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P7 Tf n nc v Commoner. -.. JL l&C WILLIAM J. BRYAN, EDITOR AND PROPRIETOR VOL. 10, NO. 10 Lincoln, Nebraska, March 18, 1910 Whole Number 478 Constructive Legislation One newspaper writer complains that demo crats do not advocate any "constructive legisla tion;" that their energies are devoted to criti cism of republican administration. It may bo that that depends upon what one calls "con structive legislation." Just now it would seem that the most important service that a political party may render to the people is to aid in the prevention of destructive legislation as contem plated in the republican program. And it may be said that the very prevention of this form of legislation, involving as it does the life 'of the republic, is the highest form of constructive legislation. The special interests have, under the repub lican party, become so thoroughly entrenched in power in this government that the most pains taking, patriotic effort will be required before they are dislodged. Mr. Taft's national incor poration plan would destroy our system of gov ernment, leaving the states mere helpless prov inces .and the people subject to the whims of corporation magnates; the railroad bill with its court 6f commerce would centralize railroad authority at Washington, making it inconvenient for shippers to make effective protest; the ship .subsidy bill would take from the pockets of the many ror tue benefit of the few; the central DanK would vest absolute control over the mon ey of the country in the hands of a coterie of ;men; the republican party's tariff policy would 'continue the system of "seeking to tax the peo ple ricii" wntcn, in reality, is a tax upon con sumption lor the benefit'.of generous contribu tors to republican campaign funds. Does the democratic party wage war against federal incorporation, insisting that the rights "of state government, as Well as the rights sur rendered to the federal government, shall be .preserved intact? Does it insist that the state's -authority over corporations shall be retained for the benefit of the people whom corporations 'are presumed to serve? Does it object to a . system of railroad law that would centralize authority over railroads at a point practically inaccessible to the shipper? Does it" object to ship subsidy or any other form of subsidy be ' cause "equal rights to all and special privileges to none" provides the rule for the public ser ' vant? Does it object to the central bank be cause to give such an institution life would give its managers a power over the people too great for human beings to have? Does it insist upon a tariff revision made downward for the consumers and by the consumers? Does it fight Aldrlchism and Cannonism in the capital build ing, Taftism in the White House, Ballingerism in the departments? Does it insist that the house of representatives shall bo restored to its representative position so that it shall voice, in some degree, the will of the people? Does it insist upon the election of senators by the peo ple rather than by the special interests? Does it demand the enforcement of the criminal CONTENTS CONSTRUCTIVE LEGISLATION . ' THAT ULTIMATUM THEY ARE THE PARTY TROUBLE IN NEW YORK INCOME TAX REJECTED IN VIRGINIA MR. BRYAN'S WORK IN SOUTH AMERICA DEMOCRATIC LITERATURE LABOR TROUBLES WHERE THE OLD SHIP IS LEAKING . CURRENT TOPICS HOME DEPARTMENT WHETHER COMMON OR NOT NEWS OP THE WEEK WASHINGTON NEWS clauso of tho anti-Sherman law against tho chief magnates of tho trusts, requiring those per sistent violators of law to wear tho prison stripes? Does it stand for tho restoration of this government as tho fathers intended to tho position of a government of, by, and for tho people, rather than a government of, by, and for the trusts? If the democratic party does stand for theso things, if its platforms are written in unmis takable terms and its candidates are of such character that they may reasonably be trusted to do the people's will, then the democratic party has a great constructive policy. Some men may sneer when they are told that the republican party has gone so far in Its plutocratic policy that It has actually imperiled popular government. But more and moro thoughtful men are coming to recognize this as a solemn fact. "But soberly It is now no child's play to save the principles of Jefferson from total overthrow in this nation." Tho democratic party has tho fundamental principles essential to this great work of salvation. If it shall remain true to those principles, true to the spirit in which Jefferson and Jackson served the public inter ests, it will be given the task of restoring the American nation, and the opportunity to dedi cate it anew to the real service of the people. THEY ARE "THE PARTY" . The Sioux City (Iowa) Journal (rep.) says: "The insurgent Washington correspondents tell us that the president has finally 'lined up with .'Aldrich and Cannon.' That is misleading. Ho has simply stayed lined up with the party ma jority with the party organization that has all along accepted his leadership and defended, tho record of the party. The only recent change in the situation is the disclosure that the in surgents or some of theiri have definitely depided not to co-operate with, tho party ma jority in securing the adoption of a single item of the administration program. Will the Taft leadership mean opposition to tho insurgents? It will inevitably not because Taft so wills it or the organization so wills it, but because the .insurgents so will it." . The Sioux City Journal knows whereof It speaks. Mr. Taft is simply "staying with tho party" when he lines up with Aldrich and Can non. Aldrlchism, Cannonism or Taftism Is re publican partylsm. Those republicans who are in earnest and are anxious to accomplish some thing for popular government will dp well to recognize the synonymity between - the terms Aldrlchism, Cannonism, Taftism. They will do well to understand that they are engaged in child's play when they denounce Aldrlchism and Cannonism while professing undying devotion to Taftism. TROUBLE IN NEW YORK Senator Elihu Root acting, it Is presumed, for Mr. Taft took what the dispatches called "active charge of the critical situation In the republican party in New York state." He wired to the state senators demanding that Mr. Hlnman be chosen as president pro tem of tho senate . to succeed Mr. Allds, who is just now under a . cloud. Mr. Root made it plain that Governor Hughes was with him in this demand. Tho senators promptly ignored Messrs. Taft, Root and Hughes and proceeded to the election of their own candidate. There will be a lively scramble for the mantle of the late Thomas Collier Piatt. But Mr. Elihu Root is not the heir apparent. TIME FOR A CHANGE Nelson A. Aldrich, admittedly the leader of the republican party, says that the government ' should be conducted for $300,000,000 less each year than is now expended under republican ad ministration. This is a good thing to show to your- republican neighbor. It may lead him to make investigation all along the line, in which event he will probably conclude that tho time has come for a change in the administration of national affairs. That Ultimatum Mr. Bryan's Commoner reprints from tho In dianapolis News what is called tho "Insurgent Ultimatum." And this is tho ultimatum: "Either tho insurgents of today are tho repub lican party of tomorrow or else when that to morrow comes there will bo no republican party." Tho terms are rather hard. In sub stance It is declared that the insurgents will rule or they will ruin. It is something now in public affairs to bo brought up standing in so harsh a manner. If tho minority Is not permit ted to govern tho majority, in the open field there will be no republican majority. That Is to say, if the republican party does not hustlo to get down the polo tho democratic party will bo placed In the saddle Something like that happened In 1892, but tho democratic party was unhorsed at the first opportunity. Sioux City, Iowa, Journal, (Rep.) Tho Indianapolis Nows' editorial was not necessarily a threat. It was moro in tho naturo of prophecy. If all of the members of con gress, who have shown signs of insurgency, de serted the party that of itself would not neces sarily bring fulfillment to the prophecy, and if all of the congressmen who havo shown signs of insurgency remained faithful to the party organization, regardless of tho party platform, that fact would not necessarily interfere with .the prophecy's fulfillment. Tho force that .makes and unmakes political parties is among .the non-officeholding class and the vote that swings the pendelum first one way and then another is likely to bo Influenced by the very conditions described by the Indianapolis News. It Is an insult to the intelligence of tho Amer ican people to say that they are unmindful of the danger to popular government that is in, volvod in the present day republican program. .It Is true thatjpronhecy, so far as tho republican party is concerned, has not always been safe. Repeatedly that party has been given power In the face of conditions that to the minds of many thoughtful men made such a result extremely dangerous to the well being of American gov ernment. Repeatedly that party has won power through false pretenses, through tho manipula tion of the ballot, through the use of enormous campaign funds provided by special Interests, and many men have wondered why the people trusted the party. During the last presidential campaign the republican candidates were no toriously supported by tho trusts. Republican managers refused to print the list of the con tributions to their presidential campaign fund made through the congressional committee. Only a few days prior to the election, John D. Rockefeller himself made public announcement that the republican candidate was hiB choice. The people, then praying for relief on the tariff question, trusted the republican party's promise that the tariff would be revised. After tho election tho party revised the tariff upward and then explained to a betrayed people that it did not specifically promise to revise the tariff downward. The Sioux City Journal need not be 'concerned by threats as to what a coterie of individuals may do. Insurgent .Norris of Nebraska may protest against Cannon in the caucus and then vote for him in the end. Insurgent Hayes of California may become frightened at the party whip and rush to the cover of the White House. Insurgent Murdock of Kansas may become alarmed lest by his protest against Cannonism and Aldrlchism he is helping to defeat the re publican party, but a betrayed people that are not concerned In the discipline or the preserva tion of the party max not follow weak-kneed statesmen in their mad flight beneath the crack ,of the party whip. Sometimes It happens with parties that they have so imposed upon the patience of the people that even their best and .' truest reformers are helpless to save. It might be that the insurgents of today would become the republican party of tomorrow and yet the republican party would go down to defeat. The Journal refers briefly to democratic history. Does it not remember that in 1896 the demo- J JMifriitdtiMttifiMnr'liliiin iK tiUJi fell rfnfo 'JJJrtiVfUH 00 wi i. h,u aaAka.vJu'