The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923, October 01, 1918, Page 9, Image 9

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The Commoner
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was a pathetic plea, for I found that those who
did not want the prohibition question brought
nn at this time were the same people who did
not want it brought up at any former times and
would not be in favor of having it brought up
after the war. My answer was, that those who
ire opposed to prohibition at any time are not
the beat ones to tell us at what particular time
wc shall bring it up, A man whose patriotism
is measured by the quart does not have enough
patriotism to make him worth considering at
a time like this. The support of men who con
dition their support upon a cessation of tho
activity of those favoring prohibition is not
valuable enough to offset the injury they would
do if we let them continue" their saloons. If I
thought that prohibition would delay by one day
the triumph of our arms I would be the last one
to mention the word until our boys come march
ing homo victorious, but I expect to show to you
tonight that there is no one thing that we can
do that will do more to hasten victory than The
abolition of the saloon.
Lloyd George declared that Great Britain is
fighting three enemies: Germany, Austria and
Drink and then-he adds that as far as he can
see Drink is the worst of the three. While our
soldier boys are whipping Germany and Austria
across the ocean we will thrash Drink on this
side of the Atlantic.
I am here for a purpose, and that purpose I
frankly avow. I am here to render the Missouri
Dry Alliance any assistance I can' in its effort
to secure the adoption of the state prohibition
amendment and in the ratificaiion of the na
tional prohibition amendment. Tarn here tonight
to present arguments which I regard as sufficient
to convert any man who hag in the past opposed
prohibition. I have had enough experience in
politics to employ the easiest method instead of
looking for the hardest way -of bringing a man
to our side. Every time a new question comes
up there are realignments, and so when this
question came up there were necessarily re
alignments. I have lost more democratic friends
by my fight for prohibition than J have ever lost
in the d.ijgcusspn of ,.allother,vquestions.put to
gether, but pne'has lo do lnV duty and a"man
who is not willing to lose friends when he be
lieves he Is right does not deserve to have
I do not question the right of any other man
to vote as he thinks best for his country, but
never before have I discusspd a question where
I was so sura that the triumph of the cause
which I advocate will be good even for those
who differ from me on the subject.
I feel about this cause as our soldiers feel
about the people in Germany. Just as our sol
diers believe that in the days to come the people
whom they now fight will rejoice at the triumph
of our arms; so I feel that in the days to come
the very people who fight us most bitterly now
will be most grateful that they have been de
feated and that our cause has triumphed. Thou
sands, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands
of men who will vote against prohibition and
who will think that we are violating their per
sonal rights will, when they are released from
the habit and relieved from temptation, go down
on their knees and thank us for having helped
them against their will, and their wives and
children will not have to wait a year; they will
thank us now for saving their husbands and
lathers. And the men who today have their
money invested in breweries, distilleries and
saloons will, when sot free from this business
and permitted to gd into a better business, find
that their wives and children will not be
ashamed to answer when people ask them what
tuey are doing. I say, my friends,,. we are fight
ing a battle where even our opponents will be
benefited and I am glad that as I draw near
tne end of my life I am able to take part' in' a
tight that brings together the best represen
tatives of both the parties that have been con
testants in the arena of politics for fifty years
over nearly every great question.
I want to make it easy. I want to give those
who have been' against us some new reasons
that will enable them to come over without '
necessarily having to udmit -that they were
wrong in rejecting our old reasons. That is bet
ter than to compel a man. to acknowledge that
ne was wrong in tho past,
In the first place, it used to be -possible .for
a man to maintain his respectability and favor
the license .system, but the time has passed
when he can do this and expect to be considered
respectable. Let mo state the situation. Years
ago I heard a very nico distinction drawn be
tween two kinds of truthfulness. It was that
some men would tell the truth if they knew tho
truth; that was the highest standard of truth
fulness, but that there was a lower standard,
tho standard of the man who would tell you tho
truth if ho ktfew the truth and knew that you
knew that he knew it. Do you. see the distinc
tion? It is a very nico one. Now, there are two
kinds of respectability also.. There is tho re
spectability of tho man who will not associato
with a bad man if he knows that the man is
bad. That is the highest standard, and then
there Is tho lower standard, tho respectability
of the man who will not associato with a bad
man if he knows that you know that he is a
bad man.
Now, tho time has come when tho world
knows that the saloon is bad. It has been
indicted; it has been tried; it has been con
victed; it has been sentenced; it has tho
black cap on, it is on tho way to tho scaffold, the
band is playing tho funeral march. No one but
the friends of the family can stay with it now.
You must shun it. You cannot afford to have
your own reputations blasted by keeping com
pany with an outlaw.
Then there is another reason. Whether you
will appreciate this rule or not will depend
somewhat upon your activity in politics, but
every man who has had any considerable ex
perience in politics knows that a large percent
age of the voters of every party will decide
questions according to what the party says. I
have known many cases where a man has
changed his opinion in a night when a conven
tion of his party, held on the same evening, has
changed the party's pooitic ..
To illustrate tho rapidity with which a man
can change let mo tell you a story. Senator
Jones of Nevada was a great story teller and he
used to amuse his associates in the lobby of the
senate between busy sessjons. I heard him tell
this story which I think illustrates the point.
He said that, in California, the year the repub
lican party first declared against Chinese 'immi
gration, a prominent republican came into the
convention hall and was called upon to speak
before he had had time to learn of the party's
platform. He began his speech by saying, "the
gates of our country are open and our invitation
is extended to the people of all lands to cfome
and live among us." By that time the chairman
was badly frightened for he could see that the
speaker had not read the platform and was talk
ing on the other side, so he pulled his coat tail
and stopped him for a moment and whispered,
"wo have just declared against "Chinese immi
gration." The speaker took a drink of water,
cleared his throat and then proceeded: "I have
stated the arguments of our opponents, now, I
shall answer them."
Now, my friends, for the first time wo can
invoke the majority rule on our side. I suppose
the republicans think that they are getting a
great deal of pleasure out of the progress of tho
nation toward prohibition, but I will not offend
any of them when I tell them that no republican
In the United States is getting as much real joy
out of this as I am.
I have lived among republicans most of my
life. I know them. Except on election day they
are not different from democrats. But some of
them have mighty queer ideas about democrats.
I have known good honest republicans who
seemed to think that when God made man ho
took the best clay he could find and made re
publicans, and then used the scraps to make
democrats out of. One thing that they have
thrown up to my party ever since I can remem
ber was, that my party was a whiskey party.
They have not only said that about it ever since
I can remember but they said it even before I
can remember. There is a story told on Douglas
and Lincoln. It is said they were walking along
a street of Springfield one day and saw in .front
of them a man who was drunk. Lincoln said to
Douglas, "Judge, there is one of your demo
crats " but Douglas who knew the man said,
"No Abe, he is a republican." So they decided
to ask the man to find out who was right. Lin
coln presenting 'the subject in dispute, asked
him to settle it by telling to which party ho
belonged I will not attempt to imitate the man
ner of the man but the substance of what he
said was this: "Judge Douglas is right. I am
a republican' but I have democratic symptoms.'
I hove had republicans tell mo to my face that
my party was a whiskey party, and it made
mad; made mo mad twico; first, that any re
publican Tvould bo mean enough to my-thing
like that of my party, and madder atill "when I
could not deny it. I did not know there were
as many republicans here. If there la a repub
lican who haH ever uttered that charge against
my party lie had better hold his toifguo here
after. I want to tell you what you may not
know, nrfmoly, that tho democratic south Is lead
ing the fight today for the greatest moral reform
of this generation. Only throo wot state In all
tho south. Florida, Louisiana and Kentucky.
They aro the only southorn states today in which
there aro saloons. You can take a train on any
of tho loading railroads of the south and start
at Baltimore, and when you leave Maryland you
do not pass through a city that has a saloon in
it until you reach Louisiana; whon you leave
Louisiana and start west you do not pass"
through a city that has a saloon In it until you
reach southern California. Thoro arc only throe
wot counties in all Florida today and Florida
will go dry next November by an overwhelming
majority. Prohibition in Florida is suro, there
is no fight being made in Florida today against
state prohibition. That Is ono of tho states that
is wot, and what about Louisiana and Kentucky?
They havo both ratified tho national amendment.
Kentucky was state number three; Louisiana
was state number fourteen. That Is the south.
You cannot find an equal area in any republican
section of this country whore thoro aro as few
saloons as there are in tho south. And remem
ber that when Kentucky ratified the amendment
by five to one In her legislature, she had more
than half the whiskey of tho United States with
in her borders and had given names to more
brands of whiskey than all tho other states of
the union put together. That is tho south.
But do you say it is local? No. That is tho
position of my party in tho nation. They used
to question my democracy because I was in
favor of prohibition. Whon I began eight years
ago last spring to fight for county option in Ne
braska - that was before state prohibition was
submitted I wont to Omaha to open the cam
paign. I could not find a democrat of promin
ence In that city to introduce me or even sit on
tho platform with me although I had carried ms
state for tho presidency twice. I had to .hire the
hall myself, and It was not a big hall; and It was
not crowded. I put my coat and hat on a chair
and addressed the chair and made ray speech in
Omaha against the saloons. Yes, they questioned
my democracy then but they cannot do It now.
The District of Columbia is dry now. Tho
white flag of prohibition floats over our national
capital, Just beneath the stars and stripes, and
no hand will ever haul it down. When tho
district went dry It was a democratic House that
passed the bill; it was a democratic Senate that
passed tho bill, and it was a democratic Presi
dent who affixed his signature to tho first 'pro
hibition law ever signed by a President in this
Do you have any wet democrats in St. Joseph
who want to question my democracy? They need
not bother about me. Let them go down to
Washington and call at the White House and
ask the President to turn aside a little while
from war business while a wet democrat from
St, Joseph reads him out of the democratic
party because he signed a prohibition measure.
My party in the nation is on record on this sub
ject. When the national prohibition amendment
was submitted, 48 democrats voted on the sub
ject in the Senate. How did they vote? Thirty
six democrats voted for submission and twelve
voted no. Three-fourth or the democrats voted
for national prohibition and only one-fourth
voted against it. I am on the side of the three
fourths and not on the side of tho one-fourth.
In the House, over two-thirds of tho democrats
voted yes; less than a third voted no. I am on
the side of more than two-thirds, not on tho
side of less than one-third. They used to say
that I was disturbing the harmony of my party.
It was not true then. I never disturbed tho
harmony of my party. I was always on the side
of tho majority of my party. I could not have
been nominated for the President three times
without money and without any great corpora
tion back of me if I had not had a majority of
the democrats for me. But now they cannot
even acuso me of disturbing the harmony of my
A mother once said to her boy, "Johnnie stop
pulling that cat's tail;" the boy replied, "I am
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