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The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923, October 04, 1912, Image 1

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The Commoner,
. VOL. 12, NO. 39
Lincoln, Nebraska, October 4, 1912
Whole Number 611
One Democratic County Committee Sends 1274 New Commoner Readers
Marion Webb, Clay Center, Kan. I am handing you today by this mail, under separate cover, a list of 1,271 campaign subscribe to The
Commoner secured by the democratic county central committee of this county. I trust you will get The Commoner to tlie.se people at tho
very earliest possiblo moment.
Solomon says that the borrower is servant
unto the lender. If this applies to one who
borrows ideas, Mr. Roosevelt does not recognize
the obligation, for he has not only borrowed
from the democratic party as few public men
have borrowed from an opposing party, but ho
has shown himself strangely ungrateful for the
Ideas taken. Of course, it will not be contended
that an idea can bo patented it is the only thing
in fact that is not subject to monopoly. Even
Mr. Perkins, with all his fondness for the trust,
would not contend that a monopoly in ideas
could bo formed and made subject to regula
tion by a bureau appointed by the president.
Mr. Roosevelt, however, has won his popu
larity by the advocacy of things previously advo
cated by the democrats, and still he is all the
while assailing the democrats bitterly and has
shown toward them a hostility that is hard to
To show the extent of his borrowing, lot mo
enumerate some of the things which he now
advocates that were advocated by the demo
crats at an earlier date.
Take his paramount issue of the present cam
paign, namely, tho rule oftho people. The plat
form adopted by the democratic national con
vention at Denver four years ago contained the
" 'Shall the People Rule' is the overwhelming
issue which manifests itself in all the questions
now under discussion."
Here is the very phrase which ho employs, and
it is not only declared to be an issue, but the
overwhelming issue. It was dwelt upon by the
candidates, and by other speakers during the
campaign, so that Mr. Roosevelt, then presi
dent, may be assumed to have had notice of
it. He not only refused to admit then that it
was the paramount issue, but he displayed extra
ordinary activity in urging upon the country Mr.
Taft, whom he has since declared to be the agent
of bosses, and the enemy of popular govern
ment. It would seem that he ought to make some
slight acknowledgement of his indebtedness to
the democratic party for suggesting this issue
to him. At least, he might put tho issue in
quotation marks.
He is now advocating tho direct election of
senators, but if ho ever expressed himself in
favor of this reform earlier than two years ago,
tho fact has escaped my observation, and I have
not only watched carefully, but waited anxiously,
for some favorable expression from him.
The democratic party began the fight for the
popular election of senators twenty years ago
this summer, when a democratic house of repre
sentatives at Washington passed, for the first
time, a resolution submitting tho necessary
amendment. Since that time, a similar resolu
tion has been passed by tho house in five other
congresses, first, in 1894 by another democratic
house; then,, after two congresses had elapsed,
by three republican houses, and last, by tho
present democratic house. During the twenty
years, the reform has been indorsed in throe
democratic platforms, the platforms of 1900,
1904 and 1908r-and-It-haB been indorsed by tho
legislatures of nearly two-thirds of the states.
Mr. Roosevelt must have known of tho effort
which was being made by the people to securo
tho popular election of sonators, and yet ho
took no part in the fight. During this time ho
was president for seven and one-half years, and
it is quite certain that a ringing message from
him would have brought victory to tho people's
cause, but no message came. Fouf years ago
the convention which he controlled and which
nominated Mr. Taft rejected, by a vote of seven
to one, a resolution Indorsing this reform. Still
Mr Roosevelt did not say anything; he neither
rebuked the republican convention nor indorsed
tho strong plank which was included in tho Den
ver platform. Even Mr. Taft went so far during
the campaign of 1908 as to say that PER
SONALLY he was INCLINED to favor the popu
lar election of senators by tho people, but Mr.
Roosevelt did not even indicate an Intention in
that direction. Now, when tho reform is practi
cally secured the amendment being beforo tho
states for ratification he declares himself in
favor of It. Would It not bo fair for him to
indicate in some way his appreciation ofc the
long continued fight waged by the democrats In
behalf of this reform before ho espoused It?
Mr. Roosevelt Is In favor of an income tax.
How long since? His first indorsement of it
was during his second term, and then it was
suggested as a means of limiting swollen for
tunes and not as a means, of raising revenue.
The democratic party Included an income tax
provision in the Wilson law of 1894. When this
provision was declared unconstitutional by tho
supreme court, by a majority of one, the demo
cratic party renewed the fight and has contended
for tho income tax in three national campaigns.
In 1908, the democratic platform demanded the
submission of an amendment specifically autho
rizing an Income tax the very amendment now
before the states for ratification. Mr. Roose
velt's candidate, Mr. Taft, declared during tho
campaign that an amendment was not necessary,
and Mr. Roosevelt never made any argument in
favor of the amendment or in favor of the
principle embodied in it. The amendment has
now been ratified by thirty-four states, but, so
far as I know, Mr. Roosevelt has never made a
speech in favor of its ratification, nor, since tho
, submission of the amendment, made a speech
urging an income tax as a part of our fiscal
system. It would not require any great stretch
of generosity on his part to credit the democratic
party with priority In the advocacy of this
Mr. Roosevelt is now an advocato of railroad
regulation. When did ho commenco? Tho
democratic party in Its platforms of 1896, 1900
and 1904, demanded an extension of the powers
of the interstate commerce commission. Up to
1904, Mr. Roosevelt novcr discussed the subject
of railroad regulation officially or In public
speech, so far an I have been able to find. Al
though nominated without opposition In tho con
vention of 3 904, Ills platform contained no
promise of railroad regulation. By its attitude
on tho railroad question, tho democratc party
alienated the support of thoBo railway officials
who counted themselves democrats, and Mr.
Roosevelt, both in 1900 when he was a candl-
date for vice president and In 1904, when ho wag
a candidate for prealdcnt, had the benefit of tho
support of thoso ox-democrats. It was In 1904
that he wrote his famous letter to Mr. Harrlman,
and in tho state of New York.proKod by tho
campaign fund that Mr. Harrlman raised.
When, after 1904, Mr. Roosovelttook up tho
subject of railroad regulation, ho found moro
hearty support among the democrats In tho scnato
and house than among the republicans, so that
ho has reason to know that tho democratic party
has for a long time planted itself boldly upon
the people's side on the subject of railroad
Under the circumstances, wo might expect
some complimentary reference to our party's
attitude instead of anathemas.
On tho subject of publicity as to campaign
contributions, ho has not only adopted the demo
cratic position but he has been cpmpclled to turn
a complete somersault in order to do so. In
1908, the democratic platform demanded tho
publication, before election, of tho names of
Individual contributors and the amounts con
tributed. Mr. Roosevelt at that time Indorsed
Mr. Taft's contention that the publication should
bo deferred until after the election, and even
went so far as to give reasons for believing that
it would be improper to make tho publication
beforo tho election. Two years later ho declared
in favor of publicity, before and after tho elec
tion, landing on the democratic side shortly bo
fore the law was enacted carrying out the demo
cratic platform on this subject. Here, surely,
ho ought to praise the democratic party for tho
pioneer work it has done in purifying politics.
Here are a few of the things which bear tho
democratic brand, and with all of his experience
on tho plains, he will not bo able to "work tho
brand over" so as to make It look like "T. R."
Governor Wilson's brave act, made certain,
if it did not secure, tho nomination of Congress
man Hughes as a candidate for the United
States senate. Mr. Hughes is one of tho best
progressives in congress. His nomination gives
New Jersey a chance to elect as a senator a man
who will in every way bo a worthy representa
tive. Martlno and Hughes will make a splendid
President Taft and ex-President Roosevelt
can find sufficient consolation in tho fact that
thoy will defeat each other and revengo is
said to bo sweet.

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