that the west regards peace as the para mount issue of this campaign, and intends to votn accordingly." That .man did not ask the national democratic committee to pay his expenses during the cam paign. Ho paid his own expenses and spoke from the rear platform of cars on special trains to thousands ivho had gathered at the various stations along the route, arousing the greatest enthusiasm everywhere. Wilson had carried out his ideals of govern ment. Had stood for wrhat he had been con tending for and fighting for nearly twenty years, and he had his ideal candidate a can didate for whom he could pour out his whole soul everywhere, and he spoke strongly, feel ingly, sincerely; and the people -knew he was honest; they had known and heard him and jcved him for nearly a quarter of a century and he had never deceived them The hour and the man had met. TIiobo farm ers and business men had loved him, but had not followed him simply because of party reg ularity and the party name. But at last the education ho had been car rying on consistently among those peoplo had the effect. It was an education not without good results as shown by the returns so far received from that section of this country which has usually followed the east in presidential contests. Ho seems to have known it in advance. "We are going to elect Wilson without New York and the east," he said, in an interview giving a forecast of the election, a week beforo the election. It is hardly necessary for the Journal to name tho man. The people of the country know him. He is a great moralist. There are those who think ho should have been a preacher; but many of those who havo so strenuously asserted this often had a wish that ho had a more limited field of action, that he should no longer havo tho whole world for his congregation. Ho is an able, conscientious and courageous defender of freedom; a man of conviction, Avith the courage to express it in courteous lan guage; who appeals to the reason of tho uppor and nether as well as tho great middlo class of Amer'cans as a hard reasoner and clear thinker, who had rather drift Into obscurity and sink in to oblivion on an unpopular tide than to desert the people's cause, and who will live in stature, history and hearts of the people as tho greatest defender of human rights in his day. "God bless W'lliam Jennings Bryan" is now on the Ips of Democrats, all sorts of Wilson democrats everywhere. THE WITNESS IN THE WEST The retirement of Mr. Bryan from the chief post in the cabinet of President Wilson last year was hailed with scarcely concealed glee by tho republican leaders and newspapers. The Wilson administration was doomed, they said. The passage of uncommonly cordial expression of regard between the President and Mr. Bryan at the time of their official separation excited only their jeers. Even from those who should have known better came intimations that tho great Nebraskan would turn upon Mr. Wilson. It long ago became a republican maxim al most an eastern maxim that Mr. Bryan is an unscrupulous person. So the east resolved 20 years ago and so, in their opinion, he must be. They have taught themselves that sincerity, so far as W. J. Bryan is concerned, is non-existent "57 and that Is ono of tho reasons that thoy wcro unpropared for what camo to pass a week Ago. Now tho truth is that sincerity and direct, forward going honesty bf purpoao and action aro tho characteristics that distinguish this western gentloman. Perhaps ho lackfl tho apti tudo for fincsso, porhaps ho is poor In tho quick ness, tho cunning, tho trained and awlft adroit ness of Intellect, that deflno political talont in tho eaBt. Perhaps, for that roanon, In tho east ho is not understood. Ho violates tho ancient rules of play. He in not vengoful and angry Svhon, to tho eastern mind, he ought to bo. Honco ho is inscrutable Hence, for tho samo reason, tho west (s in scrutable. Tho west knows Mr. Bryan. , Tho west looks upon a very human sort of man, of robust mind and not without imperfections yet withal slncoro, big of purpose, who goes right on with steps truo to those larger principles of righteousness and justice that men learn as children. 8o the west understands Bryan and to tho west it Is not strange that, though out of tho cabinet, he is Wilson's friend. That Nebraska has voted for Wilson Is no singular phenomenon in tho west. Nor does it call for explanation that everywhere that Bryan journeyed, defending tho policies of tho Wilson administration, explaining them and impressing them, the peoplo voted for Mr. Wilson on oloc tion day. To be sure they woro not voting for Mr. Bryan. Indeed, their inclination was to vote for Mr. Wilson. But Bryan was tho witness for Wilson that they, wantod ; ho was tho supporter of the Wilson cause that they trusted, whom thoy gladly heard because thoy knew him. It is no new thing that with a whole and single heart William J. Bryan serves his country. The zoal of ,thc west that tho man shall rule In this republic Bryan lighted 20 years ago. In tho convention at Baltimore it was Bryan that sot his great party in tho path that since that day it has trod. It Is Bryan that In 19 10 is tho sponsor for Wilson whom the peoplo heed. Now York and Boston sneer at Bryan but the coun try moves on. Cdlumbia (S. C.) State. PAULINE REVERE From the New York World. HAS MR. IJRYAN "COME BACK?" Has Mr. Bryan "come back?" Well, judging from tho ovations ho is receiving oven in New England, wo should say so, if Indeed he needed to come back. Mr. Bryan arrived some years ago and has remained since. The Baltimore convention of 1912 exhibited his influenco on his party; the recent campaign has shown his marvelous hold on the people. The states In which Mr. Bryan spoke gave the votes that elect ed tho President. Wilson and Bryan aro the leaders of- the democracy, and it is the personal ity of the men and the confidence felt in both of them that make the hold of the party secure. For Mr. Bryan there is indeed a love which prob ably passes that felt for any other tribune of tho people In all our history. Only our own. "Old Hickory" had such a following. There are millions of men in this country, democrats and republicans, who would undergo almost any personal sacrifice to sec him president of the United States. How silly for any enemy of Mr. Bryan to con tinue to criticise his lecturing for pay. A part of each year he devotes to this purpose. His only source of income is from his writings and his lectures. With It all, ho is not a rich man But of his Income he gives a larger portion to useful public purposes than any other man In the public eye. There are many who would be pleased if they could isolate Mr. Bryan and her metically seal his truth-speaking lips. The press has never been fair to the Commoner There Is always against him a conspiracy either or silence or abuse in its Influenced columns. Uo Ho bas been too cheap that It has not been freely used to foster prejud'ee. But on his devoted head abuse, misrepresentation and ridicule alike have fallen without injury. He is greater today than ever neiore.. Modern times havo produced but one man whose life compares with his, and that o MM & T,Y.