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About The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923 | View Entire Issue (April 1, 1921)
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indorse Definite Program of
Sentiment Fast Developing Among Democrats for Rehabilitation of Party Around Program for Benefit of the Masses
The Commoner continues to receive hundreds of letters from all sections 01 me country indorsing us pians ror tne reorganization and re
habilitation of the Democratic party. A few of these letters are reproduced below. It is the unanimous opinion of the writers that the Demo
cratic party's future success lies not in waiting to capitalize vthe mistakes of the Republican party, but in placing before the people a program of
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I The Commoner reproduces its National Legislative Program, as first published in its February issue. This program Is intended to bring
fobout world peace, curb the profiteer, prevent extravagance and waste in governmental affairs, and to restore "people's rule." The Demo-
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crate party must DESERVE TO WIN If It is to be successiuny renaDinuueu. wg ueairu iu uuur iiunjuuiuiuiy uum uvuryono who approves mis
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
OfA.nii.JJnlrlnni nnmnnratlp lcrlftln.tlVG DTO-
5rSm prepared with the advice and approval of
tudents of governmental needs, and represents the
'consensus of opinion or progressive uemocraw
throughout the country. The program is not com-
miaie. ana win oe auueu iu u,o iguana " "-
iffe with other questipns are worked out. The leg-
lfciative remeaies are oniy oriuiiy uuuiucu, .
v apu, mure cmuujtticu oct " ".v v....- .
,$jter. The program as thus far developed Is as
tA leaeue of nations or an association of na-
??-., nnMtt.v try ovhJfrntinn nf all diSDUteS
Iftat can be arbitrated and an investigation of all
gSiiers as provided for in the plan of ,the thirty
S&ace treaties, each nation reserving the right
raccept or reject tne nnaings.
DISARMAMENT . , .
JEhe United States should immediately en-S-irni.
tn flBRomhlo the reDresentatives- of the
!l55aing nations of the world Jn a sincere effort to
bring about disarmament.
A REFERENDUM ON WAR
We favor a pational referendum on war before
iianioratinn nf war can be made by congress,
(unless the country is. invaded by a foreign foe.
LIMIT TERM OP PRESD3ENT
!Wn, nrooiiiont of thft United States should be '
mited to one term of not more than six years
RmflVinr him tnpUcrihlft for re-election, and the
nwffrnvoinn'nf tho. president and the assembling
Bm the new congress should be set for January
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a MAJORITY SHOULD RATD7Y
wo fnvnr an amendment to the federal consti-
Sution permitting a majority of the United
States senate to rauiy a ireuty. ,
mT,n -noHrmai. nrnhihltinn amendment . should
Be enforced by the national, state and municipal
facers without tear or favor.
Wfl nrfi onnosed to universal compulsory mili-
E&ry training in time of peace. '
The Democratic party pledges the nation to
firid it of the pronteer ana to ihubu iub uuui
ftgainst his return. It win enaeavor 10 eiirawaie
all unncessary middlemen by the encouragement
te.a I'oaHnna nmnne: nroducers that will bring
fthose who produce and those who use nearer to
gether. It will enact and enforce laws that will
effectively prevent excessive charges by such mid
tei oo nr. nfip.P.RKarv. To this end it will
te ,i loo-i'Qiotinn subiectinc to the penalties of
-CiSahe criminal law all corporate officers and em-
JaBp . . . ; . onvfv riif iriatnmHnnR' that
result in extortion; it will make it unlawful for
anyone engaged m mtersiaie cummervu iu luaivo
the sale of one article dependent upon the pur
chase of another article, and it will require such
corporation to disclose to cusiuuiwa me U1"CI.;
1 vTOno MKt nrice and selling price or limit
tlie profit that can be legally charged as the
rate of interest is now limited.
RECOGNIZE THE SOLDIERS AND SAILORS
We favor a liberal policy in providing for sol
diers and sailors who made sacrifices In the
A NATIONAL BULLETIN
We favor a national bulletin, not a newspaper,
...i. iniiwin. fanned hv 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.
Gambling in food stuffs should be prohibited
by national enactment.
We favor national and state legislation guar
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
We 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 extend credit to the farmers
and t(fc protect them from high interest rates
,.A private monopoly is indefensible and intol
erable. All necessary monopolies should be taken
over by the government, national, state and mu
nicipal. v 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 purpote of lightening the - people's
burdens we favor an immediate return to a peace
footing basi 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
andmen who are disabled or distant from the
NATIONAL PRIMARY LAW
We favor a national primary election law.
ever, which t.L believe has as yet -not been con
sidered. My plan is to permit every voter to
express his own individual opinion as to who
should be the candidate. In other words, let the
names of all the contestants bo printed on the
ballot to bo voted for as first, second and third,
etc., choice, as the case may be; and also let
there be a space loft blank in which each voter
can write in the name of his own personal choice.
The law should provide that all such Totes
should bo counted ana, if the individual choice
votes should outnumber the others, then the man
so voted for should bo the candidate. In my
opinion such a law would give the people a real
opportunity to select their own candidates and
their own officials. The same provision should
apply to general oloctions and not be confined
to the primaries.
Letters From the
Thomas G. Campbell, Indiana. I heartily en
dorse Mr. Bryan's legislative program and his
efforts to reorganize the party in the interest
of the people and along progressive Democratic
lines. I'd like to make one suggestion in con
nection with the proposed national presidential
primary law. A general primary law is cer
tainly needed and such a law should have the
first, second and third choice feature, in order
that the actual wishes and desires of the peo
4"ple can be determined and' made effective. I
won't "to suggest an additional provision, how-
H. ii. Ramsey, Kentucky. I greatly appre
ciate your efforts to reorganize and rehabilitate
life in the dear old party, and I hope I can in
some way help. It seems to me that Jt would
be a good idea to raise a fund and appeal to the
best men in each ward and precinct, say six or
more to get together, not politicians (except
those like yourself who bear a record of always
working unselfishly for the best interests of the
long suffering iriasses), and select or recommend
the candidates for the municipality and county,
likewise a certain number from each voting
ward or precinct meet at the court house and
select the county officers and their' state repre
sentatives, and also recommend a good man for
congress. The main idea Is to induce, strictly
not self-seek4ng, but honorable citizens, a great
many of whom try to avoid politics, to arouse
themselves and get busy in order to wrest the
party from the hands of professional ring poli
ticians. It seems to me also that unselfish men should
not only recommend but put the candidate on
honor; let him s?gn up as to what laws they
want or do not want. In this way they might
more successfully get what they want. Also,
some law to terminate political treason without
spending thousands of dollars to impeach an
officer who might bo false to his -promises. Sup
pose a banker had to spend thousandsbf dollars
in order to discharge a traitor or thief from his
pay rolls. It seems to me our laws should be
so amended that when a candidate refuses to do
that which he promised he would do (and I be
lieve that he shoult be compelled to sign his
name in the presence of two witnesses relative
to laws which he would or would not vote for),
then if he voted otherwise without a majority of
his constituents petitioning him to change, that
his tenure of office should automatically termin
ate and a specal election called immediately
to select a man to take his place. The patriotic
masses would subscribe liberally to a National
Bulletin such as you have already suggested,
and it would be of great assistance to the voter.
Long livd our beloved leader.
H. H. Stallard, Washington. I have just read
the press reports of Mr. Bryan's plan for the re
organization of the Democratic party. I sup
ported the Democratic party up to and Including
the 1908 campaign, since that I have had no use
for the party as I felt like- it had left all the
landmarks of Jefferson, the great commoner. I
can heartily indorse the proposed principles, and
will help reorganize the party along these lines.
The state of Washington can be carried in 1922
on a platform such as outlined by Mr. Bryan.
Anything I can do to aid will be done.
W. J. Rodgers, Missouri. I am glad to know
W. J. Bryan intends to take an active part in
Helping 'to reorganize. the Democratic party. He
took it over after ft was demolished at St. Louis
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