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The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923, November 29, 1901, Image 1

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Commoner.
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WILLIAjTI J. BRYAN, EDITOR AND PROPRIETOR.
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Vol. i. No. 45
Lincoln, Nebraska, November 29, 1901.
$1.00 a Year
A DEMOCRATIC DUTY.
t ... With the opening of the first session of tho
Fifty-seventh congress the congressional campaign
of -1902 begins. The Philippine Question will he
,the most important matter considered by this con
gress and in all probability the most important
issue in the campaign of 1902. Tho democrats not
only have an opportunity to make a strong appeal
lo the country on this question, but it is their
duly to do so. The republicans do not dare to
meet the Issue of imperialism openly and honestly;
they do not dare to fnvite judgment upon a colonial
prlicy; they do not dare to candidly avow their
purpose to hold the Philippine islands permanent
ly. A large majority of the rank and file of the
republican party cherish the belief that their
party intends ultimate independence for tho Fili
pinos. Tha democrats can remove this delusion
by. compelling the republicans to accept or reject
the democratic plan of dealing with the Philippine
question.
The democratic platform of 1900 not only pre
sented a plan for the peaceful and permanent set
tlement of the Philippine question, but it presented
the only complete plan that has been offered to
the American people. It reads as follows:
WE CONDEMN AND DENOUNCE THE
' PHILIPPINE -POLICY OF THE PRESENT
ADMINISTRATION. IT HAS x- INVOLVED "
ifeTHE iREPUBLIC IN UNNECESSARY WAR,
.- '-SACRIFICED THE LIVES OF MANY OF OUR
NOBLEST SONS AND PLACED THE
UNITED STATES, PREVIOUSLY KNOWN
' AND APPLAUDED THROUGHOUT THE
WORLD AS THE CHAMPION OF FREE
' DOM, IN THE FALSE AND UN-AMERICAN
- POSITION OF CRUSHING WITH MILITARY
FORCE THE EFFORTS OF OUR FORMER
- ALLIES TO ACHIEVE LIBERTY AND SELF
GOVERNMENT. THE FILIPINOS CANNOT
- BE CITIZENS WITHOUT ENDANGERING
OUR CIVILIZATION; THEY CANNOT BE
: SUBJECTS WITHOUT IMPERILLING OUR
- FORM OF GOVERNMENT, AND AS WE ARE
' NOT WILLING TO SURRENDER OUR CIV
'. ILIZATION OR TO CONVERT THE RE-
PUBLIC-INTO AN EMPIRE, WE FAVOR AN
' IMMEDIATE' DECLARATION OF THE NA-- .
; TION'S PURPOSE TO GIVE .THE FILI-
PINOS; FIRST, A STABLE FORM OF GOV-
ERNMENT; SECOND, INDEPENDENCE;
AND, THIRD, PROTECTION FROM OUT
.' SIDE INTERFERENCE, SUCH AS HAS
BEENJ3IVEN FOR NEARLY A CENTURY
. TO THE REPUBLICS OF CENTRAL AN)
- SOUTH AMERICA.
t The democrats can afford to take their stand
upon this platform and challenge the attack of
imperialists. More than a year has elapsed since
the election of 1900, which, acording to the repub
lican prophecy, was to terminate the war In the
Philippines. Every month lias shown more clear
ly the failure of republican arguments and the
evils pf an imperialistic policy. The demo
cratic platform charges that Imperialism "has in
volved the republic in unnecessary war, sacrificed
rthe lives of many of our noblest sons and placed
the United States,-previously known and ap
plauded throughout the world as the champion of
freedom) in the false and un-American position of
crushing with military force tho efforts of our al
lies to achieve liberty and self-government."
The war is unnecessary because the Filipinos
are ready to lay down their arms whenever inde
pendence is promised them. Tho sacrifice of life
has continued unabated and tho imperialists seem
as little concerned about the death of American
soldiers as they do about the killing of tho na
tives. The effect of imperialism has manifested it
self in tho failure of republican leaders to express
any sympathy for the B'ocrs, or to feel an interest
in their struggles for liberty and self-government.
The indictment which the democratic party made
against the republican administration was suffic
iently sustained by the events that had transpired
prior to the convention, and the trend of events
since that time has furnished overwhelming evi
dence in support of that indictment. Let tho
democratic leaders in the senate and house pre
sent this evidence in their speeches so that it may
reach the entire country through the Congres
sional Record.
Why do the republicans hesitate to outline a
policy? The reason Is suggested In a portion of tho
platform already quoted: "The Fillpmos cannot
be citizens Without' endangering our civilization;
they cannot be subjects without imperilling our
form pf government;" ' , ' .,
The . republicans are not willing to say that
they intend to make the Filipinos, citizens with
a voice in the conducting of our (and their) federal
government. This would bo to propose a hetero
'goneous government which would ultimately fall to
' pieces because of diversity of races and interests.
Neither are they willing to declare that the Fili
pluos are to be kept subjects forever, for this
would be plainly inconsistent with our form of
government, our traditions and the well-nigh uni
versal sentiment of our people. When one under
stands that we must put the Filipinos into train
ing for ultimate citizenship or condemn them to
perpetual servitude under a colonial system; when
ono understands that we must either hold before
the Filipinos the hope of full participation in our
government or doom them to despair, when one
understands this alternative he readily sees why
the republicans refuse to divulge their purpose.
The democratic plan for tho settlement of the
Philippine question is identical with the plan pro
posed by the republicans for the settlement of the
Cuban question, and the republicans cannot reject
tho democratic plan without showing some essen
tial difference between tho rights of the Cubans
and the rights of the Filipinos. First, a stable
form of government must be established in the
-.place of the one overthrown by us, but it will bo
easy to establish this stable government when
(the Filipinos know that it Is to be their govern
ment. There would be Insurrection now in Cuba
if we had treated the Cubans as we have treated
the Filipinos; there would now be peace in the
Philippines if we had treated the Filipinos as we
have treated the Cubans. We have not scrupulous
ly observed the promise made to the Cubans, and
yet the, confidence which the Cubans have felt In .
ultimate independence has led them to submit
even when our demands have seemed unreasonable
and unjust. - .
Independence is the desire and the, right
of tho Filipinos. If wo denied them inde
pendence and gave them full citizenship, in our
government it might possibly be satisfactory to
them, althpugh it would bo dangerous to us, but
tho republican leaders do not promise them citi
zenship in this government as a substitute for an
independent government of their own. The Fili
pinos are not enjoying I he guarantees of our con
stitution; they are enduring a carpet bag govern
ment such as tho American people would not sub
mit to. We are not giving the Filipinos American
liberty, American Institutions or an American con
stitution. Wo are giving them an arbitrary and
despotic government, for a government Imposed oy
force and administered according to foreign ideas
is always despotic, no matter how benevolent
may bo the purpose of those who administer It.
In proposing protection from outside interfer
ence the democrats offer to the Philippine republic
the same guardianship which has been given to
the republics of Central and South America, a
guardianship that giVcs to the smaller republics
the protection of our strength without making
them the victims of our greed. For seventy-five
years the Monroo doctrine has been a bulwark to
tho independent governments which have sprung
up to the south pf us,. It has not involved us In
any considerable expense but.it has beeivlnimenae
ly valuable both to the wardsland to the guardiari.
When England recently asserted the right to fix
arbitrarily the boundary lino between her South
American possessions and Venezuela, It only re
quired a firm, but friendly warning from the
United States to prevent a conflict and secure
equity and justice for Venezuela.
No nation in Europe would wage war against
the United States in order to secure the Philippine
Islands, and it is doubtful if any of the leading
nations of Europe would be willing to allow any
other European nation to own the Philippine isl
ands. The republicans said that it would cost us an
enormous sum of money to extend the Monroe
Doctrine to the Philippine Islands. It has already
cost us an immense sum to attempt to assert our
own authority in those islands. Against the re
publican prophecy we place republican history;
against the ungrounded fear of expense we place
the money already expended. When we try to gov
ern the Filipinos against their will and tax them
without representation, they fight us, and we have
found that they are able to force us to vast ex
penditures. If, on the other hand, we protect them
from outside Interference, they fight the nation
which attacks them instead of fighting us, and If
they can give other nations as much trouble as
they have given us they will not requJre much help
from us to maintain their independence.
The democratic position is not only sound,
Lut it is unassailable; it rests upon the Declara
tion of "Independence; it is in harmony with the
constitution and the bill of rights. Now that the
party can choose tho battle ground, let it challenge
tbo republicans to attack the conscience and the
moral sentiment of the people as well as the prin
ciples of free government. If the democrats will
present a united front on this issue an Issue upon
which the Kansas City convention was unanimous
rthere Is hope of a victory, that will not only
reinstate the democratic party, but restore the gov
ernment to its old foundations .and the nation to
that 'high position among the nations to which
lis ideas and its ideals have entitled it
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