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rights. If that had been observed it seems inconceivable that we should suffer from the present evils. If it could be proven that the great industries of the land and our great industrial system could not have been built up except by special privilege yet has the end justified the means? Build up a few, but impoverish the many. The country as a whole is no richer. It is an argument that ends where it begins, except that human blood is consumed in its development. And that is the question. Are men but coral insects that build and die? Are we on a level with animals which devour each other for sustenance? This is where the argument ends; only the preachers and the teachers indulge in irrelevant conclusions of some sort; or latterly they have canonized Darwin and driven selfconscious intelligence in the control of human destiny from the economic field.
Lastly collectivism is the opposite of individualism. Perhaps a partial trial of the former might prove its own undoing and carry with it the downfall of paternalism as well. The pendulum ought to swing that way.
If it did the cost would not be too much for the benefit derived.
MR. BRYAN'S CAMPAIGNS.
The period of American political history between 1896 and 1900 belongs distinctively to Mr. Bryan. When a retrospect shall be taken of it a long time hence he will stand out as the largest figure of all men then living in the United States. Indeed, during these four years he was the most influential individual in the country and none, not excepting Mr. McKinley, occupied a more conspicuous place in the public prints. Scribblers wrote their fingers off making note of his “futility,” his “decline,” his "rejection;" and found themselves astounded into silence at intervals by his lofty utterances upon the darkening complications that followed the campaign of 1896. Mr. Bryan's luminous influence for good steadily increased after his first defeat and in 1900, appreciative men of insight anticipated one of those recurrences of history, by which a great moral power takes hold of the destinies of a nation. The chilling shock to the ideals of liberty administered by his second defeat can never be fully expressed. Succeeding generations must mature and suffer before they can gather from the words which embodied the people's hope of him, and the words which recorded his loss of the election their deep and painful significance. This, however, is only that concrete failure over which the cynics and satirists of plutocracy have repeated their congratula
tions. If Mr. Bryan after the campaign of 1900 had compromised his principles, slackened his efforts, or manifested pessimism or ill temper he would have passed into history as another example of a man who lacked moral reserve for the supreme crisis. But he did none of these things. In consequence since 1900 his power has expanded and matured so that he has taken his place as a sort of patriarch, after the fashion of Washington or Jefferson. From this pedestal nothing at all probable
dethrone Of what value he is and will be to the country and the world the intuitive mind will not fail to discern.
The democratic platform of 1896 was the molten expression of pent up wrath against evils conterminous with the government itself. The tariff and taxation, bonds and money, the federal courts, the rights of the states are subjects which have occupied political thought in America since the days of Washington. There was nothing novel in this platform and nothing in it to suggest revolutionary designs. There was nothing in it out of harmony with previous platforms of the democratic party. Many of its clauses accorded with platforms of the republican party itself in the days of its beginning. The tempest of villification and mendacity which rose against it can be explained only upon the ground that it was rightly accepted as the sincere declaration of men in sober earnest, who meant exactly what they said and who meant to put their principles into practice if given power to do so. Special privilege was confronted by a powerful and resolute foe, and the best weapons of special privilege, as it turned out, were those things
which confused the public memory, prejudiced the public conscience, and subdued the moral energies of the people. The historian who shall depict in comprehensive form that memorable campaign will not fail to note the ardor with which the republican party clasped Mr. Cleveland to its breast because the regenerated democratic party had cast him out, although no one had been more cordially despised by the republican party or more bitterly assailed by its press up to that time. Nor can that historian overlook the organized hypocrisy of the banks, the insurance companies and the monopolies of the country who presented the spectacle of the streets of the great cities of the country gaudily filled with the American flag while the air resounded everywhere with the multitudinous strains of patriotic music for which the monopolists paid the bill. Nothing so brazen and upon such a gigantic scale had ever before been known in this country. It was intended to be a sort of psychical hurricane, by which the people should be swept off their feet in spite of themselves. It very largely helped to accomplish the result that ensued. What was worst the very money which went to the undoing of the people had been taken from them by the wretched swindling of these corporations practiced for at least a third of a century.
The barest reference to history will show that the democratic platform of 1896 proceeded along familiar and creditable lines. Upon the tariff question Mr. Cleveland had been elected president in 1884 and 1892. Free trade or tariff for revenue only had been an article of the democratic faith since the time of
Jefferson himself. It was not the tariff plank in the platform which could have honestly excited horror for the “monstrous birth” of the Chicago Convention. As to the income tax our own polity was familiar with such a method of raising revenue. This, therefore, was not strange and forbidding. It was not essentially populistic. The Chicago platform denounced banks of issue. But Jackson was elected president twice because of his opposition to a bank of issue. In this particular then, the platform, fulfilled the requirements of the critics who were clamoring for “his. toric democracy." There was nothing either novel or improper in the clause of the platform which referred to the Supreme Court and its decision in the income tax case. The republican platform of 1860 contained serious strictures upon the democratic party for using the federal courts to enforce “the extreme pretensions of a purely local interest." It denounced "perversions of judicial power.” The platform denounced the sending of troops into Illinois during the railroad strike of 1894 in language which was a dilute of similar language in the republican platform of 1860, which referred to the "lawless invasion, by armed force, of the soil of any state or territory as among the worst of crimes." What was here therefore to shock the sensibilities of Mr. McKinley and his party, many of whom had supported the republican platform of 1860? And finally as the republican platform of 1892 had declared for bimetallism, and as Mr. McKinley had vigorously criticised Mr. Cleveland for “dishonoring one of the precious metals;" as the democratic platform of 1892 had declared that "we hold to