The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923, December 01, 1916, Page 20, Image 20
fZrmfa T" T" i" "W ' " The Commoner 20 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 Wilson. Four and five speeches a day for Childish Craving for something sweet finds pleasant realization in the pure, wholesome, wheat and barley food. GRAPE-NUTS No danger of upsetting the stomach and remember, Grape-Nuts is a true food, good for any meal or between meals. "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 effectively. 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 pursued." 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.