The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923, April 01, 1922, Image 1

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VOL 22,, NO!
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Lincoln, Nebraska, April, 1922
Whole Number 756
Enforcement of
Acquiescence in the will of tlie majority when
expressed in accordance with our Constitution
and our laws is the vital principle of our govern
ment. Jefferson said that acquiescence in the
will of the people was the vital principle of the
republic from which there, is no appeal except
to force, the principle of despotism.
That acquiescence in the will of the majority ,
is the recognized policy of this country can be
proven by innumerable facts in our history. For
instance, in 1876 the Democrats acquiesced in
the election of .a Republican President by a ma
jority of one in the electoral college when that
one majority was secured by a decision of the
electoral commission which voted eight to seven
on every important question. 'In 1884 the Re
publicans acquiesced in the decision when Cleve
land was elected by the vote of New York and
the vote of New York turned upon a few hundred
votesj In 1916 tho Republicans again acquiesced
4nthe decision when President Wilson "was re
elected by a small majority in the electoral col
lege and that majority came from California
which went Democratic by a few votes.
Here we have three instances of aquiescence
in the election of Presidents by a narrow margin.
Although great interests were at stake there was
no suggestion of resistance to the decree ren
dered according to the Constitution and laws.
And yet, we find a large element, made up of
some who claim respectability, resisting a prohi
bition law ba'sed upon a Constitutional Amend
ment adopted by a large majority after, a fight
of fifty years. No important question has ever
been settled by so decisive a majority as that
recorded in favor of prohibition. More than
two-thirds of the states in the Union went dry
by their individual act. More han two-thirds
of the members of the Senate and House voted
to submit prohibition. Forty-six states out of
forty-eight have ratified prohibition. Only two
states, Connecticut and Rhode Island, Iiave re
fused to ratify and they are small states and in
the largest of these one branch of the legislature
favored ratification. Two congresses have been
elected since national prohibition was submitted
one since prohibition went into effect and
ooth of these congresses have been dry by more
than two-thirds majority. .
And yet, instead of acquiescing in the will of
tbe majority the "wets" in city, state, and nation
are attempting to elect men to office pledged to
violate their oath. They are trying to prevent
the enforcement of tho law and also trying to se
cure legislation which they know to be a viola
tion of the prohibition Amendment.
So bold are these enemies of government that
they insolently warn the Federal Government not
jo interfere with open conspiracies in neighbor
ing nations and on the high seas. A Phila
delphia papor recently insisted that tho Federal
government should not interfere' with rura-run-
ers outsido the three mile limit. What a doc
trine to preach in this enlightenod age! Tho
geographies teach us that three-fourths of tho
earth's surface is covered by water. Tho wets
would confine civilization to ono quarter and
turn over three quarters of the earth's surface
to those who are outlaws and who are engaged
'in conspiracies against governments.
"Whenever a ship puts the black flag above tho
flag of any nation it can be sunk without fear of
war. No civilized nation will lend its flag to the
volation of the law of any other nation and it
will not protect its citizens when, they disgrace
their country and their country's flag by such
Rinds of piracy.
"Freedom of the seas" in this case will be
"freedom to seize;" tho nations that attempt to
protect their homes from the invasion of alcohol
will be prepared to seize those who attempt to
use the seas for unlawful purposes.
The Four Power Treaty, a copy of which will
be found in this issue, has been ratified by tho
Senate -by a vote of sixty-five to twenty-seven,
a majority of thfrty-oighjteleven more than the
two-thirds' necessary" to ratify: Tlio-TJflmniiUee""
amendment specifically denying that tho treaty
could be construed as an alliance and reserving
the right of independent action was adopted by
a vote of NINETY to TWO. ' It cured tho defect
in the original draft. A number of tho amend
ments offered by the Democrats should havo
been adopted, especially the one offered by
Senator Robinson.
It is unfortunate for the party that Demo
cratic'' senators should have put it in the at
titude of opposition to this treaty, although the
failure of the effort to defeat it prevents the
treaty being a campaign issue. It woul 1 have
been disastrous to the party if the opposing
Democrats had been able to secure one more
than one-third and thus prevent its ratification.
Twelve Democrats voted to ratify while twenty
three registered their opposition.
Instead of being willing to use an outgrown
Constitutional provision to defeat the treaty the
Democrats would serve the party and the coun
try better if they would urge an amendment to
the Constitution permitting ratification by a ma
jority. It takes two-thirds of both houses to
override the President's veto in matters of leg
islation even though the measures originate in
congress; why should it require two-thirds of
Congress to support the President in the ratifica
tion of treaties a matter specifically entrusted
to the President?
A majority of Congress can carry tho country
into war; why should it require two-thirds of
the Senate to conclude a treaty?
If making the world' safe for democracy is
worth a world war, why not try democracy at
home' The right of a majority to rule is the
fundamental principle of popular government;
why not apply it to treaties? W. J. BRYAN.
Sneaking of unnecessary wastes of time and
effort we note that E. Mont Riley, Republican
governor of Porto Rico, denies that he has any
intention of resigning his office.
The Coming Cam
paign Prospects brighten; each month something
adds to the Republicans' embarrassment and im
proves the chancos of tho Democrats. There
will bo no need to fight tho campaign of 1920
over again; the now issues raisedby tho Rcpub- .
licans havo turned attention from tho past to tho
Tho revenue measures will bo tho contor of at
tack because it most clearly discloses tho lino
of cleavage between tho progressive Republicans
(the ranirand file -of the party) and tho reac- '
tionary leaders. The bill shifts tho burden of
taxation from tho rich to tho poor. Tho prof
iteers were given relief to tho extent of four'
hundred and fifty million dollars a year (esti
mated) and tho revenue bill, as introduced in
the House would havo given less then five thou
sand persons with big incomes rolief estimated
at ninety millions. This enormous sum of over
five hundred millions bestowed 'upon the rich by
theso-twoltnn'sHralB tdbo made up by relatively
greater taxes upon those who are poorer.
Tho crime would haVe been .even more ag--gravated
had not the Republican caucus stricken
out tho retroactive clause that would havo ex
tended relief for tho last year as well as for tho
Let every Democrat gird himself for the fray
and be ready when the battle is called. Wo
ought to carry the next Congress that is, the
House of Representatives; of course, It Is hardly .
possible to get a majority In tho Senate with
only one-third of the Senate to be elected. Now
is the time to lay the foundation for success
by selecting the very best candidates In each,
congressional district and in each state that
elects a senator. W. J. BRYAN.
The closing up of the Central Breweries In
New York state, and the seizure of a largo
amount of four and a half .per cent beer, gives
the honest inquirer some idea of what the sit
uation would be if light wines and beers wero
permitted. The breweries would open up all
over the country and, under the pretense of
manufacturing permitted beers, would bo
manufacturing beers of every strength. Nobody
who knows anything-about the breweries doubts
that tho scheme Is intended to overthrow all pro
hibition and to restore the saloon with all that
goes with it. But the scheme will not work. The
saloon is dead, the distillery is dead and the
brewery is dead. The prohibition law, like other
laws, will be violated at times, but it will not
be repealed. Prohibition is here to stay.
The electrical wizards have so developed the
amplification of sound that the footsteps of a fly '
as it walks-across a piece of paper can be mado ""
to resemble the boom of thunder. AIL of which .
may be very Interesting, but who wants to hear
the boom of thunder?