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The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923, October 18, 1912, Image 1

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The Commonerc
VOL. 12, NO. 41
Lincoln, Nebraska, October 18, 1912
Whole Number 613
Every Commoner reader is asked to send to this office as
soon as possible the name of every republican or member of
any party other than democratic who has expressed an inten
tion of voting for Governor Wilson. Send also the name of
every republican whom you have reason to believe is inclined to
vote for Wilson. Send also the names of any democrats who are
known to be opposed to Governor Wilson.
Tlio trust question is not only a part of the
tariff question but its prominence as an issue
has been increased by tho position taken by Mr.
Roosevelt and still further emphasized by tho
disclosures that have been made n regard to
campaign contributions. It has been known for
years tp those acquainted, with the inner work
ings of politics that the protected interests have
long made a practice of furnishing the funda
necessary to elect to the seriate and house the
champions of the protected interests. But the
people have not until recently discovered tho
deep interest taken by trust magnates in presi
dential elections. When Mr. Sheldon testified
that 73 per cent of Mr. Roosevelt's campaign
fund in 1904 came from corporations a source
now closed by criminal statute and when the
testimony further showed that four men, Mr.
Frick, who was- largely interested in the steel
trust, Mr. Archbold, a leading official of tho
Standard Oil trust, J. Pierpont Morgan, the mas
ter mind of many trusts, and Mr., Gould, the rail
way magnate, had given $100,000 apiece to the
Roosevelt campaign fund, in addition to the
$60,000 afterwards added by Morgan and tho
$250,000 raised by Harriman, the public stood
aghast at the liberality displayed by these very
"practical" men. No disclaimer that may be put
forward by these, men will weigh with the
public; their chant about disinterested patriot
ism onty adds Insult to the Injury they do the
public in purchasing immunity for their con
scienceless practices. We have the testimony of
some of these men that they expected their con
tributions to be appreciated, and those who deny
expectations do not raise their reputations for
candor. Mr. Roosevelt and Mr. Taft have been
good to the trusts; Mr. Roosevelt in not prose
cuting any considerable number of them, and
Mr. Taft in converting prosecutions into a farce
by the so-called dissolutions consented to.
The positions taken by tho three parties aro
now, or ought to be, clearly understood, and it
is difficult to see how any fair minded man can
fail to indorse the democratic position. Mr.
Taft considers that tho present anti-trust law
is sufficient, and declares himself ready to en
force it. If we can judgo the futuro by the past
tho enforcement will bo more like comic opera
than liko serious criminal procedure. Dissolu
tion of tho trusts in such a way as not to change
the management of the new organizations is not
dissolution at all, and to so dissolye them as to
raise the price of the stock stamps tho prosecu
tion as a fraud. In addition to tho immediate
pecuniary advantage obtained from tho adminis
tration's actions the trusts secured a bill of
health. What would the public think of a
sheriff who, instead of taking a stolen horse
from a thief and putting the thief In jail, re
turned the horse, gave the thief a colt to go with
tho horse, and then sent him out to steal again,
fortified by certificate of character?
Mr. Taft has also indorsed tho action of the
supreme court In legislating the word "un
reasonable" into the anti-trust law, thus paralyz
ing it as a criminal statute. Mr. Taft does this,
all the time insisting that he is trying to prevent
monopoly. Surely no relief can be expected
from him or his policy on the trust question!
Mr. Roosevelt does not oven commend the
criminal prosecution of trusts, but joins Mr. Taft
in eulogizing the supreme court for amending
the anti-trust law in the interest of the trusts.
Mr. Roosevelt even goes further than Mr. Taft
does in this respect, for he justifies "judicial
legislation" and the "invasion" by the supreme
court of tho domain of congress. But the most
striking feature of Mr. Roosevelt's position la
that he is in favor of regarding the trust as an
economic development and would permit it to
exist. He even condemns the democrats for try
ing to prevent the creation of trusts; ho saya
that the democrats aro using worn oufc methods
unsuited to present conditions. His policy contem
plates not only the existence but the growth of
trusts. They are to be allow-d to grow and grow,
combine and combine, merge and merge, until,
following this course to its logical conclusion, a
few trust magnates control our Industrial sys
tem and the masses receive their daily bread
from the hands of these few. Ho protests, of
course, that the trusts must be regulated, but
he does not want the states to regulate, nor does
he desire regulation by congress or by the
courts. He wou'd put the regulation in the
hands of a bureau to be appointed by the presi
dent, and then he offers himself as the only man
who can be trusted to administer the system.
And ho is so anxious that the system shall bo
administered wisely that ho scorns willing to
occupy tho Whl to IIouso Indefinitely as a guaran
tee against an inferior occupant. No landlord
system in tho old world has been capablo of
exerting tho harmful influonco upon tenants that
his trust system would exert upon the whole
people It would bo a despotism without one
palliating feature not only an Industrial des
potism but ono that would lend Itself to political
despotism. An ambiftous man could desire
nothing more to his purposo than such a trust
system as Mr. Roosevelt 'desires to construct
A president In charge of a bureau which would,
In turn, have charge of tho trusts could by
threats coerce every trust magnato Into support
ing him for renomlnatlon and election, and,
through tho trust magnates, tho employes. We
already know how employes can bo robbed of
their citizenship by tho threat of starvation, but
what wo have seen would be small compared
with what wo might expect under Mr. Roose
velt's system.
Mr. Roosevelt's platform and his speeches
ought to put the public on notice that the
system proposed by the ox-president la not in
tended for the benefit of tho people, but if any
thing wore lacking to convince tho paopl that
theRoosevelt scheme is in tho interest of the trust
magnates, Mr. Perkins' support of Mr. Roose
velt ought to leave no doubt upon the subject.
Mr. Roosevelt innocently informs tho public that
Mr. Perkins' support of him Is due to his (Mr.
Perkins') interest in his (Mr. Perkins') chil
dren. But does it not occur to tho average man
that Mr. Perkins' children, who will como into
tho possession of trust stock by inheritance,
stand In a different class from tho children of
those who aro the victims of the trusts? Is It
not worth while for other parents to bo In
terested in their children? Not ono child In a
thousand will inherit trust stock, but all need
protection from tho extortion practised by trusU
and from tho menaco of trust domination.
Governor Wilson, has In his speeches clearly
outlined the democratic position. He is setting
forth the democratic remedy and drawing the
lino between business on a large scale, whlcb
Is entirely legitimate, and private monopoly,
which is wholly wrong. Tho democratic plat
form has in four campaigns declared a private
monopoly to bo indefensible and intolerable, and
Mr. Wilson has ably maintained the democratic
position. Ho believes, as our party has re
peatedly declared, that all existing monopolies
should be dissolved and that no new monopo
lies should be allowed to grow up. Ho lays the
axe at the root of tho tree and seeks the resto
ration of competition, the only alternative to
government ownership. The government can
regulate corporations engaged In legitimate
business, but it can not regulate private mo
nopolies the monopolies regulate the goveru-
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