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About The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923 | View Entire Issue (March 1, 1921)
Fight for Restoration of People's Rule Is On
"Deserve to Win Then Organize" Program for Rehabilitation of the Democratic Party Attracting Nation-wide Attention
On this page we present the National Legislative Program as published for the first time in the February issue of The Commoner. Pol
lowing are cbmments of the press, favorable and unfavorable, and letters of indorsement from readers and friends representing all sections
of the country. This program is intended to bring aboiit world peace, curb the profiteer, prevent extravagance and waste in governmental af
fairs, and to restore "people's rule." We desire to hear immediately from everyone who approves this , legislative program and will assist
in crystallizing public opinion to write it into the law of the land. Editor. The Commoner.
A National Legislative Program
A forward-lookinc: Democratic legislative pro-
pram prepared With" the advice and approval of
;8tudents of governmental needs, and represents the
consensus of opinion of progressive Demourats
'throughout the country. The program is' not com-
"Dlete. and will bo added to as means for deal
s', ing with other questions are worked out. The leg
islative remedies aro only briefly outlined, and will
be more elaborately set forth and discussed here
after. The program as thus far developed is as
A league of nations or an association of na
tions providing for arbitration of all disputes
I that can be arbitrated and an investigation of all
-tuuers as proviueu lor m tne piuu oi mu lumy
peace treaties, each nation reserving the right
;to accept or reject the findings.
The United States should immediately, en
deavor to assemble' the renresentatlves of, the
Heading nations of the world in a sincere effort to
bring about disarmament. ,
A REFERENDUM ON WAR
We favor a national referendum on, war before
declaration of war can be made by congress,
unless rthe country is invaded by a foreign foe.
LIMIT TERM OF PRESIDENT
The president of the United States should be
slimited to one term of not more than six years
hy making him ineligible for re-election, and the
inauguration or trie president ana the assemoung
fof the new congress should be set for January
following the November electiqn.
a Afa.TnPTTPv atTrvrnrn patTwv
i'MK We favor an amendment to the federal consti
tution permitting a majority bf the .United
States senate to ratify a treaty.
The national prohibition amendment should
the enforced by the national, state and municipal
(Officers without fear or favor. , -
We are opposed to universal compulsory mili
tary training in time of peace.
The Democratic party pledges the nation to
:rid it of the profiteer and to close the door
against his return. It will endeavor to eliminate
all unncessary middlemen by the encouragement
of organizations among producers that will bring
those who produce and those who use nearer to
gether. It will enact and enforce laws that will
effectively prevent excessive charges by such mid
dlemen as are necessary. NTo this end it will
demand legislation subjecting to the penalties of
the criminal law all 'corporate officers and em
ployees who give or carry out instructions that
result in extortion; it will make it unlawful for
anyone engaged in. interstate commerce to make
the .sale of one article dependent, upon the pur
chase of anotner article, ana it win require such
corporation to disclose to customers the differ
ence between cost price and selling price or limit
the profit that can be legally charged" as the
rate of interest is-now limited.
REQOGNIZE THE SOLDIERS AND SAILORS
We favor a liberal policy in providing foraol
diers and sailors who made sacrifices in the
A NATIONAL BULLETIN
We favor a national bulletin, not a newspaper,
but a bulletin, issued by the federal government,
under the fair and equitable control of the two
leading parties, such bulletin to furnish infor
mation as to the political issues of the campaign.
In the settlement of disputes between capital
and labor we favor a board of conciliation pat
terned after the tribunal created by the thirty
peace treaties, the board to have power to investi
gate all disputes but no power to bind the parties.
PROHIBIT GAMBLING 9
Gambling in food stuffs should be prohibited
by national enactment.
- We favor national and state legislation gjiar
anteeing the people's deposits in national and
state banks against loss through bank failures.
We favor federal' action that will maintain
the price of liberty bonds at par.
FEDERAL RESERVE BANK SYSTEM
Wo favor the federal reserve banking law but
insist that it must not be used to squeeze the
debtor by deflation processes.
FARM LOAN BANK
The farm loan bank law should be maintained
and strengthened to extdnd credit to the farmers
and to protect them from high interest rates
A private monopoly is indefensible and intol
erable. All necessary monopolies should be taken
oyer by the government, national, state and mu
nicipal. ECONOMY AND EFFICIENCY
We favor the reorganization of the administra
tive" and executive departments of the federal
government on an economy and efficiency basis,
including the establishing of a budget system and
a reduction in the number of departmental em
ployes .to the minimum needs of the government.
We are opposed to the repeal of the excess
profits tax law, and are opposed to the enactment
of a sales tax law.
For the purpose of lightening the people's
burdens we favor an immediate return to a aeace
footing baa's to bring about a reduction in taxes,
and that, in reducing taxes consideration
should be shown to those least able to pay.
VOTING BY MAIL
We favor a legislative provision for voting
by mail for voters away from home and for col
lecting ballots in order to accommodate women
and men wha are disabled or distant from the
NATIONAL PRIMARY LAW
We favor a national primary election law.
HOW TO REORGANIZE - .
Reorganize the Democratic party? Ofjccmrse.
The recent census, miscalled an election fur
nished about seven and a half million reasons
why a party beaten by that number of votes
Bliould bo reorganized.
The party leaders responsible,, so far as any
leaders were responsible, for that -smashup are
tenaciously determined -to hold the reins of
authority. Dp they want to drive the rickety
machine to another such catastrophe?
The present chairman of the Democratic na
tional committee i3 a most amiable gentleman.
They used to say of him about headquarters that
hes was the best national chairman that 'ever
came from Marietta, Ohio, and the measure of
praise quite adequate. " y
Most of the gentlemen active around head
quarters, lived in solid Republican states, unless
they happened to come from south of Mason's
and Dixon's line. Those few who were familiar
with northorn communities had not learned the
art of impressing democracy on their neighbors.
Those from Democratic states wore utterly out of
touch and sympathy with northern idoas and
All were Bourbons and after the fashion of
their sort have learned nothing from the elec
There could bo no more ridiculous spectacle
in politics than this of the conductors of the
disastrous campaign .clinging to the wreckage of
the Democratic organization, and demanding
that they alone be entrusted with its reconstruc
tion. They invited failure a San Francisco. Is
it likely that they will be put in a place to In
vito disaster a second time?
The opponents of the theory that an adverse
majority of 7,500,000 constitutes Mr. Coxvtho
leader of the Democratic party for the next f&ur
years aro not approach ng their proposed reor
ganization in a way to compel respect and
Turning out one crowd of local politicians pos
ing as national figures and installing others of
the same stripe will accomplish nothing.
Controlling an organization is not the ultimate
purpose of political endeavor. Commending the
party to the people so that it will win elections
is more to the purpose.
But the figures that were dominant at San
Francisco and in the campaign that follbwed
were those of men who controlled the Democratic
organizations in their .states Illinois, Iowa,
Indiana, for example ,but had so thoroughly
alienated the people that they never carried
. There is no efficiency attained In scrapping a
machine and substituting one of the same sort,
or one built from the scraps.
There is nothing to stimulate the renewed
loyalty of Democratic voters, who for the mo
ment have strayed from the fold, in the pros
pect of a party reorganization undertaken in
the interest of some potential candidate, but
which will leave the organization in the hands
of politicians of the discarded typo.
Is it impossible to find in the party any lead
ers who demand reorganization in the name of
sane and progressive principles?
Is it too much to hope that somewhere in the
moribund mass of Democracy there may be those
who will strive for such a reorganization as shall
make the party an effective defender of public
and individual rights, a foe to special privilege
and the spread of plutocracy?
With such a program pursued as a party in
opposition, the democracy may hope to secure
public confidence again In the near future. But
no such policy may be expected of it unless the
right kind of reorganization Is effected, and of
that there seems at present little promise.-
New York Evening Journal.
THE BRYAN PROGRAM
Mr.. Bryan's program for reorganizing the
Democratic party has the merit of frankness
and consistency. That is to say, it shows its
author in the guise in which the .country has
come to know him.
He is for peace by arbitration, disarmament,
referendum, and all the rest of it. He would
make the treaties he negotiated while secretary
of state the basis of action.
He is for the ratification of a treaty by a ma
jority rather than by a two-thirds vote of the
Senate. He wanted the Democrats of the Sen
ate to accept the Lodge reservations to the treaty
of Versailles because a majority of the Senate
had declared for therm
He Is for a rigid enforcement of the eighteenth
amendment. There is no compromise in him on
He wants bank deposits In bothnational and
state institutions guaranteed.
He favors a single term in the presidency
a term of six years.
He does not mention either coinage, or a tariff
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