The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923, December 01, 1916, Page 20, Image 20

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    fZrmfa T" T" i" "W ' "
The Commoner
Mr. Bryant Part. in the Campaign
Tho following special correspond
ence by David Lawronco, of Tho Now
York Evening Post, N. Y gives an
interesting account of Mr. Bryan's
activities in tho recent campaign.
Kansas City, Mo., October 17.
What is William Jennings Bryan do
ing in tho presidential campaign?
This has. probably occurred to not a
few who recall tho dramatic circum
stances under which lio parted ofil
ctal company with President Wilson
sovonteon months ago. Ono day with
tho ox-secretary of state would con
vince tho most skoptical that he not
only is interested heart and soul in
Democratic success, but that ho id
giving more of time, energy, and
money combined than any other
slnglo man to bring about the -ro-
election of Woodrow Wilson.
Crowds well, tho like of them
are novor seen except when Bryan
comes to town. Applauso tho kind
that rises from the hearts of a mul
titude, tho approval that is accentu
ated by tho audiblo comment: "He's
right, he's right."
Peaco Issuo Overshadows Others
For the great Commonor is making
a stirring appeal. Ho touches on
many issues, but tho ono that brings
down the house every time is his
discussion of peace tho fact that
tho Presidont has kept tho nation
out of war. Out in tho west this is
tho issue which overshadows all oth
ers, and Mr. Bryan has had such a
reception in tho fifteen states ho has
already visited as to make him con
fident that tho mountain regions ot
tho west will go solidly for Presidont
Four and five speeches a day for
for something sweet finds
pleasant realization in the
pure, wholesome, wheat and
barley food.
No danger of upsetting the
stomach and remember,
Grape-Nuts is a true food,
good for any meal or between
"There' a Reason"
five weeks has been Mr. Bryan's part
in tho campaign, and ho has four
more states to cover in tho next three
weeks. Ho is paying his own travel
ing expenses.
"If tho republicans credit my time
as valuable now," he remarked laugh
ingly when I met him, "as they did
whon I went lecturing, I must be
making quite a contribution."
Tho same Bryan not changed a
bit happy, good humored, epigram
matic in his speeches, with a touch
of campaign sarcasm in them every
now and then; twenty minutes in one
town only to be rushed by train or
automobile to another, during tho
day; at least two speeches in the big
cities at night, everybody reaching
out to shake his hand as he brushes
through tho crowds, people interrupt
ing hi in constantly as he gulps a glass
df milk or a sandwich at a railroad
lunch room, and on he goes.
His Kansas City meeting was typical
of those he has had for many weeks.
Tho big convention hall there was
jammed to the doors, which means
nearly 16,000 people. It seemed
larger than tho Madison Square
Garden crowds that Roosevelt draws.
Senator Underwood, of Alabama, and
Senator Reed of Missouri, who is
running for re-election, "spoke prior
to tho arrival of Mr. Bryan. Both
had talked of the horrors of war and
the disaster from which the Pres
ident's diplomacy had saved the na
tion. But it remained for Mr. Bryan
to grip 'the audience with the kind
or argument and appeal that he alone
can make. Ho had hardly entered
the hall in the midst of another
speech when the crowd caught sight
or mm ana yelled itself hoarse. It
was some minutes before the speak
er, Fred Gardiner, candidate for
governor, could resume. When the
Commoner was finally introduced the
thousands of peonle stood un nnr
cheored. Mr. Hughes gets nothing
oi tuat icinu; oven Mr. Wilson sel
dom inspires such a demonstration.
But with Bryan, it is constant. And
he told me afterwards he had never
had such enthusiasm in all his cam
paign days.
Deeds Versus Promises
Just why that is may be hard to
say, but I suspect he is also making
more votes for Mr. Wilson than he
over made for himself. Perhaps his
own explanation may account for it.
"I can make a much better argu
ment," he told me, "for the re-election
of President Wilson than I ever
could make for myself. For four
campaigns, I have been abln tn tniv
about promises only, but today I can
ijomt io a record greater than any
administration of our crftnnrnH
Deeds are so much more convincing-
iuuu JJIUUllBUS.
Mr. Bryan's speeches are enter
taining. He intersperses humor with
argumont, and rakes the republican
party so good naturedly yet effective
ly that his crowds fairly howl with
delight. Whon he spoke in Kansas
City, he had only 15 minutes,
as he had to catch a train for St
Louis. He begged his audience not
to applaud for annlaiiRo tnnr i
land he had much to say. They didn't
uuey mra ai m; tlley couldut But
soon they realized that applause was
uneconomical, and were content to
listen in silence, but it was obviously
painful for ttiom to hold themselves
in check.
Fow things were more delicious
than his description of the campaign
of 1912 when he said everybody -was
so anxious to defeat the republican
administration that half of the re
publican party refused to permit the
democrats to do alono the task, they
were so eager to perform. And has
tho republican party reformed?
"Why, do you remember," ne saia
amid laughter, "what happened at
Chicago-last June? Who nominated
Mr. Hughes? The same men who
nominated Mr. Taft. And -were they
repentent? Not a bit of it. They
wouldn't oven let Mr. Roosevelt ad
dress their convention after he plead
ed for an invitation. Why, they kept
that noor man waitine at Oyster Bay
while tho convention was addressed
by such able reactionaries as Cannon
and Depew."
His Two Primary Propositions
Mr. Bryan's speech begins usually
with these two propositions.
"Should the government be turned
back to the reactionaries whose con
duct was so odious that it caused
more than half the republicans to re
pudiate their party in 1912? If not.
Mr. Wilson should be re-elected with
a democratic senate and house to
support him. Second: Should the
President be rebuked for keeping
the country out of war with Mexico
and Europe, or should he be com
mended by a vote that will re-elect
him and give him a democratic sen
ate and house to support him."
From these premises Mr. Bryan
develops an argument on domestic
questions at first, pointing out that
Mr. Wilson's record, for example, on
woman suffrage is much better than
that of Mr. Hughes; for the President
went to New Jersey and voted for
Suffrage, while Mr. Hughes didn't
oven go to New York when the issue
was submitted to the electorate last
year. Mr. Bryan speaks of the tariff,
the income tax law, the currency law,
the rural credits law, the anti-trust
laws, the act creating a trade com
mission, the shipping bill, the child
labor la'w, -the Philippines bill, the
peace commission treaties, and' the
eight-hour law. And on the last two
especially does he get an overwhelm
ing response.
"When before," he goes on, "did
any party, in so short a time, present
and complete so remarkable a pro
gramme for the advancement of the
nation's welfare? Is it possible that
a party which has thus justified pub
lic confidence can be rebuked by the
people to whose interests it has ded
icated itself?"
All this may sound on reading like
the usual campaign drool, but the peo
ple by their every manifestation show
that. they believe it implicitly. And
when Mr. Bryan touches the subject
of Mexico or the war in Europe, there
is no question that he has his audi
ences almost unanimously agreeing
with him. He tells how the Presi
dent inherited the Mexican mess from
Mr. Taft, justified the refusal to rec
ognize the "red-handed assassin,
Huerta," and commends the admin
istration for declining to intervene
in Mexico. He drives home his point
that intervention would benefit alone
tho speculators and investors when he
asks his audiences if they want to
give the blood of their sons and rel
atives to make good the financial loss
es of men who preferred to go out
side of tho United States to invest
their capital instead of inside. There
ismo disputing that with the average
man Mr. Bryan makes a ten-strike
every time. Mr. Hughes's speeches
about the protection of American
rights -and the fact that underlying
all our diplomacy must be the baBic
principle of the use of force may stir
enthusiasm, but it is hardly compar
able to the shouts and demonstrations
of approval given to the plain talk of
Mr. Bryan.
Peroration "Gets" the Crowd
The neace isfmo in nnmmAni
I the west. Not alone JVlr. Brya fcut
every other democratic orainrT""""""
fails to draw an outbume
applause as he paints the horrora 0
the European war, the battles St Ver
dun and on the Somme, and toil! .
the hardships on the wo,tt?
who toil while the vitality of a na
tion is each day sapped on the bitJE"
field Obviously the democratic
of the argument about foreign policy
is the easier, the more dramatic for
the orator to handle, and one can be
forgiven tho suspicion that if the
cards were reversed the republican
orators would work the gag not less
uBU it.i?, Mr' Bryan's Peroration
that "gets" the crowd. in it is a
spirit of generosity which comes all
the more convincingly from the man
who broke with the PrGalrinnt n .
ago. Here is what Mr. Bryan says
w ccijf auuicuuB mat ne addresses
several times a day for seven dvn
a week:
"And who, if not the President of
the United States, is entitled to be
mediator when the time for mediation
comes? Some American president
will surely have that honor. Surely,
the country will not turn down the
President who has borne the burden
and carried the responsibility of neu.
trality, and give the .incomparable
honor of being mediator to one who
has had no part in the work done
and who merely finds fault with the
President without outlining any pol
icy or proposing any course to be
Mr. Bryan talks that way because
he sincerely believes every word of
it. He wants Mr. Wilson to have that
honor not alone because of the re
ward to the man for whom today he
has the highest respect, but because
he wants especially to see it added to
the record of democratic achievement
in American history. Mr. Bryan is
fundamentally more interested in the
welfare of the democratic party than
in any person in it. He may have
thought at one time, not long after
he left the cabinet, that the President
was on the wrong track, that by the
advocacy of large measures of pre
paredness and the shaking of the big
stick, the administration was drifting
into war. Mr. Bryan did not want
the democratic party to be a war
party. Nothing delighted him more
than the turn of events which gave
the democratic party the cry that
they had maintained peace. It en
abled him to forget, for the moment,
if not forgive, the large expenditures
for preparedness, for the peace pol
icy was closest to his heart. Yet if
anything was needed to make Mr.
Bryan realize his duty, it was the per
formances at the last Chicago con
vention and the campaign arguments
of Mr. Hughes. The republican can
didate helped to solidify democratic
ranks. The eight-hour bill pleased
the Commoner immensely. The dem
ocratic party- his party was ago i m
on the side of the masses in a my
light for human rights and interna
tional peace in foreign policy and ror
tho betterment of tho common man
in domestic policy. Small wonder
that he is enthusiastic and is by ms
own admission talking more ardenuy
for the candidacy of Woodrow Wilson
than he ever did for himself. W
proves that William Jennings Bryan,
despite all the criticism that has been
visited upon him, cares for a principle
far more than a good many men in
public life today. For who will I m
sert that, win or lose, there is an
thing of public office or other reww
in it for the man who has been & can
didate three times and a secretary
state? His sole interest i0
and that it nodoubt will be to tn
end of his days.