The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923, June 01, 1919, Page 5, Image 5

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The Commoner
33 i:
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
"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."
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."). 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.
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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
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
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)
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