The Conservative (Nebraska City, Neb.) 1898-1902, May 31, 1900, Page 6, Image 6

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111 1890 the populist
1JY STATUTE. list party advoca
ted fixing the price
of silver by statute. Wo have not yet
recovered from the baneful influence of
this agitation to create values by legis
lative enactment. Senator Onllom has
introduced a bill to give the interstate
commerce commission power to fix the
price of transportation.
If the interstate commerce commis
sion can fix the price of transportation ,
it can , as logically , fix the price of the
commodity transported. If we admit
the principle involved in the proposed
amendment , wo must admit the power
of congress to delegate to this or a sim
ilar commission the power to determine
the price at which Nebraska products
shall be sold after being transported.
The power of congress to regulate com
merce applies to sales as well as trans
portation. If this power of regulation ,
then , includes fixing prices it must apply
alike to both sales and transportation.
. Stokes of South
Carolina has intro
duced in congress a bill which ought to
become a law. There is probably not
another country that has , in proportion
to age , such a large volume of valuable
documentary history , as the United
States. And there is probably not
another country that is so careless and
negligent in its methods of preserving
both state and national records. Nearly
everything in this line is done by poli
tical contract. A little while ago con
gress entrusted the compilation of the
messages of the presidents to one of the
members , who sublet the work to a cheap
book agent. The publication is not
unlike the character of its compiler.
Work of this kind should be in
charge of specialists who have a wide
range of information upon historical
subjects and possess powers of dis
Mr. Stoke's measure aims to systema
tize the collection of public records. It
empowers the American Historical
Association to investigate the public
records and other valuable historical
material of the various states and terri
tories and report the result to congress ,
together with recommendations as to
needful legislation. It is expected to
secure in this way the cooperation of the
various state historical societies with the
national association and thus secure
greater uniformity in methods. It is a
commendable measure and deserves the
support of congress.
The question is now asked with some
interest , What do the "Gold Demo
crats , " or , more properly , the supporters
of the Indianapolis convention of 1896
propose to do at the coming election , i :
the regular candidates , as seems prob
able , are again McKinley and Bryan ?
One of your contemporaries has made
'ormal inquiry on this point of some of
; heso persons. Having had its inquiries
addressed to me , having taken some part
11 the Indianapolis convention , having
spoken for Palmer and Bnckuer in many
large cities , and having boon honored by
the gold democrats of Massachusetts
with their nomination for governor in
1897,1 may properly give my views at
They are the views of one man. In
dependents and mugwumps , gold demo
crats and Palmer men , are by those
names men who think and vote for
; hemselves. The significance of their
movement in 1896 , the curiosity as to
; heir intentions now , come from their
individual and untrammelled stand.
The bond of their convention was the
individuality of its delegates. They had
; he courage to act together , because
they had not been afraid to act sep
Chicago Platform Undemocratic.
It is sometimes alleged that these men
voted against Bryan solely because the
Chicago convention declared for 16 to 1 ,
and "that issue being settled , " there is
nothing to prevent their returning to
the fold of the democracy , and support
ing Mr. Bryan or any other regular
candidate. To begin with , Mr. Bryan
has never agreed that the silver issue
was settled , or that if he was elected
president , he would not fight as vigor
ously against the act of 1900 as ever he
did against the "crime" of 1878. But ,
secondly , the silver plank was very far
from being the only one in the Chicago
platform which disgusted the bolting
democrats. To name a single other
point , the utterance about the judiciary
was alone thoroughly repellent to those
who nominated Palmer and Buckner.
They felt that there ran through all the
proceedings and speeches of the conven
tion a strain of demagogy , miscalled
democracy , an appeal to the galleries , to
local prejudices , to one-sided and ignor
ant visionaries , to "every one who was
discontented and every one who was in
debt ; " the Adullamites , who were ready
to upset everything , if only their own
pet grievance might be promised its pet
We objected to the platform and its
candidates , not merely because this or
that plank was contrary to our idea of
what was real democracy , but because
the entire proceedings were held at the
time and supported afterwards in a
spirit subversive of law , order , and
peace at home and abroad.
A Populist Candidate Not a Safe Leader
When Mr. Bryan exhibited himself on
the stump throughout the country , the
tone of all his speeches seemed most
dangerous. The gold democrats did not
think him merely unsound on the ques
tion of money , but unsound on the
'undameutals of national and inter
national policy. They dreaded a return ,
on a larger scale , of what had happened
when a very similar agitator was elected
governor of Massachusetts , in virtue of
lis promises to those whom he called
the oppressed. In five months ho had
ihoroughly broken the peace of the
commonwealth ; every man felt as if a
fight was imminent with his next
And the Palmer men in 1896 felt that
the Chicago candidate's election portended
tended a like breach of the peace. He
not only avowed a pernicious theory of
money , but he supported it with argu
ments and advocated methods which
showed , in our opinion , a temper never
; o be trusted with the presidency on any
platform. He was the populist candi
date then ; he is the populist candidate
now. Can a populist candidate be a
safe leader for those who respect the
traditions , I do not say of illustrious
democrats or illustrious statesmen of any
party , but of the peace , honor and safety
of the United States ?
\IcKlnley Has Disregarded Constitutional
It was from this deep conviction that
the Chicago candidate was dangerous
khat many gold democrats voted for
McKinley as the less of two evils. To
the like vote they are now courted by
the republicans , and ordered by the
Bryan democrats. They were told in
1896 , and they should be told now , that
McKinley was in his way , and is still ,
no more to be depended on than Bryan ;
that his complaisances are as much a
storm signal as the other's threats. In
spite of all suoh warnings , their fears
prevailed , and the republican candidate
received the votes of many men who
said they liked Palmer better , bnt could
not "throw their votes away , " as if an
honest and righteous vote was ever
thrown away !
Never was a speedier or bitterer dis
appointment. The president has from
the outset cast away the constitutional
authority of his office , whether for
advice or action , and has bowed not
merely to the opinions of congress , butte
to its whims and passions. He obeyed
their tumultuous mandate for war ,
when diplomacy was far from exhausted ;
solemnly repudiated all thought of
acquiring territory , and then consented
to its acquisition in every mode , whether
of possession or protectorate. He has
allowed the war office to be dragged
through the mire of nepotism and job
bery , and given the merit system the
heaviest blows , to the encouragement of
the spoilsmen , that have been since
Garfield's murder. He has raised the
flag of imperialism and rivalry with the
war powers of Europe , in defiance of all
national tradition , and eaten his own
words about the Porto Eico tariff , in
true fealty to the act which has made
his name immortal as a legislator. It is