The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923, December 01, 1916, Page 5, Image 5
The. Commoner DECEMBER, 1916 A Dry Nation in Four Years Tho following interview of Mr. Bryan ap peared in the New York World, November 15, 1916. "My work during the next four years," de clared William Jennings Bryan, in an interview for The World last night, "will he to contribute whatever I can toward making the national dem ocracy dry. When an issue arises it must bo met, and the prohibition issue is here. Our party can not afford to take the immoral side of a moral issue. The democratic party can not afford to become the champion of the brewery, the distillery and tho saloon. The members of the party will not permit it to be buried in a drunkard's grave." Mr. Bryan, who took up a two days' abode at tho Holland House yesterday morning, on his first visit to New York since before the pres idential campaign opened, had been pointing out why Mr. Wilson won, why Mr. Hughes loot, why Colonel Roosevelt did not help Mr. Hughes and what effect the victory for the President would have upon our international relations. Ho had explained that Mr. Hughes's campaign had fallen fiat because "Mr. Hughes was like the man who had to take the side of the moon in a debate, on the relative merits of the sun and the moon." DRY STATES WENT FOR WILSON The prediction that prohibition is to be the big issue four years hence came in answer to this question: "In what ways will the result of the election affect the future of the democratic party?" "In two ways," was Mr. Bryan's quick re joinder. "In the first place, four years more of experience under democratic reforms will make it impossible to repeal the laws passed. By 1920 the country will have adjusted itself to the new laws, so that conservatism will support the laws that are as against a proposed change. "This will leave the democratic party free to take up new issues such as "equal suffrage and prohibition and the "election returns make it easy for the democratic party to take the lead in both of these reforms. It does not owe anything to the political bosses who control the politics of the wet cities, and besides, a considerable ma jority of President Wilson's electoral vote came from dry territory." Mr. Bryan was asked to estimate the demo cratic strength in the dry states. He resumed: Of the twenty-three dry states, seventeen went for Mr. Wilson, two more were very close, while prohibition has been practically decided upon in four otherstates which he carried. It happens,, also, that Mr. Wilson carried nearly all the states in which women vote. If the democratic party takes the liquor side of the prohibition question, it will risk a loss without certainty of gain, even if it could be supposed that it was willing to make an even trade of dry votes for wet ones. REPUBLICANS MIGHT SEIZE ISSUE "It is worth noting, also," continued Mr. Bryan, "that the republican party, having been defeated on tho old issues, will be looking for some new issue upon which to make the next fight, and since the wet vote was not sufficient to give it a victory and several more states will be dry before 1920 it may champion pro hibition in the hope of winning back the dry states of the west. "It is not at all Impossible, therefore," was Mr. Bryan's conclusion, "that the two leading parties will, in 1920, enter into active rivalry to obtain the dry vote of the country." When discussing the attempt he predicts will be made to capture the dry states of the west in 1920, Mr. Bryan was asked what will be the effect of the apparent shifting of political power from the west to the west and south. He re plied: "The first effect is to teach the East a lesson in geography. It has been enjoyable to those Hving beyond the Alleghany mountains to hear such plaintive inquiries as 'Whore is New Mex ico?' How did Arizona go?' 'Are the returns from Nevada complete yet?' 'What about Wy oming?' and 'Why is North Dakota?' The ques tion of 'How old is Ann?' was overshadowed for a while. "The second effect is to free the country -from the superstition that all campaign calculation must be based on carrying New York. Tho coun try can now proceed to legislate on tho theory that the law should suit tho majority, no mat ter In what section or sections the majority lives. HUGHES HAD TO TAKE THE "MOON SIDE" "Y! iaV0 you t0 say ns t0 th0 knl of a candidate Mr. Hughes mado and tho campaign ho conducted?" was the next question asked of Mr. Bryan The reply was: i "JS? havo t0 make allwances for tho fact that Mr. Hughes could not successfully attack the administration's record and could not prom, lso to plunge tho country Into war, although war was the natural inference which many drew from his attacks upon the President's policy. Mr. Hughes was like the man who had to taico the side of the moon in a dobato on tho relative merits of the sun and moon. Ho did tho best he could, but he had the wrong side. Ho was put in the attitude of attacking without offering anything as a substitute. 1 think tho best car toon of the campaign, illustrated his embarrass ment. It was entitled: 'Listen to tho Knocking Bird.' " On the much debated question whether or not Colonel Roosevelt's support helped or injured Mr. Hughes's-candidacy, Mr. Bryan said: "I should say it would be difficult to decide which hurt Mr. Hughes most, his own speeches or Mr. Roosevelt's speeches. However, tho fact that Mr. Hughes lost most In the territory in which Mr. Roosevelt was supposed to be popu lar and won in the states where Mr. Roosevelt was supposed to be least. popular, would seem to give the candidate the advantage over his prin cipal supporter." . SEES NO HOPE IN OFFICIAL COUNT As to the possibility of a change in the election returns which would show Mr. Hughes to-be a winner after all, Mr, Bryans comment was: - "All things are possible,' but there is no prob ability of a mistake sufficient to change the re sult.. And why should Mr. Hughes desire to hold the office when he knows Mr. Wilson received some 400,000 more votes than ho did? How would Mr. Hughes feel conducting a govern ment oveY the protest of so largo a plurality?" Mr. Bryan summarized the reasons for Mr. Wilson's victory in these words: "Some voters were influenced by one reason and some by another. Every large group of our voters had received some material advantage from the Wilson administration. The commer cial class had been benefited by the Curroncy Law and tho laboring man by the Eight-Hour law, the Anti-Trust law against government by injunction and other measures of special inter est to labor. t "Here are the three most important groups and all had reason to be satisfied by the Wilson administration. "The women voters probably were Influenced by the fact that the President had been able to keep the country out of war with Mextfco and with Europe, and all classes had been doubly benefited by the Tariff law. First they had the advantage of lower import rates, and, secondly, they were relieved of the fear of panic by the fact that prosperity had come with a low tariff, despite all the gloomy predictions of the repub lican leaders. EUROPE SHOULD BE SATISFIED "Generally speaking, the unparalleled record in the matter of economic reforms was the basis of tho President's claim for popular approval, but the peace argument strongly reinforced the argument based upon remedial legislation' "What effect will the re-election of Mr. Wilson have upon the European war situation?" was asked. "The attitude of Europe will prohably depend upon the personal bias of the man who expresses himself, but the European public In general ought to find satisfaction in the continuation of a policy already settled and known. A change in administration would have ushered In an era of uncertainty, especially between November and March. "The fact that the belligerents on neither side were entirely pleased with the Wilson adminis tration was proof of Ita neutrality. If either sldo had championed the President it would havo furnished an argumont against hfm." Mr. Bryan wan roluctant to discuss "his part In tho campaign, oven whon reminded that tho democratic victory was won in tho states where ho spoke. At length ho said: "It is truo that tho west, the stone which builders had hitherto rejected, has become the hoad of tho cornor. But thoro wore so many democrats at work in that section that no one person can claim a largo amount of credit for tho result. My share in tho rejoicing Is surely largo, whatover my share may havo boon In tho labors. "Wo are also rojoiclng that Nebraska wont dry. Wo aro now a part of the white territory which covers nearly all tho country west of the Mississippi. Wo are truly proud of Nobraaka. It went for Wilson, as well as for tho prohibition amendment." Tho drive Mr. Bryan will captain against tho liquor Interests will bo undortakonjmmodlatoly. Ho will leave tonight for Indiana ami speak In Indianapolis Sunday morning before a national assemblage of tho Women's Christian Temper ance Union. He will speak In Chicago Monday at a luncheon of tho Anti-Saloon league. THE LESSON IN INDIANA In Indiana tho liquor interests forced a wot plank into tho platform in splto of the protest of democratic leaders, and then, after having disgraced the party by their insolent domina tion of it, they proceeded to throw their sup port to tho republican party. Indiana wont re publican on President, senators, congressmen and state ticket. Tho democrats of the nation may well profit by tho lesson taught In Indiana. Tho liquor interests havo no politics; they use tho party that best serves their purpo.o, and they cast it aside whon through with It. They THOUGHT Hughes would win. W. J. BRYAN. REPUBLICAN CONTRIBUTIONS Thirty-four thousand two hundred and five re publicans gave $2,441,508 to tho Hughes cam paign fund that Is, to tho fund distributed, by the republican national committee an AVER AGE of about $70 for each contributor. That is not a POPULAR subscription only about ono republican voter In two hundrod contributing. But, Judging tho future by the past, the admin istration would havo been controlled by' a still smaller proportion if tho republicans had won. Food prices are said to bo lower in Europe man they aro In the United States. If tho war is to blame for tho high prices, it would seem only logical that tho closer they get to where there Is war the higher they ought to be. It Is suspected, however, that the governing prin ciple hasyt more relation to where they have the money topay them. There is nothing hasty or reckless about the canvassing board of New Hampshire either. On the afternoon of December 2d, twenty-five days after the election, It announced that President Wilson had carried the state by GO votes out of a total of over 87,000. They say that only faint signs of life have been visible In Senator Gal linger ever since. Election analysts say that comparatively few straight party votes were cast outside of those sections where political machines still hold sway. Tho office humorist says that ono explanation is that since candidates have Inaugurated the practice of campaigning by automobile it isn't safe for a yotcr to stay in the middle of the road. We trust that nothing in the recent election returns will deter Col. George B. M. Harvey's publicity agent from ' calling attention, on the eve 'of the 1920 presidential election, to the re markable accuracy that characterizes the colonel' prediction of the result by states. The need of adding to the gayety of the nation i crises like these forbids. Anxious Reader: You havo been misinformed The -favoriteAjpoem of Chairman Willcpx"o the republican committee is not "Out Where the West Begin."