The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923, January 01, 1917, Page 30, Image 30

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The Commoner
" 30
VOL. 17, NO. l
Changing the Political Map of
the United States
The West and South in 1806
7S555f55n "Tfi"' tfw r-Tfryt
,. Prom Current Opinion for De
cember. Of the many interesting aspects
presented by tho olection last month,
perhaps tho most lmprcsslvo Is the
change In tho political map. Evor
slnco tho Civil war Issues were set
tled, there have been recurring ef
forts to form a combination of some
sort between tho south and tho west.
Tho Groenbackors tried It, the Labor
party tried it, tho Populists tried it,
Froo Silver democrats tried it, the
progressives tried It. Their plans were
balked by the unchanging adheronco
of tho solid south to tho democratic
jparty. Tho west could be onticed in
to a now party, but tho south could
not. Now what nearly two genera
tions havo tried in vain to do has
been accomplished under tho leader
ship of Woodrow Wislon. Tho break
between tho section west of the Mis
sissippi and tho section east of it and
north of tho old Mason and Dixon's
lino is a political event of enduring
importance. Tho New York World
calls it "tho beginning of a new po
litical era in tho United States." Tho
Chicago Evening Post says, "tho elec
tion has revolutionized the alinoments
of power which havo obtained for a
generation. In tho map (showing tho
results of the elections), the alliance
between tho south and west is appar
ent at a glance. But the map does
not tell all tho story. A swing of 200
votes would havo made Minnesota
black. A. awing of 3,500 would have
"made Oregon black. A swing of 2,750
would havo mado South Dakota
black. In other words, a swing of
' 6,500 votes in these three states
would havo loft Iowa tho only state
west of tho Mississippi 'in the repub
lican ranks. Andthe 'remarkable
feature of this change is that it was
not affected by any issue, such as
froo silver, railway regulations, op
position to tho money, trust, etc., that
bad a sectional slant. The appeals In
tho recont campaign were indeed
singularly freo from sectional bias.
Tho striking in tho effect ot
strictly national appeals upon the two
sections is tho significant thing in
tho now alignment. This shift in
sentiment and change in political
geography, as tho Washington cor
tho map. Says tho New York Times
Washington correspondent:
"With tho drawing of a new map
have arisen new statesmen, represen
tative of new national policies. Tho
south, tho west, the Pacific coast
states, and Ohio constitute tho now
political chart created by Woodrow
Wilson and tho now elements in pol
itics. Whether this map and the per
sonalities also created by the shift
of opinion will last, remains to bo
seen. It is a question to be decided,
probably, by the congressional battle
two years hence, or two years later.
on by the presidential election. In
the meantime there is no overlooking
tho fact that the far west has thrown
its lot in with the solid south, and
no logger seems to be dependent on
tho east."
TJie "Possiop. for Popnlar Govern
ment" in tho West
It is not a southern or western bat
an eastern Journal, the New York
World, that is most outspoken in Its
rejoicing over this new shifting of
influence away from the eastern and
middlo states. It says:
"The west has indeed spoken, and
nothing better has happened in a
generation than this shifting of tho
political balance to a section which
still maintains the old ideals of the
republic which is not owned by its
pocketbook and which has never
made a god of its bank account. To
elect a president without the sordid
assistance of New York, and hardly
less sordid assistance of Illinois,
would bo a double triumph. Even to
loso the presidency by a small mar
gin in such circumstances would bo
a moral victory that Mr. Wilson could
always remember with pride. Wheth
er he wins or loses in the final connt
of the states that will decide the re
sult, his leadership has wrought a
mighty political revolution in mo
United States. Tho cash register
patriotism of New York has been spat
upon by a virile American west' that
is keeping the faith of the fathers,."
One explanation that comes out of
tho west itself is presented by E. P.
Costigan, a progressive leader of
Colorado, and twice a progressive
candidate for governor. "While the
respondent of tho Now York Times
notes, "was probably hot expected by
any of the political managers, judged
by their attitude in the early hours
of Wednesday morning."
West Surprises Political Managers
Before three o'clock of tho morn-
EaBt," he says, "has been thinking
in terms of tho European, war, the
progressives of tho west have-considered
domestic peace and justice of
greater importance, and have voted
accordingly." Nothing, he goes on
to say, is more curious than the per
sistent blindness of the people of the
ing folk wing election, democratic I east toward the passion for popular
naners like the Now York World and
New York Times conceded the elec
tion of Hughed, signaled it to the
public, sont editorials and headlines
to that effect to the printer, and their
editions were rushed off the press and
to the news-stands. Willcox, repub"
Jican chairman, sent his congratula
tions to Mr. Hughes, and received tho
latter's thanks for his "victory." Mr.
Roosevelt had gone to bed satisfied,
expressing his delight and declaring
ho would not offer any advice to the.
incoming president. Enough returns
were, in from all. the herotoforo piv
otal states at that timo to make con
clusions apparently Safe. But with
the coming of returns after that hour
from North Dakota, followed by those
from other trans-Mississippi Bta,tes,
the first intimations of what had
happened came to managers, candi
dates and journalists alike. They had
policed of landslides and tidal waves
but not of a political revolution in
government in western America. "It
explains at one and the same timo the
enduring influence of Mr. Bryan and
Senator La Follotte, the rise and
ecjipso of Colonel Roosevelt, and the
present widespread popularity of
President Wilson."
The map showing results of the
1916 elections, referred to in abovo
artielp, will be -found in another col
umn on this page. Ed.
From tho St. Louis Times, Dec. IX.
If a prohibition election were to
bo hold now, St. Louis would go
dry" by a big majority as a result
of the nine speeches made here by
William Jennings Bryan in the past
two days, Rev. Dr. John L. Brandt,
pastor of the First Christian church
and a leader in the recent battle for
prohibition in Missouri, told a re-
; i.' f. i 'rjrvvtVMrcAjrrxaKFi.vMU jvojuv
The West and South in 1010
Black, Democratic; White, Republican
A comparison of the two maps printed above- the first giving the po
litical map of 1896 and the second tho political map of 1916 shows that
the same forces which gave birth to progressive democracy in 1896 brought
victory to progressive democracy in 1916. In 1T896, the democrats carried
all the western states carried by the democrats in 1916, with the exception
of California and North Dakota. In 1896, the democrats carried South Da
kota but lost ft in 1916. In 1916, the democrats added the three western
states that were territories in 1896.
porter for the St. Louis Times, Mon
day morning.
"Mr. Bryan's speeches have con
verted hundreds of people in St.
Louis," Dr. Brandt said, "and have
awakened hundreds, of others to the
danger that lies in allowing the li
quor traffic to continue. There is no
greater influence for prohibition in
the country than Mr. Bryan. His
logic and his marvelous eloquence
move people as no other speaker can.
"I believe that if Mr. Bryan lives
and it is granted for him to continue
in good health, his name will go down
in history as the one man who did
more than any other to bring about
prohibition in the United States."
Dr. Brandt said "that ho was not
basing. this opinion on the effect of
Mr. Bryan's talk on the church
people alone, although "it ttwoke
many of them frpm the letharjy in
to which they havo allowed them
selves to sink." Ho said that busi
ness m6n and men who wero not
Christians were just as enthusiastic
over the address as the church peo
ple. Mr. Bryan spoke before a crowded
house at tho c. id Baptist church
Sunday afternoon. The meeting was
scheduled for 3:30 p. m., but at 3
o'clock the doors were closed and the
overflow crowd was partly cared for
across tho street in St. John's South
ern Methodist Episcopal church. The
crowd in St. John's waited from 3:30
until nearly 5:30, when Mr. Bryan
addressed them. He also spoke at a
11 a. m. Sunday in tha Wheeler evan
gelistic tent, Wellston.
It is just a year since Bryan spoke
in Charleston under the auspices of
the Southern Commercial Congress.
Hi3 message then was peace. He
has long urged this as the first of all
human aspirations. It was peculiarly
appropriate then, both because of the
season whereof the poet has said so
gentle and so hallowed is the time,
and because the world seemed lost in
universal war. Today he comes while
the word "Peace" is on the Hpso
kings and emperors who pray that
finally the sword has done its blooay
work. And he is as welcome as w
sound of that word to the weary na
He is, Indeed, a dynamic force In
our republic. For a sun that "
suffered so many passing eclipses, a
shines with amazing splendor.
has been ever wrong for the mowm
but right in the end. The pathfinder
'of democracy, he has hewn i the i w
ests while others plowed the flew.
and gathered harvests. Ana yn
moves on. But he is growing slow
now with the weight of wort
than years upon his shoulder w
the people are crowding at n s u
where once they followed onl
afar. He has never sought aaj
ity; but now the majority seem
be seeking him.-Charleston (S.