The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923, December 01, 1916, Page 13, Image 13

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The Commoner
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dry democrats, it is within the range of possi
bility that he may bo in position of control aa
to nomination and platform. Should such prove
to bo the case, the candidate will bo William
J. Bryan, and the platform will be nation-wide
prohibition, with woman suffrage and some oth
er reform questions to keep it company.
Bryan's light to put tke democratic party right
is the most formidable and menacing factor the
republicans have to face. With the democratic
party standing for prohibition in 1920, and the
republican party committed to the saloon, the
latter will be hopelessly beaten.
If the liquor forces, early become convinced
that Bryan is going to win in the democratic
party, they will go pell mell to the republicans
In order to make sure of controlling that or
ganization. Therein lies danger for the repub
licans. As a saloon organization, the repuo
lican party would be doomed to defeat.
Mr. Bryan has taken a long look into the fu
ture. He has been preparing, for years, for the
thing he is now doing. The liquor traffic hates
and fears him and will have more reason for
doing so. Success to him. Stewart, in National
A new sectionalism, a political revolution, a
new era'in American politics these are some of
the phrases used by the eastern observers in dis
cussing the dramatic reversal of the election ver
dict by western votes after the loss of the great
pivotal eastern states had led virtually every
morning paper in the Union to announce Pres
ident Wilson's defeat. The result reveals "a new
political alignment," and "this is the tremend
ous fact of the election," declares the progressive
Philadelphia North American. "The scepter of
power is passing to the west in conjunction with
the south and southwest," sajrs the independent
New York Evening Post; and it adds: "Mr. Wil
son has shown us all that we must roll up our
political maps and make one entirely new."
For half a century, as one editor remarks,
"New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Illinois,
and Indiana had been the United States in. a na
tional election." But now, says the democratic
New York World, "the cash-register patriotism
of New York has been spat upon by a virile
west that is keeping the faith of the fathers,"
and this means "the beginning of a new political
era." What might perhaps be interpreted as a
courteous western expression of this same view
reaches us from Minnesota in the statement of
the editor of the Duluth Herald (ind.) that the
unexpectedly large Wilson vote in that state
"represents, in a way, the west's declaration of
independence of the political and financial con
trol of the east." "Wall street may have a mort
gage on the effete east," telegraphs the secretary
of the Woodrow Wilson Independent league of
California to a New York newspaper, "but the
west does its own thinking." Many will recall
Mr. Bryan's dream that the west would some
day decide' a presidential election, and one New
York paper reminds us, "in the interest ol ac
curacy," that "aside from the south, the WHson
majorities come mainly from the territory in
which Mr. Bryan did his campaigning for Wilson
this year." This campaigning, of which only
the faintest echoes reached us in the east, took
Mr. Bryan through nineteen states in eight
weeks, during which time he made four or five
speeches a day, always driving home these two
ideas: That the government should not be turned
over to the reactionaries who were repudiated by
the progressive element of their own party in
1912; and that the President should not be re
buked for keeping the country out of war with
Mexico and Europe. Literary Digest.
From The Springfield Republican.
That Mr. Bryan remains a factor in politics
to he reckoned with the election has demon
strated. The grievance which eastern news
Papers and particularly those of New York city,
have maintained against William Jennings Bry
an is that he refuses to stay dead after being
declared defunct and buried. So it has been in
"le past, and now is.
A dispatch from Omaha reports Mr. Bryan
as having dismantled his winter home and
shipped a portion of the furniture to his winter
iiome in Florida., whihrhis large library is being
sent to Asheville, N. C, where it is said "he
will live and vote." Home critics of Nebraska's
distinguished citizen intimato that Mr. Bryan's
waning political influenco in his own state leads
him to depart for other political pastures, in
the hope of securing tho prohibition presidential
nomination four years hence. Mr. Bryan's an
swer is that ho will continue to do his voting at
Lincoln, Nebraska. All this has- Its Interest, es
pecially as revealing human naturo as Mr. Bry
an's opponents have always exhibited it.
Mr. Bryan is still a democrat, but ho was not
"still" during the campaign after tho David B.
Hill pattern. Ho spoke in nearly a scoro of
states- in Now Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, Utah,
Wyoming, Montana, North Dakota, Iowa, Kan
sas, Oklahoma, Colorado, Missouri, Tennessee,
Kentucky, Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois and Ne
braska but ho did not speak In Idaho, South
Dakota, Minnesota or Indiana, as has been
stated. All but four of tho eighteen states which
heard Mr. Bryan went for Wilson. Tho east
paid no heed to tho former secretary of state
as he covered tho territory whore ho was most
at home, albeit an occasional voluntary letter to
the newspapers told of tho great audiences he
was talking to and the enthusiasm aroused by
his appeals. When the story of this election is
told, Mr. Bryan must be given a larger measure
of credit that eastern people have realized be
longed to him. As a matter of history a sort
of supplement to his resignation from tho cab
inet tho dispatch which Mr. Bryan sent to
President Wilson three days after election is
worth giving:
"The returns are now so nearly complete that
I shall not longer deny myself the pleasure of
extending to you heartiest congratulations upon
your re-eloction and earnest good wishes for the
success of your second term. Am proud of tho
west including Nebraska. The states beyond
the Missouri have rallied to. your support and
saved the day, and in doing so have honored
themselves no less than you. They have been
largely benefited by the great reforms enacted
under your leadership, and they stand with you
for peace, prosperity and progress."
Mr. Bryan will never be president of the
United States, but tho democracy will benefli i'y
his attachment to it as a moral force calculating
to pull against other forces operating on a lowor
level. Mr. Bryan tells the National Woman's
Christian Temperance Union that ho is "in pol
itics with both feet." What for? To drive the
saloon out of the United States; "for this," ho
says in his Commoner newspaper, "Is the great
moral issue of this generation, and the demo
cratic party is the party to lead tho fight in tho
nation." Stranger things than tho success of
Mr. Bryan in this effort to revolutionize his party
haye happened in American politics. If tho
democracy under its present leadership shall be
able to bind to itself the firm backing of the
people of the states,, whence its success came in
this election, the old democratic party will be
well on the way toward sucb transformation as
Mr. Bryan hopes for.
We desire to commend to those democrats in
Indiana, who were so afraid to let William Jen
nings Bryan come Into the state, that they take
note of the fact that it Is the west, where Mr.
Bryan did his campaigning, that brought to
democracy its national victory. Of course, you
may never have heard of it. The Commoner
was literally boycotted by both the Associated
Press and International News services employed
in South Bend, and not a word of his speeches
or his tours came over the regular news wires,
although he put in all of October, practically al
together in the west, and with seemingly telling
Yes, Mr. Bryan was literally.boycotted on this
tour by the press associations. They fell out
with him when he quit the state department.
His pacifism seemed not to jibe, somehow, with
the popular militarism that was sweeping the
country at the time and for misconstruction and
garbling of his public utterances, he took them
to task. They started out accordingly, to wipe
Mr Bryan out of the public mind, if possible,,
and doubting the efficacy of further misrepre
senting, they seemingly adopted tho policy of
Ignoring him. Bryan, however, stumped the
western states, and with practically the only
publicity given to his speeches beyond that of
his voice, being that of local newspapers in the
cities that ho visited; well, it was thoso local
ities that saved tho day for democracy whether
on nccount of him, or in spito of him, wo do not
But truth, and truth only, Is otornal and dom
inating, incident to which wo would add, dem
ocracy itsolf needs to tako notico, as well as the
public at largo. Wo commend tho Idea to our
democratic state central committee, so fearful
of Mr. Bryan, and tho truths that ho always dl
somlnatcs, evidently quite acceptable to the
masBOB as indicated by tho voto out west. Take
off your hat to Mr. Bryan, democrats. Oh yo,
ho quit tho cabinet In a huff, and ho criticised
tho President on points of war, but bo was Amer
ican first of all, and democrat second, and no
doubt contributed of personal Influence n much
as any ono man aside from tho President hlm
solf, to that same President's re-election.
Mr. Bryan nominated Mr. Wilson at Balti
more, in 1912, nnd ho, in all probability, de
livered to him tho electoral votes of Nebraska,
California, Kansas, Washington, Montana, Utah,
North Dakota, New Mexico and Wyomingquite
essential to his choico, in 19 1G. South Bend
(Ind.) News-Times.
Tho clouds of tho political horizon ara today,
tinged with a dlfforoiit hue than over before,
and the chances are that the alignment for tho
presidential contest in 1920 will knock most of'
the old-time politicians clear off the political
At this time thorq appears to bo little doubt
but what the "paramount" issue In the next
national campaign will be the liquor question.
It then follows that the men who will lead tho
who have long ago enllHted In tho great cause,
who havo long ago enlisted In tho grat cause,
and havo been at the head of the smaller armies
In the various state campaigns that have resulted
in the elimination of the saloon from one-half
of tho Union.
President Wilson will, not bo available in
1920, and tho democratic- party will havo to se
lect another candidate ono who has an un
blemished record on tho question of prohibition.
The man will likely bo Bryan, W. J. Bryan, WJ1
Ilam Jennings Bryan of Nebraska and Florida,
the mcfn who has thrice fallen In such contests,
but who arose stronger and more optimistic after
the ballots had been counted. Mr. Bryan has
always been strong In the west and with that
section of the country In tho dry column, and,
coupled with the Impregnable democratic south,
which has long been mostly dry, he would cer
tainly bo a very formidable competitor for tho
great honor which he has been seeking for tho
past twenty years.
No man has ever appeared In the political life
of this nation against whom has been arrayed
such powerful opposition as has been constantly
directed at Mr. Bryan. In 1890, tho republican
national committee spent the enormous sum of
$16,000,000 to defeat the Commoner, and more
than $9,000,000 four years later. All of the
big interests of the country have always been
hostile to his candidacy, including about all of
tho larger newspapers; and through it all the
Nebraskan has remained serene and composed,
and retains his popularity with tho people.
The states in which Mr. Bryan campaigned
this year showed big Wilson pluralities, and hl
work for the dry cause was undoubtedly a big
factor In adding four stars to tho prohibition
flag. Huntington Beach (Cal.) News.
Mr. Bryan devoted his speeches during th
campaign to fifteen states In the west, mostly
where women vote and states that wore dry or
held elections on the liquor question. His own
state went dry by 29,442.
In 1912 it was his power of mind and voice
that made President Wilson's nomination pos
sible. In 1916 the states in which he spok
made possible President Wilson's re-election.
Former President Roor$velt also campaigned
Ija these same states which were progressive and t
where he was popular as a rancher and rough
rider years ago, but Mr. Brya-i's appeals .de
livered the votes which insured President Wil
son's re-election.
The two leaders now visible for 1920 nip
ihtffifT' f- . 4.