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About The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923 | View Entire Issue (Jan. 1, 1920)
VOL. 20, NO. 1
TlTfirnfiyjf "Vf C'1 JJ WWMJjf
Olfll COMMONEST GREAT COMMONER
(Prom Tho Chicago Tribune.)
Tho American people had two' groat loaders
in tho laat twenty or moro years. Ono was
RoosqvoU.'" Tho other was Bryan. Bryan re
mains. Washington roports that ho again loomo.
Looming la a portentous political posturo. Mr.
Bryan may loom as long us ho Uvea. ,
Ho la expected to dominate tho Jackson day
dinner assemblage of Democratic candidates for
tho presidency in Washington Jan. 8. Mr. Mc
Adoo dcclinos to bo loomed upon or against:.
Ho will not oat undor Mr. Bryan's shadow.
, Itoosovelt was tho inspiration of tho republic.
Bryan is Its roality. Itoosovelt's achlovomonta
wore In roalltioa, but his powor was in ln
splrotlon. Bryan hlmsolf Is tile reality. He
id tho expression of tho normal Amorican cltl
json., Ho will bo a loader, so long an ho lives, bo
cauBo ho is tho expression of tho normal habit,
taste, moral thought, custom, and habit of
life. Ho would no moro go to Africa to hunt
lions or to Brazil to oxploro rivers than would
tho normal American citizen who has a fireside
or an easy chair. He would bo as lost at a
plcturo oxhibit as tho normal citizen. Ho is
oi?e of tho readors of Harold Boll Wright. Ho
would not bo Interested In a cheowink, except an .
a brd of aomo kind, and lio would not know a
wnrblor from a hermit thrush.
He is tho tromendous expression of normal
American life, kindly, shrewd, active, with n
Bimplo powor of oloquonco which Is mighty in ito
Affect. Ho is not only a democrat in political
principlo. Ho is a democrat in knowledge, tasto,
npd custom, in amiability and benovolone. Ho
ta a leader because ho Is a reflection. t
Soviet Russia is trying to lovol humanity, part
ly, by the slow process of raising up a major
ity and partly by tho quick process of cutting
tho minority down. Healthy, good natured
young Chlnamon, Lenlno'a killers, lop off the
heads of RussIans who do or might, whether by
intelligence or position, stand higher than tho
rest. Loniuo employs Chinamen because thoy
are so unemotional. A head on or off is a mat
tor of small consoquonco. A head on means a
mouth to fill. It is hotter for many men to did.
We have a horror of this revolution because
of tho violonce with whirh it koops a scytho
travMng along tho ordained levol, cutting off
anything which appears above 'the prairie of
heart. Wo havo not examined ourselves or wo
should find that our principles ai'o closer to tho
Rvsalnn than wo thought.
. Our ideas do not touch property, or touch it
only Might, and because wo aro not trying to
ptabllsh n economic communism wo fail to boo
that we aro trying to lovol the nation. Con-.
reiS it a hotbed of levoling. Corigross is an
gjiprr-sHn of tho Amorican pooplo. Mr. Bryan
If. the expression.
Mr. Bryan was for bringing gold and silver to
r 'level. Ho. would not have an aristocracy of
ciirmncy Imposdd on the masses. Ho was for
prohibition, national prohibition, when tho-most
tltaid wot never lost an hour's sloop ovor tho
possibility of what is now a fact. Ho was
against tho trusts. Ho was tho most tromond
pns voko for tho levoling of industry and for
the leveling of habit.
Sponeer said that tho coming slavery would
be found in tho subjugation of tho individual
to tho masu. Tho most sorious problem in tho
mrotonanco tf tho nation is that of distribution '
put If an organization 1b porfocted with a sys
tem of distribution which tho mass of distri
butors cannot moot in competition, government
reflecting popular sontiment, makes the organ
isation reduce to the lovol or trios to.
TUo essence of our legislation is levoling In
Chicago wo cannot got a subway because it
nfeht further increase tho difference bet woou
v-no aoc.tfon of tho city, in which activity is
concentrated, and tho others in which it is
jtlffusod. Wo might indeed demand that evorv
Iwijding over flvo stories high havo its upper
stonles loppqtf off. Habit and customs, taste
and ma.nners and morals must bo roducod to a
lave!, .4 cjty mU8t submit to tho regimen of a
village. Wo aro willing to make ovorything
universal except military training.
In this day Mr. Bryan is moro powerrul than
ho over was. Ho may never bo president. He
may not oven be a caudidato fior presidont
again. But ho remains a natural leader, the
naturalest loader tho American people havo.
Ho ia tho commouojt groat commoner wo over
WIIvLIAM J. BRYAN AGAIN
Tho dinner given in honor of William J.
Bryan in Washington tho othor day by ox-Gov.
Folk, of Missouri, with the active participation
of fourteen Democratic senators, my or may not
bo tho prelude to an organized attt mpt to nomin
ate tho former boy orator of the Platto as the
Democratic candidate foVtho presidency. But the
developments at tho feast certainly seemed to
furnish evidence of Col. Bryan's political vital
ity. It has become tho fashion, oven among Demo
crats to regard tho porpetual candidata for the
presidency in the light of a mirth-provoking per
sonality. Mr. Bryan's host took tho opportunity
of the presence of tho high lights of tho party
at tho Shorohara dinner to point out that some
of tho radical departures which tho Nebraskan
has preached catty and often, and -which have
been denounced by both Republicans and Demo
crats as a revelation of his visionary state of
mind, havo become present actualities.
Among thorn are woman suffrage and prohibi
tion, which two decades ago "wore inscribed upon
tho Bryanite banners amid considerable laughter
and ironical applause. Even Mr. Bryan's espousal
of tho cause of silver seems to acquire some
posthumous justifcation from tho riso in
valuo, of that metal which has given it a slight
advatkago over gold for "tho time bein'g.
Ecfioos from tho gold room at tho Shoroham,
whoro tho foast was hold, would soom to indicate
the possibility that Mr. Bryan may be heard
from to some purpose at tho Democratic national
convention noxt summer.
William J. Bryan has shown such romarkablo
capacity for self-resurrection that oven the most
confirmed non-Bryanito need not bo Unduly
astonished at his reappearance as a formidable
aspirant f or presidential honors. New - York
Mil. WM. J. BRYAN AGAIN IN THE POLITI
In contemplating tho political possibilities .of
the immediate future do not fail to ' consider
Mr. William Jennings Bryan. Ho is in tho ring
as a worker and his wishes and offorts will cut
no "small figuro in the events political 'during
tho year 1920.
Mr. Bryan's old . followers have never lost
faith in his ability, his patriotism,- or in his
marvelous grasp of important questions. In
many things ho was much ahead of his time
but developments in. nearly evory case vindi
cated his position.
Big interests and corrupt interests all ovor
tho land fought him with the vigor of desperal
tion but tho plain people believed in him and
bolioy.o in him today as firmly as over. Ho stood
(for the election of U. S. senators by the people
when -every corrupt and legislature controlling
corporation in the country was against it. He
advocated universal suffrage when it was little
moro than a joke to be on that side of the
question. He had provtously advocated about
every practical step of progressive and humano
legislation that tho progressive party afterwards
took up and appropriated as their own
And Mr. Bryan has been considering the sorf
ous questions that confront tho people tod av
and he is likely to be hoard fromta a manner
n nV1?0 weak"nS3 in P1Itics tremble Ho
sees tho labor question, not as a political hobby
but as tho embodiment of a humane pr inciplo
whoso just solution on linos of ChHstian
brotherhood and equality, is essential to the
world's progress and to a vindication of the
rights of mankind. e
Mr. Bryan is not a faddist, but a careful con
scicntious, able student of conditions and evonS
and as long as ho lives and has his health he
will continue to.o, a, factor that mi it be reck
oned with by those endeavoring to shann ,
political affairs of the natidn. Ho has the n!
culiar trait of boing strong with party leaded
as well as with tho man at his daily work
Few men of modern timos have boon
thoroughly trusted and as fully honored bv thl
men who dig tho ditches, run tho engines and
wield tho hammer as is Mr. Bryan. oTo into
ested in suri matters some time ago aaVod n
dozen workers whom thoy regarded as thn
greatest statesman of tho present era. An ami
ingly large number said "Bryan." This wan
in Now York State whoro Mr. Bryan was never
eoffsldered strong and at a timo when ho iti
pearod to be in. political rotiracy. Ono man
on-a builders' scaffold, hearing tho conversa
tion, callOd down, "You'll hear from Bryan
again. Thoy can't down a-good man!"
No ono can say at this stage what turn affairs
may take, but it is pretty safe to conclude that
tubman named to lead tho democratic fight
will bo ono who has tho friendly aid of Mr
Bryan. Some political opponents deeply inter
ested in seeing Mr. Bryan keep out of the
gamo, aro quoting with apprehension, some ex
tracts from tho editorial columns of his paper
Ono editorial, entitled: "The Philistines bo
upon thoe," calls upon tho democratic party to
"bo aroused by some such startling warning as
that used to stir Sampson to deeds of strength "
and refers to the present state of tho demo
cratic party as "palsied."
In another editorial Mr. Bryan's papor asks
"What is the matter: Is this tho party that
triumphed in 1912 and wrote such a glorious
chapter of reforms between 1913 and 1917?
What has palsiod tho party's arm and sapped
Tho inference seems to bo plain that Mr.
Bryan thinks his party is falling into the hands
of those politicians, and that it is timo for some
Sampson to lead it forth to now victories.
Albany, N. Y., TimesUnion.
THE COMMONER EMERGES
. Mr. Bryan's appearance in Washington at tho
critical, stage of tho peace treaty fight seems to
demonstrate a . willingness on his paj.t to re
enter politics. Conditions havo HU toinly
shaped themselves so as to permit his playing
an important part in tho next Democratic na
tional convention. President Wilson's health
precludes any serious thought of nominating
him for a third term. Moreover, tho second
Wilson administration has so disorganized the
Democratic party that a candidate free from
administration associations is likely to be
When Mr. Bryan loft tho cabinet ho broke
definitely with tho Wilson rogimo. Ho has
boon in retirement four years and a half. Ho
could make his own campaign or his own is
sues, Ho said jokingly a few days ago that
Democratic prospects were so poor it would be
perfectly natural for the party to want to draft
him. Running for President has always beon
a diversion for Mr. Bryan. He has thrived on
defeats. A party looking for a cheerful long
shot nominee couldn't do much better than to
pick tho undaunted loser of IS 9 6, 1900 and
At all events, Mr. Bryan evidently intends to
figure conspicuously in the Democratic" national
convention of 1920. If he is there sparks will
fly. And if any residuary legatee of the Wil
son administration is nominated well, thero
is the haunting memory of Judge Parker's cam
paign of 1904.New York, Tribune.
To Omaha today comes again William Jen
nings Bryan, Nebraska's best known citizen, and
tho man who. has tho oar of the country as none
other has, .
Mr. Bryan has been pronounced politically
dead many times. Yet the rumblings of a new
presidential ..campaign are hardly heard before
he bobs up with something to say, and tho whole
nation stops to listen. He has suffered defeats
which would have put an ordinary man Into com
plete political oblivion. But today hundreds of
newspapers aro commenting upon him as a poten
tial candidate for the presidency.
This happens because Bryan is a fighter and
a natural torn leader, and because ho is guided
by a deep-seated conviction that the things for
which he stands aro right. He combines with a
keen political sagacity a fearless championship
of issues which appeal to him as vital. His
repoated comebacks aro doubtless possible be
cause of bis firm bollof that tho world moves
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