The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923, June 01, 1919, Page 5, Image 5
r, sirmx . ., , The Commoner JUNE, WW ViS! 33 i: 5 rvar in their behalf wjufd be immensely kened No one will fear a President except ihnso whom he can make fear the elections. We singularly belie our own principles In klng to determine by fixed constitutional pro vision what the people shall determine them IJivea and are perfectly competent to determine whole theory of popular government. I believe that wo should fatally embarrass ourselves if we made the constitutional change proposed. If we want our .rresiaeius iu ugui uur unities lor us we should give them the means, the legiti mate means, the means tb,eir openents will al ways have. Strip them of everything else but the right -f appeal to the people, but leave them that; suffer them to be loaders; absolutely pre vent' them from being bosses. We should other wise appear to be going In two opposite, direc tions. We are seeking In every way to extend the nower of the people and seek to bind them hand and foot by rigid constitutional provision. My own mind Is not agile enougn to go both ways. "I am verr well aware that my position on this question will be misconstrued, but that is a matter of perfect indifference to me. The truth is much more important than my reputa tion for modesty and lack of personal ambition. My reputation will take care of itself, but con stitutional questions and Questions of policy will not take care of themselves -without frank and , fearless discussions. I am not speaking for my own re-election. I am spoaklng to redeem my promise that I would say what I really think on every public question and take my chances in the court of public opinion. Again thanking you for your courtesy and consideration, etc." (Signed) "WOODROW WILSON." Ho regards a limitation of TWO terms as an evidence of distrust of the people ("Put the p:sent customary limitation of the two terms into the constitution IF YOU DON'T TRUST THE PEOPLE to take care ' of themselves, etc."). Aw.in ho .says: "Wo singularly belie our own principles in seeking to determine by fixed con stitutional provision what the people .shall deter mine themselves and are perfectly competent to dotermine for themselves." Without at this time discussing the merits of tho question raised, attention is called to the fact that President's logic, if accepted, abolishes tno two-terra precedent and leaves a president to aspire to any number of terms. W. J. BRYAN. '- -. if: r . ; f ' WL J - t L - Vt. -J Votes for Women: Why and Why Not? The referendum has been receiving some not able recruits during the last few months. Sev ern senators who were vitriolic in past years in their denunciation of that method of enforcing tno public will have been talking in favor of a referendum on the league of nations. As rSfn! are ,few In number, however, a much cneaper and just as effective way would be- for ine ! senators to resign and then run for' re election on the platform of lo league of nations, wnrMBail?ed. effort t0 maitain the peace of the wona, after it has once been secured. V Me tSWI'vc Done To Me! Jie tlu w;,, ,,J une to me j xou I'romwcu ICPyrlght: 1910 UMd Look VUat I Gctl" . -jr oun x, Mcuutcneon.j Chicago Tribune. iinPyT,ChI?f H8?06 Walter Clark o North Caro lina. Reprinted from tho Wilmington Dispatch. Raleigh, N.-C, Fob. 22, 1919. In reply to your request that I should give sorao statement of tho arguments for and against suffrage, I cannot refuse to give a "reason for tho faith which is in mo." (I Pottor HI, 15.) Still it would seem that a measuro for which Woodrow Wilson has pleaded, and the passago of which through the house of representatives ho pro cured and has twice appealed to the senate to enact a cause for which Theodore Roosevelt and William J. Bryan havo stood for years should need no advocate. It Is a plank in tho platforms of each of tho five national parties. Not only Prosident Wilson, but tho vice-president and all tho cabinet, two thirds of the house of representatives and two thirds of the senate (lacking only one vote) havo given it their support. Upon one demo cratic senator, whoever he may be, the respon sibility rests of jeopardizing tho next presi dential election. Last 'November, Michigan, South Dakota, and Oklahoma conferred full suffrage upon their women, making fifteen states in all in which tho women havo equal suffrage in all matters with men. In the laBt ten days Indiana, Vermont, and Wisconsin have conferred presidential suffrago upon their women making nine states, including Texas and Arkansas, where women vote in all primaries. Thus in twenty-four states just one-half the states, and giving nearly one-half the electoral vote the women will cast half the votes for president in November of next year. What party can go into the national contest with that handicap against it, besides tho In fluence and the power cf .romen in tho othor twenty-four states in a majority of which the women already vote in school and municipal elections.' In' the next thirty days other states will be sure to bo added to the number of thoso in which the women have presidential and mu nicipal suffrage. When the democratic convention met at St. Louis in 1916 Mr. Wilson, who is more far sighted than some of. his followers, telegraphed Senator Walsh that it was "essential to our suc cess that we adopt a plank in the platform en dorsing woman suffrage." This was read to the convention and the democratic party : lodged it self to suffrage by a vote 7 to 1. Yet at that time there were only twelve states in which tho women could vote for president. Today there are twenty-four, and more will soon be added. Hon. v". J. Bryan, in "a speech at Raleigh soon f.fter the presidential election, stated that, knowing that the suffrage states were the pivots on which the contest between Mr. Wilson and Judge Hughes would hang, ho spent his time in canvassing those states and stresslnj the fact that Mr. Wilson had gone to New J-jrsey and voted for suffrage, but Judgo Kifghes had not gone to New York and done the same; that Mr. Wils n had sent the telegran. to St. Louis de manding that the suffrage plank should be put in the democratic platform, and that Jydge Hughes ln.d said nothing until after tho re publican convention had endorsed suffrago. Ho added that upon this plea Mr. Wilson had car ried ten of tho suffrago states, and thereby been elected. The election returns show that the ratio of increase In the democratic votes was greater In the suffrage states than in any others, and verified Mr. Bryan's statement. By the pledge in the party platforms of both parties their good faith was pledged to suffrage, and on the demo cratic side there was gratitude due for the elec tion of Mr. Wilcon. How has that good faith and that gratitude been shown? It is proper to notice the two excuses given (for they are not reasons) for this violation of the party pledge and of the ingratitude shown by the defeat of suffrage by men who have been the recipients of the patronage obtained by Mr. Wilson's election, but who havo disregarded his pleas for suffrage and his warnings of disaster which would follow bad faith in keeping the promlsos upon which the party has won. The first excuse is "state's rights!" This was Pffectually answered by the brilliant young senator from South Carolina. Mr Pollock, who, n casting his vote for suffrage In the senate, called attention to tho fact that when the th r teen ? states formed the constitution at Phila delphia thoro was guarantocd to tho slates tUo right to amend that constitution upon tho votes of three-fourths of tho statos, tho solo reserva tion bol-g that no stato should bo doprlvod of its equal representation In tho sonato. Sonator Pollock well observed ''at to dony thlB right to thorn was a denial of state's rights, guar anteed by tho constitution. Nineteen of tho twonty-ono democratic sen ators who votod on tho 10th of February, 1910, against permitting tho stato legislatures to ox press their wishes on tho suffrago amendment, as guaranteod by tho constitution, woro from tho southern statos. ""But flftoon of those raon woro cortainy not "stato's rights"-men In tho senso that thoy woro opposed to Interfering In a mattor far moro within tho local pollco powers, for flftoon of thoso ninoteon senators voted for tho prohibition amondmont, which forced Connecticut to close her bar rooms and drive out hor liquor sollors, though that stato . distinctly refused to ratify tho Prohibition amondment. There havo been eighteen amondmonta to tho United States constitution; why not havo tho nineteenth? But it Is allogod that thoro can bo no federal provision as to suffrago. Who says so? Certainly tho constitution doos not. For moro than fifty years every man in this or any othor stato who has registered or votod or hold office, including tho senators thomsolves, havo taken a solemn oath "to support and maintain" the constitution, which contains tho Fifteenth amendment forbidding discriminatlon'in sufTrago on account of race. Why not then ono forbid ding discrimination on account of sex? If tho fouural government has jurisdiction to amond as to one it has to tho other. Tho very senators who refused to let tho stato legislatures vote on equal suffrago are drawing half their salaries and perquisites from taxes on tho property and tho Incomes of women. They thus donJcd tho fundamental princlplo on which wo fought tho American rovolution "No taxation without representation." The second excuse given against submitting tho suffrage amondmont to the several statos is the old cry always used to thwart any progras sive measuro In the south of "Nigger!" In no case, however, has that cry been moro irrelevant and moro illogical than in this. Thoro is no connection whatever between the two. Tho logic is like tho statement, "Tho little negro boys tie the ostrich's legs to tho cocoanut tree, and that accounts for tho milk in tho cocoanut." Indeed tho "vote fpr women" Is the only suro guarantee of white supremacy. According to tho census bureau jit Washington, there aro in North Carolina at present about 70 adult whlto men to 30 negroes a majority of 40. On tho admission of women to tho vote these figures will bo doubled, of course, and there will bo 140 white men and women entitled to tho vote as against CO negro men and women a white majority of 80 just double, Tho census reports as estimated for tho present year show that In North Carolina thoro are 53,000 moro white womon who will bo voters and above all the nogro men and women put together! Besides, whatever efficiency tho "grandfather clause" lias In -disfranchising illit erate negro men will equally apply to illiterate negro women. The Suffrago amendment will not empower women to vote in any stato, but merely provides that there shall be no discrim- ination in suffrago on account of sex, and honco women will bo admitted to the vote on tho samo terms as men, and if illiterate negro men can not vote, neither can Illiterate negro women. Passing by the fictitious terrors of stato's rights and negro supremacy, wo should mention tho causes of tho opposition. These aro finan cial, largely. The fight against suffrage for women has been financed and organized and kept on foot for years by tho liquor Interests. This has been shown by many legal and legis lative investigations and by proofs too well known to be detailed. The brewers and distil lers, the bar-room keepers and the blockaders all know that the yoto of the womon would bo ag..Inst their Interests. While wo have prohibi tion in North Carolina, there fs a largo elemont who are making profit out of Its violation, and too many officials who aro lax in the enforce ment of the law. These know well that if the (Continued on page 12) & j; ' w f iiJ1 13 v ?! i -, it t a r .-is M ' m w jti rsfi A m m i '4! i -w fr.AM.'.Matfcj- - .