The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923, December 01, 1916, Page 7, Image 7

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    DECEMBER, 1916
The Commoner
speak. Some practicable basis of agreement
concerning them will no doubt bo found and ac
tion taken upon them.
"Inasmuch as this is, gentlemen, probably the
last occasion I shall have to address the Sixty
fourth congress, I hope that you will permit mo
to say with what genuirie pleasure and satisfac
tion I have co-operated with you in the many
measures of constructive policy with which you
have enriched the legislative annals of the coun
try. It has been a privilege to labor in such
company. I take the liberty of congratulating
you upon the completion of a record of rare
serviceableness and distinction."
Interview by Mr. Bryan in Chicago Examiner,
November 20, 1916.
William Jennings Bryan outlined to the Ex
aminer last night his plans for leading the
charge against liquor interests throughout the
country during the next four years. He came
here from Indiana, where he opened his fight,
and today will address the Dry Chicago Federa
tion at tho Hotel Sherman.
The Nebraskan said:
"The national parties can not afford to take
the side of the saloon. To do so is to invite de
feat. It is the big moral issue of the country.
And the democratic party now stands released
from any obligation it may have been under to
tho wet interests, because these Interests threw
their influence to the republican ticket in the
election this fall.
"This is more than purely a local fight and
contemplates other states than Indiana, where I
consulted first with dry democrats. I am ready
to encourage a dry organization in every state
where the regular democratic organization is
not already committed to state and national pro
hibition. "The start has been made in Indiana. My con
ference with party leaders had to do with put
ting the democratic party there .on the side of
prohibition. A committee was appointed for
that purpose. The democratic dry element there
will support everything looking to the abolition
of the saloon and will favor a constitutional
amendment, and also statutory prohibition.
"Twenty-three' states are dry now, and it is
possible that six more will be added within the
next few months,- The liquor forces in the
western states arejin a particularly bad fix. The
democrats don't owe them anything because the
wet cities went against our party, and. .because
they didn't elect a republican for President the
republicans don't owe them anything."
Turning to the recent election, Mr. Bryan said:
"For more than a generation it has been as
sumed that no party could win a presidential
election without the "electoral vote of New York.
That supposed fact has given it an influence-in
national politics out of proportion to its popula
tion. "The vote of the women in the west is- sur
prising and pleasing. The large increasein the
number of votes cast in Arizona and similar
states this year is due to the active participation
of women in the elections."
Mr. Bryan indicated that he proposed to de
vote time to organizing the dry forces of the
democratic party in each of the forty-eight states
in his new battle.
The head of one of the great brewing com
panies of St Louis that has poured millions into
the laps of its owners declares that the liquor
makers of the country must unite in support of
saloons that are strictly lawrabidlng; that they
must close when the law says, sell only to whom
the law permits and abolish treating. The old
couplet having to do with the devil and the
character of monk finds many modern Illustra-v
Tho extreme unpopularity of the President's
Mexican policy may be gauged from the fact that
California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas,- the
four states bordering upon Mexico, all gave Mr,
Wilson their electoral -votes. As they were most
directly affectedly that policy, their endorse
ment of the Presment's cewrse is significant.
Tho price of steel rails went up five dollars' a
ton immediately following tho re-election of
President Wilson. Prosperity seems determined
to dig itself in so deep that it will take years of
republican rule to get it out.
Election Postscript
" i
By Simeon Strunsky, in. New York Evening
Post Magazine.
Measuring back twenty years from November,
lJiG, who, would one say, are tho public men
that have most completely imposed themselves
on tho history of tho period? By that I do not
necessarily mean tho most outstanding figures
of the time, but tho most persistent figures. To
qualify for a place a man who is alive and a force
.in 1916 must have already been playing his part
in 1896. This stipulation excludes Asqulth and
Grey, who were not twenty years ago what they
aro today. It excludes Clemenceau, who is not
today what he was twenty years ago. It excludes
Sun Yat-Sen, whom the futuro may accept as
the most significant world figure of our time. It
excludes Woodrow Wilson by tho very wide
margin of fourteen years, 189G-1910; and it ex
cludes Theodoro Roosevelt by some flvo years.
It wa's not till 1901 or 1902 that tho Roosevelt
we know took on his full shape. I oxcludo
Francis Joseph and Nicholas II because I do not
regard them as primal forces in themselves.
Thus narrowed down, the question should bo an
easy one for any man with an encyclopedia. But
I will spare him tho trouble.
The only two men who answer to my defini
tion aro the Kaiser and William J. Bryan. It
was in 1896 that tho Kaiser emerged In his com
pound role of builder of the German navy and
interpreter of the Divine will. In 1896 Bryan
was nominated at Chicago. Through the inter
vening twenty years tho two men-have been a
persistent force. Today Europe and America
bear testimony to their labors.
Is New York provincial? Tho west has always
hurled this charge across the Hudson and slap
into the Metropolitan tower. We may bo sure
that the west will not lose the habit now that
New England and the Atlantic plain and tlio
north west territory walk in chains behind tho
chariot of trans-Mississippi. Is tho charge justi
fied? I used to say no; I hesitate now; and the
cause is Mr. Bryan. In tho long weeks of the
presidential campaign, if you were to judge from
the New York press, Mr. Bryan did not exist.
"My own impression was that he was either in
Japan or in Bermuda. Upon inquiry I discoverol
that lie was campaigning for Wilson out west.
I beg pardon. Once Mr. Bryan did flit across
the New York newspaper horizon. It was as
certained that in touring the west for Mr. Wil
son the' former leader of tho democracy was
paying his own expenses. That wasa fact of
such vital importance that public 'recognition
could no' longer be denied him. He got his no
tice on the front page- and went into eclipse
Now you may have-your own guess as to which
of twenty things it wag that elected Wilson; but
if you said Bryan, it would be as safe as any
one of the twenty. It may not .have been Bryan
the campaigner. It was more likely the Bryan
idea. When you speak of the last election as a
victory of the country over the city, it is odd to
overlook the man Who in 1896 told the conven
tion which nominated him that cities might
come and go and man bo none the worse, but
that if you destroy the farms, grass will grow in
the streets of your cities. After twenty years I
still find it a thrilling bit of rhetoric. When you
speak of the election as a triumph of the plain
people over Wall street, it is strange to overlook
"the man who first drew the antithesis, and
Roosevelt took it from him, and Woodrow Wil
son took it partly from Roosevelt and partly
from Bryan. When you speak of the election as
a triumph of west over east, it Is strange to
overlook the man who first led tho embattled
west against us and came very near winning.
When you speak of the election as a condemna
tion of war, it would be very strange indeed to
overlook the man who talked universal peace
long before the war in Europe.
And if he did it on the Chautauqua platform
and for $500 a lecture, it hardly matters. Sim
ply as a successful showman, as a man who dis
covered what the public wants, Mr. Bryan would
have proved his title to oneoftfie highest gifts
of the statesman. It is my personal belief that
Mr Bryan did not write the "Prince of Peace"
for money. I do not believe that he would have
written the "Divine Mission of the Sword" for
a littlo moro money. Ho Is to be consldca '
rather as a very fortunato man who made a coui
fortablo living out of proachlng an Important
doctrino in which ho bellovod sincerely and in
which his audiences bellovod. As to tho per
forming dogs and tho Tyroleso yodlers with
whom Mr. Bryan was brought Into contact, I
refuse altogether to worry. Tho Juxtaposition
pleases me. Thoro was a bear garden next to
tho Globe thoatro In Southwark, and 1 have no
doubt the fine gentlemen of tho timo enjoyed
Hamlet and the boars oqually. It is also prob
able that Socrates and Alcibladcs Interrupted
thoir table-talk about tho soul when tho Lydlan
dancing girls and the Indian snako-oharmors
camo In.
A detailed appraisal of Bryan's career Is not
what I am interested in; though a thorough
' study would probably give the remarkable result
of a man who was usually right In principle and
wrong In the manner -and the speclflc applica
tion. It would also show a man who was de
feated In every battlo he fought and who won
tho campaign, If his entire careor bo viewed as
a slnglo campaign. What no one can question,
however, Is that it has been a full and continu
ous career. In twenty years he has been him
self nominated three tlmos for tho presidency;
ho has permitted one other nomination Park
er's; he has forced one other nomination Wil
son's at Baltimore In one of tho most dramatic
episodes of our political history; ho has dono his
share in bringing to fruition Wilson's second
nomination. Incidentally wo may contrast Bry
an's loyalty to Wilson with another public man's
behavior under the pull of ambition. This other
man shall here be nameless.
Now, In speaking ofhe two Williams, Hohen
zollern and Bryan, I began with nothing else in
mind than the irrefutable facta of chronology,
. But as I draw hear the end of my page it occurs
to rae how' strangely the life ideas of tho. two
men have been brought into contact. In 1896
William of Hohcnzpllern, aged 36, began his
crusade for God, autocracy, and a big navy, and
William J. Bryan, aged 36, made himself leader
of an othlco-soclal crusade, What wo may
roughly call the irohenzollern Idea Is now in
conflict with tho Bryan idea, and it looks as If
William of N6braska will win out. Many people
aro now saying that mankind shall no longer be
crucified on an Iron Cross.
Raleigh is glad to give welconfe to William
J, Bryan today, for he is a man held in high es
teem and in great admiration In this city. Com
ing on a visit to his daughter whose home is 'in
Raleigh tho opportunity has been given to have
a luncheon in his honor, this under the direction
of the Raleigh Chamber of Commerce.
Republicans, as well as democrats, can well
do honor to Mr. Bryan, for whilo he Is a demo
crat who has rendered high service to hi party,
yot all Americans have had his service In bis
fights against the interests in behalf of the peo
ple. Ho is a democrat deserving the apprecia
tion of men of ail parties.
. In the recent presidential campaign Mr. Bryan
proved a tower of strength to tho democratic
party. He toured the west and his speeches in
behalf of the re-election of President Wilson
were of such power as to add to the democratic
vote. Hfs course andjie did only 'what his
friends knew he would do has been such as to
confound his critics, who were never so happy
as jphen picturing Bryan taking leave of Presi
dent Wilson with "God Bless you" on his lip's
and a knifo behind his back. The papers of the
ctfuntry which Indulged in that sort of thing are
due Mr. Bryan an apology.
Mr. Bryan has visited Raleigh a number of
times, and on those occasions he has added to
the number of his personal friends. These are
glad that today they have opportunity of doing
him honor, their mbata to bo to the man who
has done service in behalf of the masses of the
people. And they are glad also that in this city
there resides a daughter of Mr. Bryan, for that
means that ho is to make other visits here. The
welcome given today will be a welcome which
comes from men who know that he is a nan
whom it is an honor to honor. Raleigh (S. C.)
News and Observer. '