The independent. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1902-1907, July 16, 1903, Image 1

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III i II I II I I j l I! II ii.ll I! II Hill I II II II, I, ia
- No. 8.
Vol. XV.
LINCOLN NEB., JULY 16, 1903.
. St. James Hotel, July 27-9, 1903.
'jH Headquarters, St. James Hotel.
'jt Conference of Reformers, July
jt 27-29. j', -V "
'Allied People's Party; National J
H ' Committee Meeting, July 27. &
V People's Party National Com-
j - Mittee Meeting, July 29. J
It will be remembered that The In
dependent has frequently called atten
tion to the Illogical action of a num
ber f populist senators and represen
tatives in abandoning their own or
ganization and taking part in the
democratic caucus. In its issue of
November 20, 1902, in an editorial
Leaded, "Harris, Heitfeld, Patterson,"
The Independent said:
"No organization was ever so be
trayed by its leaders as the people's
party has been, and only the undying
love of liberty and devotion to prin
ciple of the rank and file has -pre
served it from disintegration. ...
These three (Harris, Heitfeld,- and
Patterson) did not desert their prin
ciples as did the others (excepting
Senator Allen, who remains a pop
ulist), but did what was almost as
bad they forsook their party and
asked admission to the democratic
-caucus of the senate. . When the
three or four populist senators were
accustomed to hold their party caucus
in the elevator, as the reporters were
in the habit of saying, they were an
influence that had to be reckoned with
in the senate. When they went over
lag and baggage into the democratic
party, instead of having more influ
ence on legislation, they had less."
. Thg reason for caucusing by them
selves, regardless of how few or how
many, was that by so .doing they held
the "balance of poweO, and neither
democrats nor republicans could domi
nate them. Just as soon as they be
came democrats their identity was
f.wallowed up in the caucus and they
became mere ciphers. Harris and
Heitfeld failed of re-election and it
is probable Uiat Patterson also would
have failed had he been a candidate
last year.
An application of this idea, of being
i true "balancing party,'1 to nomina
tions has been suggested by Mark
Foster of Washington in several is
sues of The -Independent (May 28, p.
10; July 9, pp. 3 and 4), and National
Committeeman Elmer E. Thomas, in
The Independent of May 21 (p. 2)
showed how an application of the idea
to Omaha politics had resulted in al
most a sweeping victory for the pop
ulists, although they cast only about
1,800 votes.
Mr. Foster, unable to be present at
the Denver conference, has written
Secretary Edgerton a letter from
which the following excerpts are con
sidered pertinent at this time. The
keynote is that wherever the populists
are not strong enough to elect their
man, they are to refrain from any en
tangling alliances and pick from the
old party tickets the men most nearly
populists in belief and nominate them
and elect them: .
Washington. D. C. July 1, 1903. Mr.
J, A. Edgerton, Sec, care Rocky Moun
tain News, Denver. Dear Sir: ...
Populistic principles are now held by
probably a majority of the people: yet
it is utterly hopeless to get all these
into one party. Tenacious , affection
for the dear old party forbids; and
still more subtly, hindersome the In
ertia created. by doubt. as to just what
is best. Before the doubt is re
solved, issues change. We can never
down the old parties in time to io any
But we do not nr d to break them
down; instead, we can make use of
them. We' can make thei- strength
our strength; their popularity, our pop
ularity; their political skill and adap
tation, ours by adopting balance of
power tactics. .
li; Ihis I men: to pick out the can
didates of the old parties who are in
dividually most favorable to populist
ideas ,or least opposed.' and make
these our candidates. We should take
from both old parties equally; so as
not to be "assistants." Bit there will
be no agreement necessary with
either of the bid parties; the fleet
ing will be in the interests of thfi
people's party alone. The result will
1 6 the election, not of populists in
name, but of populistic republicans and
democrats, everywhere. Everywhere
in ihis conEUt-.n m?ars wherover
there are two strong parties now. This
includes nearly ail of the aorth and
w,est, and even some of the southern
Wherever the populist is the lead
ing opposition party, as in the south
era states, it can run Its own candi
dates; and this may be the case in
Eome localities elsewhere. But gen
erally speaking, it would be better
to balance, and thereby gain access
to the ears of both parties, and avoid
much of the otherwise bitter opposi
tion. Neither old party then will re
gard the people's party as its special
enemy; . but each will view it as a
dangerous ally that must be placated.
The split ticket suggested above is
available for executive officers, as
there am always several of these in
the same political division. For leg
islative candidates, pledging and ques
a h nfiftd. As there is only
one legislative candidate in a district,
the ticket cannot be split; but taking
a whole state together, the balancing
party can be practically impartial even
with this class of candidates. ...
It should be remembered that it
takes a great many voters to make a
majority; but it takes only a few to
hold the balance of power. , Yet the
latter can always get what they ask
Editor Independent: In view of the
fact that an informal meeting of the
ieform forces of the United States has
been called to meet in Denver some
time this month, it may not be amiss
to present to the readers of The In
dependent a short analysis of the
aims and principles of the various re
form parties as they are expressed in
their platforms and teachings at the
present time.
The socialist party, which has made
such a phenomenal growth in the last
few years in the United States, holds
fn thA hhilnsonhv of Ferdinand Lasalle
and Karl Marx, that all the means ot
i reduction and distribution should oe
owned by the state. This demand be
ing necessitated by the iron law oi
conceived by these gentle
men. If the state owns all means of
r.rnrfnrtion . and distribution, then It
follows that the state must also have
the power to assign to each individual
the place or station or occupation he
is to assume in this communistic so
ciety. For if it was left to the choice
of the individual,'' very few would
choose the hard, the dirty, the dan
gerous and disagreeable tasks of life.
Would the man who delves in the
mines, the stoker in heated bowels of
ships, the 'longshoreman, the deck
hand, he who wearily tramps knee
deep in muddy feed yards for months
of the year or toils in the harvest or
hay fields - or picks corn from snowy
and frosty fields, he who chops timber
in th nineries. or works in the quar
ries and blast furnaces, be willing to
share the products or his ton equauy
with him who follows the lighter and
more nleasant occupation, the lawyer,
doctor, preacher, . professor, artist,
etc.? And if the state distributed the
product-of the- common- toil equally
among all the members composing it,
would the toilers willingly and cheer-
fully submit or would they forcibly
And if' the state made use of its
power to make them submit (and it
must have that power or that state of
society could not exist and would ter
minate in anarchy) would it not be
ihe most tyrannical government ever
conceived? This state of society might
be possible 1,000 years hence, If - we
ttarted now to breed specific classes,
like we breed domestic animals for
specific purposes; we might breed be
ings who could not do anything but
the thing they were bred for and would
be content to do it, but would that be
i desirable state of society?
The followers of Ferdinand Lasalle
and Karl Marx do not see the funda
mental and fatal error of their phil
osophy: the destruction of individ
uality, a thing impossible of accom-
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The Hosts of Populism and Their-Work to be Done at Denver.