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The commoner. [volume] (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923, July 01, 1915, Image 15

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/46032385/1915-07-01/ed-1/seq-15/

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JOIiT, -1915' ''V
The Commoner
son to inquire jwhether ho "is disinterested", for
the judge,- by-universal custom, Is prohibited
fronu acting in:a case in which he has a personal
or pecuniary interest.- I am sure you will agree
with me that the ;influehce of the journalist will
he increased iinf proportion aa he Wins public con
fidence; the journalist who conceals' a selfish in
terest while ne -advises the public to his own
profit--such a journalist violates the' sense -of
justice which' God' has-placed in every humau
heart; j --1
Another suggestion: In line with What'! have
said it seems reasonable to suppose that the
signing of editorials and of news reports would
contribute -both to accuracy- and td the' reputa
tion of the writers. -'It is one of the injustices of
the present- system that the men who fur hisb the
literary abilitythe editorial writers and news
paper correspondents often live in obscurity,
while the corporation from which they draw pay
reaps an unfair profit from their genius.
The signature' Of the Writer would serve as a
sort of Copyright &hd give to the man of ability
a proprietor's interest in his own work, besides
giving to the ' Writer's words the additional
weight 'that character adds. The identifying of
the journalist 'with'' nis work would also raise
the ideals of newspaper' life; a man who acts in the
open is more apt to be careful and conscientious
than one who acts' in the darlc. The' journalistic
ideal will not be. what ,it ought to be until the
editor asserts the Tight to make his utterances
represent' his owii 'conscience and Judgmetit. The
man Who boasts' 'that he can write' oh one side of
a question as well as o'ri the other,'" ought not to
have influence on either side.' The citizen can
not afford td say ttia'f which he does not believe,
whether he sayVit'wUh 'his voice or' with hi
pen'; and journalism' can not' afford to require
a surrender bf; 'the' ideals 6f citizenship.
Just one other, suggestion. There s a, marked
tendency towafjcTso.-ca'jled, independence in our
large papers, . This, independence is, usually de
fended on the '.grQu?id of a' superior- patriotism.
The reason, generally given by the, so-called in
dependent journa'list 'for' .not' making . Jiis, paper
a "party prga'n'' is.tnat he .des'lr tp.be free o
tke th'pponliiclJL public, interest demands,
in some' cases hisclaim to, independence may be
asserted with' pincery, ,b,ut, Jike all good things,
it is sometimes made a, cloak ipr ulterior pur
poses. While party action is not always, con
trolled by party affiliation, still there are a comparatively-few.
citizens wbo do not lean to one
side or the other, of 'the line that divides .Treat
parties and he,', ,man , who reapyv thinks
that' he can wrfte n. public, questions without
bias is, more, (ap,t( jto .jiieceive himsejf, tjian, those
wJio read What he says.
If the proprietor of a. newspaper- desires to
make his paper really independent, ho will, I
thinks -find, 4t .necessary to make' it bi-partisan
rather ,than, nonpartisan; -that' is, ho will -find
it better to present BOTH sides than to attempt
to maintain arposition of neutrality .between the
parties. I have, for some years been -hoping that
some large newspaper would make the experi
ment of givjng hoth sides of each political ques
tion in editorials -written and signed by repre
sentatives of the various parties. For. instance,
instead of feeding, -his readers with a. political
salad, .made up of principles and policies select
ed by him from the. different parties, he. might
try .the plan of ( presenting both sides -so that his
readers, can make, the selection, themselves. I
believe that such -.a.plan would prove acceptable
to the readers, if, as I contend, the general pub
lic has, confidence' in -. its ability to weigh argu
ments and to.jraake. its own decisions upon mat
tors of government, . ..'
T. feel thatthis is the proper placo and an op
portune time for these observations and- T have
such faith in 'the .final triumph of all that ia true
that 'I submit them with confidence to -the' dis
criminating public which is represented here. I
beg you to' take them . in the spirit in which I
nfCer them;' reject' them it they do not commend
themselves toyou; if' you approve ofthem, carry
them with y6u-to the" wide constituency to which
your journals'-speak. ' '' '''
Allow me', .iiTcbncluslon, ib express. my grati
fication at the honor which haa,' been 'bestowed
upon Guatemala' in the selection" of one of hci
distinguished citizens ds the head of this Intei-
tidnai Press 'organization. 1 remember with
Pleasure that Cfaatemala was .the second nation
to endorse ttie'pedbe plan which, lein Qft erea
to all alike, has'nbw been accepted yy thirty a
tions 'representing three-fourths of the popula
tion of the world. 'Guatemala wua'nttt only tnc
second of the 'nations to sign ttils 1Jln!fttI:
treaty 'With uVbut was the first to exchange m
"annro11111 ls not a lar ". but
ii r r s alTaIrs than it has dono under the
reign of force. If you will turn back toTo Look
drawn LT11 a that Bons have bedn
drawn from tho weak rather than tho s(ronr
For instance, Solomon asks us to consider vn0
McV"On ??eP0Wer.fuA beaat' but a th,y insect-
Go to the ant thou sluggard, considor
dSrTA and b 7!80-" And cStat. when ho
If ?.tJ eXpf4GSS ,lis solicitude for his people,
said How often would I have gathered thy
ch ldren together even as a hen gathers her
chickens under her wing, and ye would ot."
When the sword, the emblem of war, Is beaten
into the plowshare, the emblem of peaceful pro
auction, then the small nation can enter into
honorable rivalry with the great nations, for
then the rivalry will not be in suppression and
destruction but to see who can hold highest tho
torch that lights tho way for all.
(Abstract of address delivered by William
Jennings Bryan, at tho Panama Pacific Interna
tional Exposition before the International Con
ference of Women Workers to Promote Perma
nent Peace, July 7th, 1915.)
When a hatibn is at war it has a right to
cbmmand the support of all its citizens, and no
one need doubt that, in such aii emergency, our
people would give such support with loyalty and
unanimity. Tho very fact that this support would
be demanded and given makes it the more im
perative that 'the people shall freely express
themselves on questions at issue BE
FORE a state of 'Var is reached.
It is not only the privilege but the duty of tho
people to speak while they can speak with pro
priety. The government acts for all the people
and in a republic' it may always be assumed that
the executive carries out what he believes to be
the will of the people in the case o'f our pres
ent executive no one who knows him will for a
moment doubt his desire tb give true expression
to the wishes of his Constituents.
But how shall the wishes of his constituents
be made known to him? If congress was in
session the trend of public opinion would be in
dicated by resolution or other form of expres
sion, the right to declare war being specifically
vested in congress by the constitution. But con
gress is not in session, and there is no organized
expression of public opinion which can be pre
sumed to accurately reflect tho popular mind.
The utterances of the newspapers are ordinarily
regarded as an index of public sentiment, tut it
must be remembered that there are many
newspapers and that they differ in two very im
portant respects: First the dailies, having more
frequent opportunities than the weeklies tc im
press upon those in authority the views which
they express, are apt to have an influence out of
proportion' to their numbers; and, second, that
the larger newspapers are not as close to the
masses as the smaller dailies and weeklies. In
considering the weight of newspaper opinion it
must aldo be remembered that the editors who
write about war speak for THEMSELVES and
not, necessarily, for their readers. It far not fair
therefore, to proportion the weight of editorial
opinion according to the size of the circulation.
?f We wish to be just to all we must give equal
consideration to the opinions of those who read
the papers and to the opinions of those who pub
lish wipers, remembering that the reader of a
p$e? toa as much right as the editor to giVe his
Pf lvVfel? i? wCorthC !ile to bring these matters
to youAttention in order to emphasize the right
of every citizen to an opinion in a matter so im
norlnt as war; and in considering the rights of
Sizehs I need not add that woman hra cl tlm.
SS iS not only 'a citizen. in theory but she is,
Z T ma ?er of "fact, interested in every subject
SSfh Which the government has to deal. She
ares in all the benefits that flow from good
S nSwnt and she also bears her portion of
fi?Sraens wh ch bad government brings upon
HlniP The world is turning more and more
the people, i ne vonu' orflan can not escape
t0 the opinion that, i c fl .
'Nowhere is 'her interest' greater than in those
matters which relate to war, and I appreciate
tho opportunity which thin mooting affords to
call attention to woman's interest In peace.
Woman In Interested in poaco first because
war may take from her tho sons whom slid hat
reared. I need not, in this prcnonce, emphasize
tho mother's affection for her son nothing fur
nishes moro.convlnclng proof of the truth of the
Bible declaration "Whore your trcanUro l,
thero will your heart bo also." Tho child In I he
mother's treasure; It represents her most pre
cious gift to society. Her llfo trembles In the
balance at the child's birth; her nervous onorgy
and force are expended upon it; nho endows It
with her love. From a third to a hair bf the
average woman's life Is devoted to her children
nb wonder that her affection for them is mcaa
urcd by tho amount Which sho gives to them
and does for thorn. It would bo unjust to re
quire her to remain Bllont on questions which
may lead to war and thus leavo tho field or dis
cussion to thoso leas interested than sho In the
maintenance of peace.
Second; Woman is also' Interested as a wife,
since tho war may call not only for her sons but
Tor her husband also. When a woman links nor
fortunes with the fortunes of her husband and
they together establish that unit of soctty
which wo call tho home, she becomes vitally In
terested In any demands that may be made ujon
her husband, especially hi demands Which may
Involve tho surrender of his llfo. The greater
part of the burdens of war fall upon the woman
it would bo difficult to overstate that portion
of war's weight which woman, whether mother
or wife, ls compelled to bear. If death comes to
a man upon the battlefield, his suffering is iufc
for a moment, while his glory endures; to tho
wife, however, the suffering ls prolonged, for
she Is not only bereft of Lor companion but In
compelled to bear' a double burden in tho care
of tho children. Has she no right to a Volte in
determining the standards which shall bo In
voked in international affairs? Has sho no right
to protCBt against tho attempt to deflno national
honor in the same terms that Individual honor
was defined when dueling was tho custom? Un
der the duelist's code of honor, the husband
could not consider tho welfare of his family; ho
m'ust avengo an Insult with his llfo or be brand
ed as a coward. Miist wo adopt as tho standard of
national honor that falso standard of Individual
honor which was repudiated when tho practice
of dueling was prohibited?
In deciding what Is necessary for the main
tenance of national honor, woman not only baa
0 a right to a voice, but she Is In duty bpund to
give expression to her vleWs, or she may fjufftr
the penalty of having her rights over-ridden and
her interests disregarded by those who, either
because of a special interest, or because of a
mistaken view, have a false impression as to
what national honor requires.
Third: As a member of society, woman, even
When neither mother rtor wife, has her respon
sibilities to bear, and (hose responsibilities she
can not ignore.
And how can woman's influnce bo exerted for
the prevention of war? In many ways. Sho
can express her views at such meetings as thli
and in other public places; she can Join In pe
titions to the executive; she can address irfdivld--ual
appeals to those in authority; sho can con
tribute to a better understanding of what var
really means; she can point out the difference
between tho soldier as we see him pn gala d8
and' at parade, a,nd the soldier on tho battlefield.
And she will" not overlook the evif affects that
follow war, the hatreds that are engendered,
which become, the cause ot other wars. Neither
'can she overlook the postponement of industrial,
'economic anil social reforms, duo to the In
'cr'eased burdens placed upon Industry and to (he
diverting of attention from domestic to Inter
national problems'. ' . ,
I rieed hot 'remind those who are gathered here
that Woman, can' be largely useful Ih proposing
and supporting themeans by which, war niay
be averted'. Our'goyefhm'ent has' fit hand ihe
'machinery f"or" maintaining ' peace with honir,
"machinery which f th other nations, as 'a 'uJe,
have 'not' as' yet' a'dopte'd for, their intercourse
with each other.; '" "'..'.
' We 'have 'treaties, thirty in number, made with
as nia'ny nations, find' these nations exercise au
thority ov6r 'thr'ee-fouHhg of the population 'or
' the wofid. "'These. tre'at(esf provide for thefn
'ves'tiatlon, of 'every; dispute of every character
aipd' the contraetVn'g "iatidhs Are obligated not lo
declare' war1 of Jjegftf'fforfttjtle until the. irives
"tfga'ildn is ddnipletea". These treaCf.es 'givV
"perlo'd'of not t6 exceed' a year for this 'fareffifca
MtI6n, ah'd'it ia belieVecffhat the inveatigatioa, 6r
r -1
ji mt i - .-.r
ftfci1.i..i.J '--

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