The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923, August 01, 1920, Page 7, Image 7

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AUGUST, :i92(K;
The Ccndnmoner
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Governor Cox's Acceptance Speech
(Full text of (Jovernoi James WU Cox's speech
n-contance of the Democratic nomination for
1 Presidency of the' Ignited States delivered
August 7, 1920, at Daytorf; Ohio.)
Chairman Robinson,' ahd members of the
Notification Committee: The message ;. which'
you bring from the great,. conference of progres
sive thought assembled- tinder the formal
auspices of the Democratnarty.inspires with
in mo a pride and an apprediation whicli I can
not voice. At the flame time I am mindful of
the responsibility which., this 'function now of
ficially places upon me, As I measure my own
limitations the task ahead of Tts should be ap
proached with more, thari Vie'eling of diffidence
If I were not strengthened 'and reassured by the
faith that one has o'ijiy to practice true fi
delity to conscience, .ft is not, the difficult
thing to know whrit we ought, to dp; the sense
of right and wrong has been given with Divine
equality. The mistakes; of history are the re
sult of weakness Sri the face of tempting inter
ests. I thank God, therefore, that I take up
the standard of Democracy a free man; unfet
tered by promises and happy in the conscious
ness of untrammeled opportunity to render a
service in the name of government that "will
hold for it the confidence which' it deserves.
Wo are in a time which' calls for straight
thinking, straight, talking and straight acting.
This is no time for Wobbling. f Never in all our
history has rrfore been done for government.
Never was sacrifice thote sublime. The most
precious things of heart and home were given
up in a spirit which guarantees the perpetuity
of our .institutions it the faith- is kept with
those who served arid;suffrtd '.: The Altar of our
republic is drenched in 'blood; a'nd tears', arid he,
who turns away frointhe:; tragedies and obliga
tions of the war, not consecrated to a sense of
honor and of duty, which resists every base sug
gestion of personal "pr political expediency, is
unworthy of the esteem of nis countrymen
The men and women who by expressed policy
at the San Francisco convention charted our
course in the open seas of he future sensed
the spirit of- the hour and, phrased it with clar
ity and courage, it is nQt necessary to read
and re-read the Democratic, patf prm to know its
meaning. It is a. document-clear in it's analysis
of conditions and. plain in the pledge of service
made to the public. It carries honesty of word
and intent. Proud of. the, leadership and achieve
ment of the party ' in wary Democracy faces un
afraid the problems, of. peace. Indeed, its pro
, nouncement has but to, be read along with the
platform framed by Republican leaders in order
that both spirit and purpose as. they dominate
the opposing organizations may be contrasted.
On the one hand we see pride expressed in the
nation's glory and a promise of service easily
understood. On-the other captious, unhappy
spirit and the treatment of subjects vital to the
Present and the future, In terms that have com
pletely confused the public mind. .It was clea?
that the senatorial oligarchy had been given
its own way in the selection of the presidential
candidate, but ft was surprising that it was able
to fasten into the party platform the creed of
"ate and bitterieps and the .vacillating policy
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that possesses it.
In the midst' of war the present senatorial
cabal, led by Senators kodge, Penrose and
Smoot, was formed. Superficial evidence of
oyalty to the president' was deliberate In ?d$v
that the great rank "and file of tlioif- party,
faithful and patriotic to" the very core, might
Jot bo offended."1 -.But underneath this mislead
ing exterior, conspirators planned and plotted,
Jlta bigoted zeal". With victory to our arms
Jhey delayed and -obstructed the works of peace.
deemed useful W thp work in hand no artl
"cefor interfering with our constitutional peace
making authority was rejected. . Before the
country know,, ypjL before these men themselves
knew the -details ofUlie 'composite plan, formed
tln to it, BeftVee tretywas submitted t(
SdeHw ll,l,nannor Ul Constitution pro-
the onternrlse of throwing tho wftolo subiml
puoiic migLt be confused. The plan has novm
ftJlVb,8Ct,W' bul e Vh
tha thrp tUere7as the careful insistence
that there was no desire to interfere with the
KlW? eV1V;,d Vd formallzoa at viaillI
tin? ;i.fWa8,ith? fFm and ,10t th0 "ttb-tancd
In a fpf eB8!dl3r tarred attack. But pretense
was futile when proposals later came forth that
wuuiijr oiimbuumiea tne uasic principle of tho
whole peace plan. It is not necessary to recall
the details of the controversy in tho senate.
Senator Lodge finally crystallized his ideas into
what were known as the Lodge reservations,
and when congress adjourned tlvose reservations
held the support of the so-called regular Repub
lican leaders.
From that time the processes have boen in
teresting. Political expediency in Us truest
sense dwarfed every consideration either of the
pubjic interest or of the maintenance of the hon
or of a great political party. The exclusive
question was how to avoid a rupture in tho no
publican organization. Tho country received
with interest, to say the least, the announcement
from Chicago, where the national convention
was assembled, that a platform plank, dealing
with the subjeot of the world peace, had been
drawn, leaving out the Lodge reservations, and
yet remaining agreeable to all interests, mean
ing thereby, the Lodge reservationists, the mild
reservatlonists and the group of Republican
senators that openly Opposed the League of Na
tions in any form.
As the platform made no definite commital
of the policy and was, .in fact, so. artfully
phrased as to make almost any deduction pos
sible, it passed through' the convention with
practical unanimity. Senator Johnson, how
ever, whose position has been consistent and
whose opposition to the league. in any shape is
well known, withheld his support of the con
vention's choice until the candidate had stated
the meaning of the platform, and announced
definitely the policy that would be his, if
The Republican candidate has spoken and his
utterance calls forth the following approval
from Senator Johnson: (
"Yesterday in his speech of acceptance Sena
tor Harding, unequivocally, took his stand upon
question, and, as tne . i u i platform
Republican Prty wmm ited botn yj
!" tbe The1 T eateVed evolt among leaders of
tion. The uireaieut. u minority position
the party is ,' Un"L that of the
as expressed in tho senate i Jn
party. In shor , I-, ot 0l0 80-
emim rS has heen --
.?- -.' - " f-
- ""I;: SKi e peace
"I promise you f?""1 ' Vess can paas its
80 ?UitrrSofaTepSarStive to sign.
nil: "hut one thinea separate peace
civilzatlon Btaoo tho and infinitely
separate peace witu - waB on that
Sre unworthy on ow pan d wth
of the Russian s. iney tl0,r coun
starvation wdgt clde by side with the
try. Our soltlIei il? was the coalition of
AH . So ,CO"lose tha General Foch was
strength and PP0 and every soldier in
lowed, recognized him a? h! ohief. We foui:ht
through it fg proposed to enter Into a ammntta
peace with Oormanyl In ro0d faith we Xdjid
Zn8ilTtm wllh our aM0C,at0 tor tht StoSS
la suggoBtGd that this be withdrawn. Suppow
Gormany, recognizing the first break m the
Alllos, proposes somothlng we cannot accept.
Boos Senator Harding mtond to sencT an army
o aormany to prosu her to our terms? Cor&m
iy tho allied army could not be oxpoctod to
ronder aid. If, on tho olhor hand. Oormany
should accept the olmnco wo offorod of broaklng
the bond It would bo for the express purpose of
insuring a aorman-Amorlcan alliance, recog
nizing that tho Allies In fact, no nation in'good
standingwould buvo anything to do with
r either of u.
This plan would not only bo a ploco of bun.
Ing diplomacy, but plain, unadulterated dl
honoaty, as well.
No lass an authority than Senator Lodgo aid,
before the hotH of retoiit controversy, that to
make peace except In company with tho Allies
would "brand us everlastingly with dishonor
and bring ruin to us.M
And then after poaob Is made with Germany,
Senator Harding would, ho nays, "hopofully ap
proach tho nations of Europe and of tho earth,
proposing that understanding which makes u
a willing participant in the consecratlori of na
tions to a now relationship."
In short, America, refusing to enter the
League of Nations (now already established by
twenty-nine nations) and bearing and deserv
ing the contompt of the world, would -submit
an entirely now project. This act would either
bo regarded as arrant madness or attempted in
ternational bossism.
The plain truth Is, that tho Republican
leaders, obsessed with a determination to win
tho presidential election, have attempted to
satisfy too many divergent vlowa. Inconsisten
cies, inevitable undor the circumstances, rise to
haunt them on every band, . and .they find. them
selves arrayed in public thought at least, against
a great principle. More than that there con
duct is opposed to tho Idealism upouwhich their
party prospered in other days,
Illustrating those observations by concrete
facts, let It be remombored that those now in
veighing against an interest in affairs outside, of
Amorica, criticised President Wilson In unmeas
ured terms for not resenting tho invasion ot
Belgium In 1914. They term the League of "Na
tions a military alliance, which, except for. their
opposition, would envelop our country, when, as
a matter of truth, the subject of a League of
Nations has .claimed the best thought of Amer
ica for years", and the League to Enforce Feacs
was presided ovor by so distinguished a Itcpub
lican as Ex-President Taft, who, before audi
ences In every section advocated lhe principle
and the plan of tho present League, They charge
experimentation, when vo have as historical
precedent tho Monroe Doctrine, which Is the very
essence of Article X of the Versailles covenant.
Skeptics viewed Monroe'o mandate with alarm,
predicting recurrent wars in defense of "Central
and South Americans states, whoso guardians
they alleged we need nbt bo. And yet not a Shot
has been fired In almost one hundred years in
preserving sovereign rights of this hemisphere.
They hypocritically claim that tho League of
Nations will result in our boys being drawn into
military service, but they fall to realizenhat
every high school youngster in the land krtows.
that no treaty can override our Constitution,
which reserves to Congress, and to Congress
alone, the power to declare war, They preach
Americanism with a meaning of their own in
vention, and artfully appeal to a selfish and
provincial spirit, forgetting that Lincoln fought
a war over tho purely moral question of slavery,
and that McKInloy broke the fetters of our
boundary lines, spoke tho freedom of Cuba, and
carried the torch of American idealism to the
benighted Philippines. They lose memory of
Garfield's prophecy that America, under the
blessings of God-given opportunity, would by
her moral leadershp and co-operation become a
Messiah among the nations of the earth.
These are fateful times. Organized govern
ment has a definite duty all over the world.
The house of civilization Is to be put in order.
The supreme Issue of the century I? before w
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