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About The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923 | View Entire Issue (March 1, 1921)
prophecy. He called the turn on both the
nominee and the platform. The country re
jected both by such a vote as was never before
Should Mr. Bryan be punished for playing the
prophet? Does the democracy want to confess
that a prophet is not without honor save in
his own party? Has it at this time votes and
prophets enough to throw at. the birds? On the
contrary does it not stand in need of all the
assistance it can command? Washington Star.
STILL ON THE JOB
William Jennings Bryan is once mofe anxious
to reorganize the Democratic party. He essays
this so tiften that it may be asked Whether he
undertakes it as a sport or a business. But, be
it as it may, the Democratic party is almost In
need of reorganization and there stands Bryan
liko Horatiutf at the bridge ready to meet
all comers or fill any breach. 4
The Nebraskan plays with the party much as
would a sleight-df-hand man. First he disor
ganizes it an4" takes it apart. He wants to see
What makes it tick. Having picked it to pieces
and left its bleached ribs on the' shore, he goes
forth once more with his ntonkey wrench and a
needle and thread and poses as the apostle of
reorganization. He will show the party can be
put together again.
It is like assembling a jlg-Baw puzzle.
In the present case he makes it plain that the
reorganization must be in the interest of no can
didate. Of course, if the situation demands an
eloquent Nebraskan for the leadership, that is
another matter, but it must be understood that
the reorganization is to be around a set of prin
ciples and not a man especially a man like
James. M Cox.
To make his meaning plain Col. Bryan is at
pain's to express and expound the principles to
which he refers. Mr. Wilson had only fourteen
points in his plan to make the world, safe for
democracy; but Col. Bryan has twenty-two
vri&nkft fn the nlatform in which he hopes to re-
? establish the D&mocratic party in America.
Above all else tne JLemocracy must db ireea
from any domination, en. th part of the wets
dr of Wall street and muit have" for its' back
none the great middle claw of the country.
Thus far there wouldn't seem to be much need
for poor old democracy. The Republican party
'seems to better fill the bill and the great middle
class has rto call to switch its vote. But Col.
Bryan now goes a bit farther. He would at
once call the nations of the earth together and,
after a few bright and impressive remarks by
the foremostcitfzen of Nebraska who now has
his home in Florida there would be an agree-,
ment for a bone-dry world, a dismemberment
Qf armies and a dismantling of navies. Mili
tary training would be forbidden and the battle
axes should be beaten up into pie tins. Any
man in the world carrying a more deadly tool
than a safety razor would be sunk without
It is all so deliciously simple that it is a won
der nobody ever thought of it befqre;
Furthermore, it is deemed that no presidential
term shall exceed six years thus making it im
possible for any ambitious Or opinionated Wilson'
to succeed himself. Under this ruling Col.
Bryan would have been president for eighteen
years if he had obtained all he ran for, but
under his platform this doesn't count-'and after
his valuable experience as a candidate he would
be the logical leader on the platform he has
thoughtfully provided. A man can run forever, ,
.but he can be president but once.
By thelflme Col. Bryan gets his reorganization
of the Democratic party well under way tne
leaders of that faith will be unable to speak to
one another and the rank and file will continue
to vote the Republican ticket. .
Col. Bryan is one of the best assets the Re
publican party ever had. -Los Angeles, Calif.,
IJFE OR DEATH
Just now a lot of doctors are sitting- upon the
mangled frame of the Democratic . party, trying
to mix some medicine which will restore the old
party to normal health.
There are two sets of doctors. One school ac
cepts princely fees from the special interests,
This school is of opinion that the best way to
bring the old party back to health Will be to
place Woodrow Wilson Democrats and Tammany
Democrats in exclusive charge of the party.
There is' another school of Democratic doctors
. a school In which Ja proclaimed the gospel
that the party belongs to the common, 'herd, and
not to the special interests. This school thinks
tne best way to bring thc old party back to
normal health will be to discover-the prevailing
sentiment of the masses of Democrats over the
nation, adopt a progressive program in .harmony
with that sentiment, and then go to the country
at the next election in 1922 and ask the election
of Democratic fnominees who will promote the
One hundred days ago William J. Bryan bogan
appealing to the common Democrats of the na
tion to suggest planks for a progressive Demo
cratic platform around which to rally the dis
tressed and discouraged Democrats of the coun
try. From the many thousands of suggestions
offered by progressive Democrats Mr. Bryan has
constructed a national legislative program, and
Till ask the Democrats of the nation to make
the fight two years and four years hence with
that program as their platform
In presenting the national legislative pro1-,
gram to the Democrats of the nation Mr. Bryan
does not claim that the program is perfect. He
simply submits It as the best that thousands of
progressive Democrats have been able to devise,
and ho believes that if such a program can bo
-made the guiding star of the Democratic forces
during the next two and-four years; the old
Democratic party will come back to life as vigor
ously as it d'd in 1910.
I suggest that all free Democrats in Nebraska
ought to read Mr. Bryan's' tentative program
very carefully., I think it is a good program.
On such a basis the Democrats of the nation will
rally for an old-fashioned fight for the control
of congress in 1922, and then be in excellent
shape to enter the presidential campaign In
1924. I heartily endorse, every proposal In the
Bryan program, and I feel sure they will bo
endorsed by all free Democrats, Edgar Howard,
in Columbus, Neb., Telegram.
MR. BRYAN'S GIGANTIC TASKS
This is a busy week for our distinguished fol
low citizen, Mr. William J. Bryan. With a Bible
conference in session in Miami, of which he is
a leading member, and the Democratic national
committee starting its reorganization plans at
Washington, Mr. Bryan is called upon to give his
attention to two matters of vital importance.
The relative importance of the events is a ques
tion of viewpoint.
There are .those yet living who possibly view
the salvation of the Democratic party with more
concern then they do the saving of souls. Mr.
Bryan possesses the art of balancing, things so
.well that he. has succeeded in injecting a little
of the Bible into the Democratic party and a
little of the Democratic party into the Bible.
In his address Wednesday night, he said: "I've
been trying to make the Democratic party a bet
ter party and larger party than the Republican
party. I don't know if '1 faildd In the first as
badly as I failed in the second. At least the
Republican party was spurred to do its best'
It is inferred that he meant that the Democratic
party haa absorbed a little of the "old-time re
ligion." There is no reason, of course, why a great
political party should not steer its course with
the ten commandments. It is presumed that
the Democrats have done so in the past. They
have turned the other cheek quite often.
Mr, Bryan's serious devotion to Bible study
has been most helpful to the conferences In this
country. He has been able to use his eloquence
in impressing thousands with the beauty of the
Biblo stories. Fundamentally; the American
people are religious. They believe in the Bible
and feebly attempt to follow its precepts. Their
timidity is due to a lack of understanding of
many of the lessons of the scriptures. When
more men of the prominence of Mr.vBryan are
willing to devote their time to interpretation
of the Bible, the more general will bocome an
understanding of its truths
But while Mr, Bryan, in Miami, is giving
thought and tongue to his knowledge of the
Bible, Mr. Bryan, politician, of Lincoln. Nebras
ka, sends his suggestions to t'ho meeting of the
Democratic national committee, at Washington,
. as to ways and means of putting the party on a
sounder foundation. It is likely that the people
are more receptive to religious teaching than
the Democratic leaders are to wise advice.
Therefore Mr. Bryan probably will be more
closely followed hero than at Washington. The
vitality of the party has more than once as
tounded its opponents, Beginning so soon after
a crushing defeat to gird its loins for battle
four years hence shows that it is not yet clutch
ing at the coverlets.
Mr Bryan insists that the party "must take
the people's side of every question." That is
good political religion. But Mr. Bryan has no
monopoly on the teaching. Senator Hiram
A Program That Deserves to Win
Wayne, Neb.. March 5, 1921. Hon.
Chas. W. Bryan, Lincoln, Neb. Dear Mr.
Bryan: 1 have read Mr. Bryan's National
Legislative Program as outlined in the
February issue of The Commoner. To my
mind, this program sets forth the needs
of our country and it seems to mo that pro
gressive Democrats throughout the country
should heartily endorse and enthusiastical
ly support it. It is a program that deserves
to win, and I am for It.
Yours very truly,
J. H. KEMP,
Johnson taught that to. his party. The problem
is how to mako the partios, as represented by
the delegates who write the platforms, under
stand exactly what the peopled side Is.
Tne twenty-two suggestions by Mr. Bryan
(Would mako as. good a platform for the Repub
lican party as" for the Democratic, or any other
party, for that matter. While the suggestions,
if adopted by the Democratic leaders, may re
vivify the party and put it in the running in
1924, the more important question is how to get
any party, once it is in power, to enact Into
laws the good things it promises.
Perhaps Mr. Bryan might find a more useful
avenue for his trend of thought and ability to
speak in teaching men of all parties, who are in
office or who aspire to ofi&ce, to keep faith with
the people when they get into power. The peo
ple are all right, their needs are ever apparent
and their ideas as to what they want are usual
ly sound, but the attainment of the things they
need is most important.
In such a course of endeavor Mr. Bryan can
link his knowledge of the simple truths of the
Bible with a preachment of the people's rights
Any way you may look at it, Mr. Bryan ha
a big job ahead of him. Miami, Flat, Herald.
There is one plank in Mr. Bryan's platform
upon which he desires the Democratic party to
stand. one particular plank which should in
stantly win the favor of all progressive voters,
no matter what their present party affiliations
may bo. That plank reads as follows: .
- "A private monopoly, is indefensible and in
tolerable. All necessary monopolies should be
taken over by the govornment national, state
That language is so plain that a school boy
can understand it. It contemplates that some
classes of business must necessarily be in the
monopoly class such as railroads, street rail
roads, city gas, water and electric plants. To
permit this class of business to bo in private
hands is to recognize the right of an individual,
or the right of a corporation to . :ercise a gov
ernmental function the right of eminent
domain. Such recognition is out of harmony
with American ideals. It is a relic of monarchial
times, when a monarch had the right to farm
out to his favorites most everything belonging to
the, people of the realm. There is no room in
America for such a damnable practice, and if t
do .not misjudge the present temper of the peo
ple of the United States the end of that damna
ble practice is not far away.
Bryan's programme for reorganizing- the
Democratic party and bringing it back' to its
old place as a servant of the whole people, con
tains many good planks, but none better than
the. one above quoted, and none upon which
the masses 'will more readily unite. Edgar
Howard in Columbus, Nebr., Telegram.
Speaking of price fixing, Mr. Bryan has a plan
to fix a limit on profits, just as a limit is now
fixed on the rate of interest that can be charged.
This may appear like too much government in
terference in business, again, but it may need
only a fundamental rule of law such as Mr.
ryan refers to in the case of interest. No one
will deny that usury laws are all right. Some
would go even farther and abolish interest al
together but it is true that the rate of interest
that can be legally charged is regulated in all
civilized countries. Perhaps, gome fundamental
rule can be laid down fixing a limit on profits.
Just at the present time, wo would like to la
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