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

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VOL. 22, NO. 12
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Lincoln, Nebraska, December 192;L
Whole Number 764-
Progressive Sentiment
In 1920 President Harding went into office
on a landslide which gave to the party not only
the presidency hut more than two-thirds of the
House and nearly two-thirds of the Senate. The
Republicans have had everything their own
way; they could "pass any law they wanted to
pass and repeal any law they wanted to repeal.
Their responsibility was complete and the coun
try has held them to strict account. The con
gressional election of 1922 was a landslide for
the Democrats, almost equal to the Republican
landslide of 1920.". A landslide differs from a
victory in that in the former the success is great
er than was expected by the victors. No Re
publican would, have admitted- in advance the
possibility of su'ch a defeat as that administered
to the party and few Democrats would have
dared to claim puch a victory as that won by
thebr party.
The RepublicaiisFVlos7t- seats that they held'
in the last congress -whie the Democrats lust
not a single seat. In the Senate only two Demo
crats were defeated while the Republicans lost
8, a net gain of 6 for the opposition. These
figures do not giyo the full measure of the re
action against the Republican party.
Aside from Jhe fosses to the opposit'on, the
progressive Republicans gained at the expense of
the reactionaries. Brookhart of Iowa, Frazior
of North Dakota, and Howell of Nebraska,
augment the progressive strength in the Senate,
bo that progressive Republicans hold the bal
anco of power in both' houses. The only west
ern states in wfiich the Republicans held their,
own were the states in which the progressive
Republicans secured' control of the party ma
chinery. '
if the progressive"" Republicans have the cour
se to use the power which thoy have won, they
can prevent the organization of both houses by
toe reactionaries and imake themselves masters
01 the situation.rTlie . fact that the progressives
do hold this balanco of power will tend to
lengthen the progressive element in both of
the old parties. v The Democrats, by proposing
Progressive measures, can" secure their passage
Ha the aid of the progressive Republicans; and
:h reactionary Republicans can only secure
legislation by framing their measures along
degressive lines. ' , ' '
November seventh was a great day for the
Naiu people; it illustrated the poss'bilities of
JPular government.. When tho people awaken
jjtr The Commoner . gv
Jsg wishes a fo
Jr Merry Christmas
M ' and a m
Happy New Year, j
to-Everyone, Every- W
1m where, and For- dp
ever. Jm
to the
need of reform they have it in their
Power to remedy abuses atfd to safeguard their
8Mb. When tho masses .look back to tho un
precedented majority, recorded, in favor of the
epublicans two years ago and behold the
jecKago of last -month, they are inspired with
w nope and new confidence in our form ovf gov
nment. "Weeping may. endure for a n'ght, but
y COmeth in the morning." W. J. BRYAN.
On another page wiil be toutfd a pVess dis
patch reporting the formation Of aNprogressivo
bloc in the next congress. Forty members of
...the Senate -and 'House 4ro claimed for'this-group'
a sufficient number to hold 'the balance of
powor. Senator LaFollette kof. Wisconsin and
. Congressman Huddleston'of Alabama are at the
head of the movement;' one a .-Republican and
the other a Democrat, one from the nortlnyest
a.nd the other from the southeast. . .
Success to the progressive bloc. It will pre
vent any reactionary legislation and can, if it
will, dictate to both parties. How encouraging
it is to have co-operation between the progres-"
sives of the two leading parties. Wall Street
has had a bloc for a- quarter of a century; the
unseen hand, of New York financiers ha held
the reactionary Republicans and Democrats to
gether wherever big business was interested.
The members of th's bloc aoted secretly but the
bloc was no less a compact 'organization. The
progressive bloc, havlng-nothing to conceal, will
act in the open. It will draw the line and com
pel timid senators and members of the House to
take one side or the other. Politicians avoid
issues wherever they can but, when they are com
pelled to act, can generally be relied upon to go
with tho voters. The progressive bloc will be a
real influence in le'gislation. W. J. BRYAN.
Ralston of Indiana, Ferris of Michigan, and
Neely'of West Virginia give the Democratic
party representation in the Senate from the
central states of the northern Mississippi valley.
They are all strong men.
Ralston made an excellent governor, of Indi
ana and added to hi3 ' prestige by defeating
Beveridge. : , '
Governor Ferris has enjoyed the highest hon
ors, of his state and has the distinction orde
f eating Townsend on the Newberry issue. s His
victory has already borne fruit in tho resigna
tion of Senator Newberry.
Neely of West Virginia has served in congress
where ho rapidly won prominence, ",'- ,.
It is a" splendid trio.
Constructive Program
Now that the Democrats' have a membership
in tlie Senate and House sufflciont to make
remedial legislation possible, the Democratic
leaders in both houses ought to got togothor
and prepare a constructive program which will
appeal to progressive Ropubl'cans. There aro
many things that can bo done to bring tho gov
ernment nearer to the peoplo and to insure more
complete control of tho government by tho peo
ple. One reform now within reach is a presidential
primary. If the 'Democrats will, present a bill
providing for a presidential primary In ALL
THE STATES on tho SAME DAY at which ALL
PARTIES will nominate, such primaries to bo
under the control of the states where tho state'
laws povide for a primary, it will bo'possibld to
select- the presidential nominees for 1924 by
popular vote. In order to prevent tho scandals-,
of 1920, provision should be made to limit tho
expenditures' of candidates so that, as near as
pos3iblo,f.the poor may bo upon an equality with
the rich, in the'r opportunity to present their
claims to the public.
A reform even moro necessary just now Is tho..
establishment of a National Bulletin as a means
of informing tho peoplo upon the issues. The'
bulletin should not lie a newspaper but merely'
a political mpdium through which tho govern
ment could bring to the notice of the voters the
subjects to lie voted upon and the reasons for
and against proposed leg'slation.
Provision should be made for editorial space
in Which each political group represented, in
congress should have accoss to the public in
proportion to tho strength of the group. If tho
people understand the issues and the arguments
for and against the propositions submitted, they
can bo trusted to decide these quost'ons aright.
The 'government bulletin should also furnish
space to aspirants legitimately before their re
spective parties so thatall candidates would be
upon an equal footing in reaching the voters, '
The bulletin should bo garnished to all the vot
ers either without charge or at a"minumum
charge merely sufficient to indicate a desire to"
be informed'. N
Legislation is "also needed to establish a.tri- ,
bunal for the investigation of disputes between '
labor and capital not for arbitration but for'ah
investigation which will bring out the facts and -inform
the public of the merits of tho Con
troversy. "' t y'
Legislation is necessary to deal effectively
with- the profiteer. ' He is tm"? evil genius that
stands between the country and renewed pros
perity. .
While four important amendments have been
adopted in recent years, others aro needed. Tho
constitution should be so changed as to pqrmit
a majority of .the Senate to ratify treaties. Tho
reasons whiclr required a two-thirds majority
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