The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923, May 01, 1920, Page 12, Image 12

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The Commoriei'
VOL. ,20, NO. 5
The Prohibition Issue
(Prom tho Review of Reviews.)
Whenever, thoroforo, the country la roady to
renounce tho experiment, there is just one way
to Iprocood, and that way is being pursued by tho
tfooplo In various parts of the country who aro
proposing to nominate Governor Edwards of
Now Jorsoy as a Democratic candidate for the
presidency on a wot platform. These people
Icnow perfectly that prohibition has been
adopted through a political victory of the drys,
and that it can only bo done away with through
a political victory of tho wots. Tho public
should romombor, however, that the American
movement to outlaw tho liquor business is of
long standing, and tho dry are likely to bo hot
ter organised for tho light than, tho wots. A
now equilibrium will soon have been established,
and many of tho forces formerly working for
tho liquor traffic will now support, passively at
least, tho changed situation to which thoy have
become adjusted. So tho wots will have, to
make their fight against now odds and with
forlorn hopes.
Many promlnont politicians In both parties
havo boon noodlessly disturbed by the clamor
ous activity of tho wets during the past few
weeks. As a matter of fact, tho metropolitan
newspapers have so emphasized details pertain
ing to tho transition period tho dismantling of
tho saloons, and tho illicit traffic in surplus
stock as to convey a false impression to many
minds. Democrats will do well to understand
that tho prohibition forces supporting William
J. Bryan are very much stronger as a political
factor than tho liquor forces supporting Gov
ernor Edwards. The south is almost solid for
prohibition, and tho San Francisco Convention
will not bo stampeded by Now Jersey and Ken
tucky on tho liquor question. As for tho Re
publicans, it would seem reasonable to say that
tho great majority wish to give national prohi
bition a deliberate trial in perfect good faith.
Neither party will do well to stake its fate this
year upon challenging the Eighteenth Amend
ment and tho Volstead Act.
v It Is to bo romombdred that many states havo
given the franchise to womon. Moreover, the
action of tho West Virginia legislature in rati
fying tho suffrdgo amendment last month, after
a hard fight under dramatic circumstances,
made it probable that this nineteenth amondment
would bo adopted In time for this year's election
of Congress and presidential electors. Thirty
throQ states had previously ratified, West Vir
ginia making the thirty-fourth; 'and it was ex
pected that at least two other states would act
promptly, and thus secure tho success of tho
amendment, That the votes of women could be
very extensively marshalled in support and de
fense of national prohibition is hardly to bo
doubted. We will venture the guess that both
great party conventions will declare in favor of
.giving prohibition a fair trial during the coming
fpur years. As for tho battle of percentages,
it is evident that this must be fought out in tho
courts. The amendment refers to "intoxicating
liquors" "for beverage purposes." It would
seem to to bo tho plain intent of the amend
ment that Congress rathor than tho separate
states should define intoxicating liquors, inas
much as tho whole object of the amendment is
to produce a condition of uniformity. It is for
the federal courts, however, to decide in a test
case what constitutes Intoxicating liquor. A
prompt decision of this question will highly de
sirable. In common understanding, the Eigh
teenth Amendment was adpotod in general ac
cord with tho prohibition laws of many, states
which had fixed a very small percentage of al
oohol in their definitions. Thus the Volstead
Act was not regarded as out of lino with
recognized standards.
A number of administration organs havo been
protending that a federal payroll convention's
refusal in Missouri to concede Senator Reed the
delegate seat to which he was apparently elect
ed constitutes a popular indorsement of Mr.
Wilson and his peculiar polices. If these organs
aro at all interested in tho truth of the matter,
they would do well to turn their attention to
tbo thick-and-thin Democratic stato of Georgia
There, in the solid south, the Wilson program
was a direct issue in last woek's primaries, and
III Ml I I I I lllll II I II ... ' .ff-.'f -am
Copyright, 1920, by Star Company. Repro
duced from tho Chicago Herald and Examiner.
the completed returns disclose not a crumb of
comfort for tho administrationists.
Tho three candidates in the Georgia Demo
cratic primaries and of course there are no
real primaries in Georgia that are not Demo
cratic wero (1) Attorney General Palmer, who
Btood explicity for President Wilson and his
peace treaty without amendment; (2) Senator
Hoko Smith, a member of President Cleveland's
cabinet, who stood as frankjiy opposed to Wil
son's foreign policies and in. favor o'f ratification
of the peace treaty "with American amend
ments," and (3) Thomas E. Watson, whose sole
platform was opposition to Mr. Wilson, opposi
tion to the League of Nations, and REJECTION
of the entire peace treaty.
It turns out that the candidate who was most
sweeping and unqualified in his .denunciation of
Wilsonism led the list. Watson polled 51,974
votes; Palmer, 48,460; Senator Smith 45,568.
Adding the totals of the two anti-administration
candidates, we find that there were cast for Wil
son and his policies 48,460 votes (Palmer);
against Wilson and his policies 97,542 votes
(Watson and Smith.) Pittsburgh Press.
A Washington special to the New York Times,
under date of April 25, says: "Any dispute that
can be talked about can be settled," declares
James Brown Scott, Director of the Division of
International Law of the Carnegie Endowment
for International Peace, in his introduction to
a volume just published by the endowment con
taining to text of all the "peace treaties" negd
tiated by William Jennings Bryan while ho was
Secretary of State.
The great merit of Mr. 'Bryan's plan, accord
ing to Mr. Scott, is that it provides a perma
nent commission to "investigate" any dispute
which may arise between the parties to the
treaty. While there might be objection on the
part of some countries to "compulsory arbitra
tion," there could be no objection, to nations
agreeing in advance to submit to "compulsory
investigation" of every dispute. The advantage
of the treaties is that they provide the machinery
for delay of extreme measures and for actual
clash of arms, he says, for "it is difficult for a
nation to say investigate -when it is angry." At
such a time, therefore, the commission should
be authorized to tender its services and thus re
lieve both parties of embarrassment.
Burkett, Nebraska, April 24, 1920. Editor
World Herald, Omaha, Nebraska. Dear Sir- For
several days prior to last Tuesday's primary I
folt vory much discouraged and downcast I
fully expected to see ray friend BILL BRYAN
electrocuted at the Dolls. -This morning I am
feeling very happy indeed and am loving evorv
body because Bill still lives and is doinir bus!
ness at tho old stand. I am sorry f or Senator
Hitchcock because B.ill did give him a con
spanking from tho platform, not because ho
hated -him (Bill never hated anybody) but bo
cause ho loved him and wanted him to bo good"
I want to suggest to tho Senator that he take
his hat off to gill, acknowledge his leadership
go ,with him to San Francisco, pat him on the
back and do every thing he asks him to do
Tako my word, for it, Senator, you will bo on
the road to fame and honor. W. D. Roberts
(Member of Soldiers and Sailors Home). '
Mr. Bryan is pre-eminently one of those use
ful public speakers, who express in plain, con
vincing language things which many people have
felt were true, concerning developments in na
tional affairs in the United States, but which
have not been put clearly into words. While
some citizens and officials are displaying most
hazy notions about the future of the liquor traf
fic in the republic, thfs hardy campaigner comes
forward with a sentence of two so simple and so
telling as, apparently, to sweep away for good
any fog that may have clouded the vision of any
body. Thus, the other evening in Washington,
he said that when forty-fivo of the forty-eight
states had ratified an amendment to the con
stitution, no party with, any respect for itself
or hope for the future could disregard the con
science of the American people. Quite in line
with this statement was his added remark that
there was no question about a wet plank in the
Democratic platform; the only question was
whether there would be a dry plank. It may
be worth while for various people to note the
opinion of so seasoned a political authority, ex
pressed at the same time, that there would be
a dry plank, because the republican party
would without "doubt adopt one, and therefore
its opponent could not afford to do otherwise.
Christian -Science Monitor.
This ia from an interview with. Norman E.
Mack, the New York member of the Democratic
national committee:
" 'Do you think with Mr. Bryan that there will
" be a dry plank in both party platforms?' Mr.
Mack was asked. 'It may be all right for the
Republican party,' he replied, 'but it would be
suicidal for the Democrats. I believe that put
ting prohibition in the Federal Constitution was
a mistake. I am against the saloon, but I be
lieve any man should havo the opportunity of
having light wines or beers, or even spirituous
liquors, in his home, if he wishes, for medicinal
or other purposes. I believe there should be a
wet plank in the Democratic platform.' Asked
just what sort of a plank he meant, Mr. Mack
said Qne that would carry out the ideas he had
.. expressed, and also a plank, calling for a referen
dum on the repeal of the""" eighteenth amendment."
Every once in a whiie those who camp on his
Tell us "William J. Bryan can never come back;
He is burled so deep
That he never will peep,
And the party will suffer no more .of his slack."
With his service these men of his party pick
And declare him a block to the partisan cause;
"But today he Is doad,"
Which no sooner is said
Than he bobs up as lively as ever ho was.
That he scourges the party I haven't a doubt,
And he often has put the Old-timers to rout;
Then thoy turn and show fight,
And they "kill him off" right,
But what good to bo dead ,if you don't find it
They have burled Bill Bryan in regular style
For the last twenty years, every once in a
But his grave, be it said,
Always gives up its dead,
And today may bo seen his benevolent smile.
Soon the fight will be on and the campaign will
Biz, .
As tho fighters arise who' have always ariz.
Whose groat voice will be heard, -May
it now be inferred?
Is, Bill Bryan immortal? I'll say that he is.
-A. L. Bixby, in Nebraska State Journal.
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