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WILLIAM J. BRYAN, EDITOR AND PROPRIETOR
VOL. 13, NO. 3
Lincoln, Nebraska, January 24, 1913
Whole Number 627
"The Commoner and the Common People"
Under the headline, "The Commoner and the Common People,
the Nashville Tennessean prints the following editorial:
Mr. Bryan's paper, The Commoner, was started twelve years
ago, and in the first issue appeared this declaration:
"The Commoner will be satisfied if, by fidelity to the common
people, it proves its right to the name which has been chosen."
At the beginning of each year this statement has been repro
duced, and we imagine that a great majority of the readers agree
that the paper has proved its right to the name it bears, for if there
is a public journal in America free and unhampered, and in thor
ough sympathy with the pejple, that journal is The Commoner.
In the last issue this was added to the annual announcement:
"It is not for the editor to say whether The Commoner has proved
its right to the name it bears. Those who have habitually read this
publication are to be the judges. It is sufficient for the editor of
The Commoner to .know and perhaps pardonable for him to say
that if The Commoner has made mistakes they have not been mis
takes of the heart; that -its purpose has ever been to stand for the
public interests and to make the great political party with which it
affiliates of practical service to the people, to the end that a govern
ment erected, as our government was, in 'liberty's unclouded blaze,'
shall be in truth what the fathers intended it should be government
-by an'.for the people."
" Mr. "Bryan and his Commoner have done great woilHF6i;?tfi$
V people,. The Commoner has proved its right to the name it bears,
and Mr. Bryan has- demonstrated his capacity and worth as a great
The Commoner has very materially aided its owner in dissemi
nating the principles of democracy and free government throughout
the land, and has made Mr. Bryan stronger than he would have
been without its aid, because of the widespread publicity given his
ideas and contentions.
That paper has been a convenient medium through which Mr.
Bryan has been enabled to effectively reply to unjust criticism and
slanderous assault upon him, and to point the way for those who be
lieve in a government of, by, and for the people.
Mr. Bryan hates corrupt ring rule wherever it may exist, and
he never hesitates to fight it. Ho has fought relentlessly Sullivan
of Illinois, Guffey of Pennsylvania, and Murphy of Nov York, and
his fight against such bosses has been effective. They are passing
from the scene of action.
Cordially supported by the Nebraskan, Governor Sulzcr of
New York, replying to an inquiry as to what part Boss Murphy
would be allowed to take in the administration of state affairs, said:
"I am the democratic leader of tho state; the pepple decreed it
at the polls, and I stand on their verdict, I can't succeed in doing
what I want to do as governor unless I am the democratic leader.
If any democrat in the state challenges that leadership, let him come
out in the open, and the people will decide. ' '
Mr. Bryan has given us all courage, as he gave Governor Sulzer
"courage to resist the encroachments of an imol$tit')Scfk1ffor when
he drove out thd agents of special interests from the Baltimore con
vention and made it possible to have a democratic nominee and a
platform to suit the people, he gave increased hope to the people
and renewed courage to those who represent the people.
Special Interests Active
The. Commoner is in receipt of reports from
various state capitals calling attention to the
activity of franchise-holding corporations. ,A
word of warning is therefore offered to demb-
crats in official positions.
' . Truth is self-evident; the only trouble is that
so many persons in public life are blinded either
' by their own interests or by the , interests of
those whom they desire to aid. As a result,
authority is misused, power is embezzled.
Whenever a party wins a victory, it is put on
trial; if it lives up to its responsibilities, it
strengthens itself and prolongs its tenure; if it
is false to its trust, it is repudiated. The special
interests are laying siege to every governor--democratic
and republican they are attempting
to lead astray every approachable state senator
and representative. The constituents must be
on guard constantly; they must kedp in com
munication with their representatives; they
must let their public servants know that they
are being watched. "Equal rights to all and
special privileges to none" is a democratic doc
trine, applicable in nation, in Btate, in county
and in city. No democrat deserves to bo trusted
by the people who favors special interests at the
expense of the pepple. If the democratic party
will only keep its platform pledges, it ought to
stay in power for a generation. If it fails, tho
wrath of a disappointed people will fall upon
those responsible for the failure. As it is better
to prevent failure than to punish those respon
sible for it, let every democrat make it his duty
to spur his representatives up to the discharge
of the duties devolving upon them.
SPECIAL INTERESTS ACTIVE
WHY NOT CONDEMN ROOT?
WOODROW WILSON AND BIG BUSINESS
THE LAND WHERE STRIKES ARE
A LEADER UNAFRAID
LIMITING SHIPMENTS OF LIQUOR
SUBSTITUTES FOR PERSONAL
NEWS OF THE WEEK
A STRANGE OBJECTION
Mr. A. B. Hepburn, chairman of the board of
the Chase National bank of Now York, says that
the guarantee of deposits would make the good
bankers responsible for the actions of bad bank
ers. That is a strange objection to come from a
banker who requires personal security and does
not hesitate to compel the surety to pay the debt
of his principal.
WHEN STATE'S RIGHTS END
In tho opinion of somo democratic statesmen
state's rights end when a brewery or distillery
wants to send its product into another state.
Strange what influence concentrated wealth can
exert, no matter how base the use, to which it
Is put! But the clock is ticking soon the hour
will strike and the liquor lobby will bo driven
from the capitol.
Why Not Condemn Root?
Tho New York Herald, spokesman for th
special interests, complains because of Wood
row Wilson's remarks to tho business men at
Chicago. Tho Herald quotes from a number of
newspapers to show that Mr. Wilson's state
ments aro regarded as being extremely radical.
fho Herald prints a cartoon showing Governor
Wilson "running amuck" with Theodore Roose
velt perched in a tree, tho cartoon being labeled,
"Even Roosevelt Takes to tho Tall Timber."
The Herald is simply trying to frighten itself.
Governor Wilson has said nothing to alarm any
honest business man. If tho editor deslros to
find something to give him reason for becoming
Indignant let him read tho address delivered
by EHhu Root (the New York senator whom tho
Herald delights to honor) before the New York
chamber of commerce, November 21, In that
address Senator Root said:
"There are hundreds of thousands of people
outside tho groat industrial communities who
think you are a den of thieves; there are hun
dreds of thousands of people who think that
the manufacturers of the country are no better
than a set of confidence men."
Why not answer Senator Root's arraignment
before displaying such great concern over Gov
ernor Wilson's moderate statements?
SPEAKING OF EFFRONTERY
Speaking of effrontery, what about the official
of the Waltham Watch company who admits
that the same watch which sells for ?32.50 in
America retails at $10 in the Balkan states and
still asks for tariff protection? St. Louis Republic.
EQUALITY BEFORE THE LAW
The Rockefeller case, coming Immediately
after the conviction of the labor leaders, puts
the strength of our government to the test. It
has shown that it can punish wage-earners when
convicted of lawlessness can it compel a great
financier to respect the law? The Importance of
Rockefeller's testimony becomes an immaterial
question tho Issue now Is whether a man can
become rich enough to defy congress.