The Conservative (Nebraska City, Neb.) 1898-1902, November 15, 1900, Page 4, Image 4

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4 The Conservative.
The amazing result of yesterday's
election reveals very conclusively the
monumental fact that the democratic
party did not support its candid
ates. Mr. Bryan is defeated in 1900 by
the Mr. Bryan of 1896. There was no
democratic re-union. On the contrary ,
there was open and palpable democra
tic disorganization , panic and rout.
There are other conspicuous facts
which may as well be recognized. In
the presence of the almost unexampled
disaster which has fallen upon the dem
ocratic organization at a time when suc
cess ought to have been sure it is plain
that , of all the men who might have
been nominated at Kansas Oity , Mr.
Bryan was the weakest before the pee
It is plain that any one of a hundred
sound money democrats standing upon
a gold standard platform and advocat-
iflg other unmistakable democratic ideas
would have received more votes than
Mr. Bryan received.
It is plain that whatever policies popu-
listic republicans and socialists may
propose as remedies for the evils of re
publicanism democrats cannot be led to
their support.
It is plain that no man involved in
any way with the stupendous financial
and economic blunder of 1896 can be
elected president of the United States.
It is plain that nothing is to be gained ,
nothing is to be hoped for from a con
tinuation of the immoral and degrading
alliance now and for four years past
subsisting between the democratic or
ganization and that of the populists.
It is certain that the people of the
United States will not take their poli
tics from a mongrel combination whose
first purpose appears to be the driving
away in alarm of men of business , men
of affairs , men of substance and men of
It is certain also that no alliance of
free silver republicans , populists and
democrats can , in the face of innumer
able democratic precedents in favor of
expansion and free trade , set metes and
bounds in the development of American
power and prestige in the politics and
commerce of the world.
In spite of the crimes of the republi
can party , in spite of the declarations of
] , , the Kansas Oity convention , in spite of
the engaging personality of Mr. Bryan ,
in spite of all preachments oral and
written in behalf , of the democratic
candidates , there has been but one real
issue this year , and that issue has been
the political vagaries of Mr. Bryan him
self. Democracy and populism would
not mix. No convention , no newspaper ,
no amount of oratory , no combination
of favorable circumstances , could bring
about a true fusion between elements
fundamentally antagonistic. Mr. Bryan
is defeated by democratic votes , because
democrats could not be made to believe
that his candidacy represented anything
better than it represented four years ago.
All else has been ignored. All other is
sues have been postponed. Populism
alone has gone down , never to rise
again , let us hope , with the assistance
of any one who calls himself a demo
This should have been a democratic
year. Except for the forbidding record
of 1896 all of the conditions were favor
able. The republicans were shame
lessly committed to a dozen vicious poli
cies which the people hold in horror and
contempt. They had fastened upon the
country an outrageous tariff. They had
created and fostered monopolies and
trusts. They had surrendered iguomi-
niously to the sugar and tobacco trusts
in their Porto Rico legislation. They
had taken the first steps toward a col
onial policy wholly in the interest of
monopoly and not at all in the interest
of true American expansion. They had
embarked upon a dangerous programme
of foreign alliance and adventure. They
had declared in favor of a great army
and a great navy. They had doubled
the expenses of government and im
mensely increased the burdens of taxa
tion. They were pledged to steamship
subsidy legislation involving many mill
ions of dollars. They were in open and
avowed league with the organized avar
ice of the republic. They had trampled
upon the constitution and flouted the
decisions of the supreme court. They
were led by a candidate who had given
evidence on more than one occasion
that his political fortunes , his official
conduct , even his personal opinions ,
were all held subject to the censorious
bossism of the syndicates.
To defeat this aggregation of greed
and infamy only one thing was needed.
There was need of a democratic party
inspired by undoubted democratic senti
ment and led by democrats of unques
tioned soundness in the faith. In its
place appeared an organization led
chiefly by populists and upholding doc
trines which few democrats recognized
and which great multitudes of them re
Under such auspices the mischief
done in 1896 could not be repaired in
1900 , even though the conditions were
in some degree changed. It is now seen
clearly that the authors of the earlier
disaster were doomed from the begin
ning. The leaders of 1896 were the
leaders of 1900. The awful blight of
populism was upon them. The silver
ghost madly raised at Kansas Oity ,
would not down. The small fanatics
and ignoramuses , the bankrupts in
purse and character , the failures in bus
iness , the dreamers and radicals , the
cheap peddlers of every quack political
nostrum , the idle , the vicious , even the
hoodlum all redolent of populism
came to the front and occupied the
places which a mighty party had once
seen filled by democrats of commanding
ability and of unquestioned leadership.
The impressive result is before us. The
wreck , such as it is , is total , but it is a
populistio wreck and not a democratic
wreck. It is a wreck in which few
great democrats are involved and in
which no great democratic principle
has been carried down. Organization ,
candidates , loyal workers , millions of
everfaithfnl voters all have been over
whelmed , but the noble ideas which
they lightly abandoned , the examples of
illustrious democrats dead and gone , the
doctrines born with the republic and de
stined to survive it , neglected for the
moment , remain undimmed and imper
Shall this second demonstration of the
folly of present democratic leadership
suffice ? Are there lower depths yet to
be sounded ? Is there in the republic
today a saving remnant of true democ
racy around which the scattered legions
of democratic voters may rally ? Is
there a time-serving politician anywhere
who , in the face of today's figures ,
needs further evidence that honesty is
the best policy ? Are the thousands of
defeated democratic candidates in all
parts of the country ready to acknow
ledge that the surrender of principle is
the poorest recommendation that an of
fice seeker may urge in his own behalf ?
Shall the old democratic party rise
again ?
These are questions which the conservative
vative citizenship of the republic must
consider speedily and with the gravity
that they deserve. They are questions
also to which practical men in politics ,
men who may not be overburdened with
scruples or principles , but who desire
success , must and will give heed. They
are questions which thoughtful republi
cans , conscious of the perils which their
own party has brought upon the coun
try , will hope to see answered and
answered right.
If the democratic party had been in
evidence yesterday it would have been
used by the people as a righteous instru
ment for the punishment of the republi
can party. Evidence of this fact is
within the knowledge of every intelli
gent man. It would have won a victory
as glorious and as far-reaching in its
consequences as that of 1800 , when
Thomas Jefferson came into power. A
splendid opportunity for a great patriotic
public service has been lost , and for
what ? For a paltry alliance with the
always treacherous populist , for a fool
ish consistency in wrong-doing and for
an hallucination , amounting practically
to a mania , that in some manner , never
yet explained and never to be explained ,
appeals to the ignorance , the fanati
cism , the timidity and the prejudices of
the people are more likely to succeed
than arguments addressed to their in
telligence , honesty and judgment !
The price paid for the dismal exper
ience has been prodigious , involving as