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NOTIFICATION SPEECH OF GOV. W. J. STONE.
and faithful hands uphold the stupendous fabric of our civilization. They are the bravest and the tenderest, the truest and the best. These are the men who spoke at Chicago in tones that rang out clear, and high, and strong. They were in earnest, and did not mean to be misunderstood. It was the voice of true Democracy. It was also the voice of deep conviction, spoken without fear. They demanded what they want, and they mean to have it. They did not go to Wall street for their principles, nor over the sea for their inspiration. Their principles were inherited from the fathers and their inspiration sprang from an unconquerable love of country and of home.
For a leader they chose one of their own-a plain man of the people. His whole life and life work identify him, in sympathy and interest, with those who represent the great industrial forces of the country. Among them he was born and reared, and has lived and wrought all the days of his life. To their cause he has devoted all the splendid powers with which God endowed him. He has been their constant and fearless champion. They know him, and they trust him. Suave, yet firm; gentle, yet dauntless; warmhearted, yet deliberate; confident and self-poised, but without vanity; learned in books and statecraft, but without pedantry or pretense; a superb orator, yet a man of the greatest caution and method; equipped with large experience in public affairs, true to his convictions, true to himself, and false to no man, William J. Bryan is a model American gentleman and a peerless leader of the people. This man is our leader. Under his banner and guided by his wisdom we will go forth to conquer. Let us rally everywhere, on hilltops and in the valleys, and strike for homes, our loved ones, and our native land. I have no doubt of victory. It is as sure to come as the rising of the sun. And it will come like a sunburst, scattering the mists, and the nation, exultant and happy, will leap forward like a giant refreshed to that high destiny it was designed to accomplish. This man will be President, His administration will be a shining epoch in our history, for he will leave behind him a name made illustrious by great achievements, and by deeds that will embalm him forever in the hearts and memory of his countrymen.
Mr. Bryan, I esteem it a great honor, as it is most certainly a pleasure, to be made the instrument of informing you, as I now do, that you were nominated for the office of President of the United States by the Democratic National Convention which assembled in Chicago in July last. I hand you this formal notice of your nomination, accompanied by a copy of the platform adopted by the convention, and upon that platform I have the honor to request your acceptance of the nomination tendered. You are the candidate of the Democratic party, but you are more than that-you are the candidate of all the people, without regard to party, who believe in the purposes your election is intended to accomplish. This battle must be fought upon ground high above the level of partisanship. I hope to see you unfurl the flag in the name of America and American manhood. In saying this I but repeat the expressed wish of the convention which nominated you. Do this, and
though you will not have millions of money at your command, you will have inillions of sturdy Americans at your back. Lead on, and we will follow. Who will not follow here is unworthy to lead in any cause. Lead on with unfaltering step, and may God's blessing attend you and His omnipotent i hand crown you with success.
Mr. Chairman, Gentlemen of the Committee and Fellow-Citizens:
I shall, at a future day and in a formal letter, accept the nomination which is now tendered by the Notification Committee, and I shall at that time touch upon the issues presented by the platform. It is fitting, however, that at this time, in the presence of those here assembled, I speak at some length in regard to the campaign upon which we are now entering. We do not underestimate the forces arrayed against us, nor are we unwindful of the importance of the struggle in which we are engaged; but, relying for success, upon the righteousness of our cause, we shall defend with all possible vigor the positions taken by our party. We are not surprised that some of our opponents, in the absence of better argument, resort to'abusive epithets, but they may rest assured that no language, however violent, no invectives, however vehement, will lead us to depart a single hair's-breadth from the course marked out by the National Convention. The citizen, either public or private, who assails the character and questions the patriotism of the delegates assembled in the Chicago Convention, assails the character and questions the patriotism of the millions who have arrayed themselves under the banner there raised.
It has been charged by men standing high in business and political circles that our platform is a menace to private security and public safety; and it has been asserted that those whom I have the honor, for the time being, to represent, not only meditate an attack upon the rights of property, but are the foes both of social order and national honor.
Those who stand upon the Chicago platform are prepared to make known and to defend every motive which influences them, every purpose which animates them, and every hope which inspires them. They understand the genius of our institutions, they are staunch supporters of the form of government under which we live, and they build their faith upon foundations laid by the fathers. Andrew Jackson has stated, with admirable clearness and with an emphasis which can not be surpassed, both the duty and the sphere of government. He said: “Distinctions in society will always exist under every just government. Equality of talents, of education, or of wealth can not be produced by human institutions. In the full enjoyment of the gifts of Heaven and the fruits of superior industry, economy, and virtue every man is equally entitled to protection by law." We yield to none in our devotion to the doctrine just enunciated. Our campaign has not for its object the reconstruction of society. We can not insure to the vicious the fruits of a virtuous life; we would not invade the home of the provident in order to supply the wants of the spendthrift; we do not propose to transfer the rewards of industry to the lap of indolence. Property is and will remain
the stimulus to endeavor and the compensation for toil. We believe, ás asserted in the Declaration of Independence, that all men are created equal; but that does not mean that all men are or can be equal in possessions, in ability or in merit; it simply means that all shall stand equal before the law, and that government officials shall not, in making, construing or enforcing the law, discriminate between citizens.
I assert that property rights, as well as the rights of persons, are safe in the hands of the common people, Abraham Lincoln, in his message sent to Congress in December, 1861, said: "No men living are more worthy to be trusted than those who toil up from poverty; none less inclined to take or touch aught which they have not honestly earned.”' I repeat his language with unqualified approval, and join with him in the warning which he added, namely: "Let them beware of surrendering a political power which they already possess, and which power, if surrendered, will surely be used to close the doors of advancement against such as they, and to fix new disabilities and burdens upon them, till all of Tiberty shall be lost." Those who daily follow the injunction: "In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread," are now, as they ever have been, the bulwark of law and order—the source of our nation's greatness in time of peace, and its surest defenders in time of war.
But I have only read a part of Jackson's utterance-let me give you his conclusion: “But when the laws undertake to add to those natural and just advantages artificial distinctions--to grant titles, gratuities and exclusive privileges-to make the rich richer and the potent more powerful-the humble members of society-the farmers, mechanics and the laborers—who have nejiber the time por the means of securing like favors for themselves, have a right to complain of the injustice of their goverument." Those who support the Chicago platform indorse all of the quotation from Jacksonthe latter part as well as the former part.
We are not surprised to find arrayed against us those who are the beneficiaries of Government favoritism—they have read our platform. Ņor are we surprised to learn that we must in this campaign face the host ility of those who find a pecuniary advantage in advocating the doctrine of noninterference when great aggregations of wealth are trespassing upon the rights of individuals. We welcome such opposition-it is the highest indorsement which could be bestowed upon us. We are content to have the cooperation of those who desire to have the Government administered without fear or favor. It is not the wish of the general public that trusts should spring into existence and override the weaker members of society; it is not the wish of the general public that these trusts should destroy competition and then collect such tax as they will from those who are at their merct: nor is it the fault of the general public that the instrumentalities of govern : ment have been so often prostituted to purposes of private gain. Thos e Wilir. stand upon the Chicago platform believe that the Government should not only avoid wrongdoing, but that it should also prevent wrongdoing, and they believe that the law should be enforced alike against all enemies of the public weal. They do not excuse petit larceny, but they declare that grand larceny is equally a crime; they do not defend the occupation of the highwayman who robs the unsuspecting traveler, but they include among the transgressors those who, through the more polite and less hazardous meano
of legislation, appropriate to their own use the proceeds of the toil of others. The commandment: "Thou shalt not steal," thundered from Sinai and reiterated in the legislation of all nations, is no respecter of persons. It must be applied to the great as well as to the small; to the strong as well as the weak; to the corporate person created by law as well as to the person of flesh and blood created by the Almighty. No government is worthy of the name which is not able to protect from every arm uplifted for his injury the humblest citizen who lives beneath the flag. It follows as a necessary conclusion that vicious legislation must be remedied by the people who suffer from the effects of such legislation, and not by those who enjoy its benefits.
The Chicago platform has been condemned by some, because it dissents from an opinion rendered by the Supreme Court declaring the income-tax law unconstitutional. Our critics even go so far as to apply the name Anarchist to those who stand upon that plank of the platform. It must be remembered that we expressly recognize the binding force of that decision so long as it stands as a part of the law of the land. There is in the platforn no suggestion of an attempt to dispute the authority of the Supreme Court. The party is simply pledged to use "all the constitutional power which remains after that decision, or which may come from its reversal by the Court as it niay hereafter be constituted.” Is there any disloyalty in that pledge? For a hundred years the Supreme Court of the United States has sustained the principle which underlies the income tax. Some twenty years ago this same court sustained without a dissenting voice an income-tax law aln'ost identical with the one recently overthrown; has not a future court as much right to return to the judicial precedents of a century as the present court had to depart from them? When courts allow rehearings they admit that error is possible; the late decision against the income tax was rendered by a majority of one after a rehearing.
While the money question overshadows all other questions in importance, I desire it distinctly understood that I shall offer no apology for the income. tax plank of the Chicago platform. The last income-tax law sought to apportion the burdens of government more equitably among those who enjoy the protection of the Government. At present the expenses of the Federal Government, collected through internal-revenue taxes and import duties, are especially burdensome upon the poorer classes of society. A law which collects from some citizens more than their share of the taxes and collects from other citizens less than their share, is simply an indirect means of transferring one man's property to another man's pocket, and while the process may be quite satisfactory to the men who escape just taxation, it can never be satisfactory to those who are overburdened. The last income-tax law, with its exemption provisions, when considered in connection with other methods of taxation in force, was not unjust to the possessors of large incomes, because they were not compelled to pay a total Federal tax greater than their share. The income tax is not new nor is it based upon hostility to the rich. The system is employed in several of the most important nations of Europe, and every income-tax law now upon the statute books in any land, so far as I have been able to ascertain, contains an exemption clause. While the collection of an income tax in other countries does not make it necessary for this nation to adopt the system, yet