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from us. The Democrats who go from us must fall upon their knees and beg pardon to Senator Sherman for all the bad words the Democratic party has spoken against him, while the Republicans who come to us can come bringing in their hands the Republican platform which was adopted in this very hall four years ago. That platform said, "The American people, from tradition and interest, favor bimetallism." Do traditions change in four years? No, my friends, you cannot change traditions in so short a time, neither can you forget them. Do the interests of the people change in four years? No, their interests are the same now that they were four years ago, and if the Republican party declared four years ago that the American people, from tradition and interest, favor bimetallism, the Republican bimetallists have a right to stand on the same declaration today even though the Republican party may retreat from its position and go across the ocean to find its inspiration.
There is an important difference between those who espouse the cause of bimetallism and those who desert bimetallism. The man who comes to us is always willing to rise before any audience and describe the road by which he came and the arguments which converted him, but the Democrat who goes from us never states the real cause which dragged him out of the Democratic party. I think it was Senator Morgan who stated that there are two kinds of conversion. He mentioned Saul of Tarsus as illustrating one kind. Saul at first persecuted the Christians and afterward became a preacher of the Christian faith. Aaron was cited as an illustration of the second kind of conversion. He started out a worshiper of the true God and afterward set up a golden calf. Now, if you will remember, Saul, when he became Paul the apostle, gloried in relating his experience. He told how he was stricken with blindness, and how at last the scales fell from his eyes and he saw, but Aaron always was ashamed of that calf business. And so, my friends, with those who come to us they have nothing to conceal; they are perfectly willing to tell where they stand and why they stand there; they are among the most zealous of our recruits. I used to think it might be well to have a mourners' bench for those who were coming to us, but they do not come mourning; they come rejoicing. They are not sorry at all, they are happy. They come with the enthusiasm of missionaries who go forth to preach the gospel to others, while those who go from us are only able to say in explanation of their conduct that if we had the free coinage of silver, it would be awful. Some of them are so under the control of the financiers that we have reason to doubt whether their change is found in the head or is merely a device for extending their notes at the bank.
There are reasons for bimetallism, and those reasons are so plain and simple that they can be easily understood, and when we preach bimetallism we are able to give a reason for our faith.
We are told that all we need is confidence. This confidence idea, my friends, is not a new one; it is at least eighteen hundred years old. I find in the Bible a rebuke of the same kind of confidence which is being preached today. I read there these words, "If a brother or sister be naked or destitute and one of you say unto them, depart in peace, be ye warmed and fed, notwithstanding you give them not those things which are needful to the body, what does it profit?" If you tell our opponents that laborers, who are idle in the streets because the gold standard has made it more profitable to hoard money than
to employ labor in the development of the resources of the country, are naked and hungry, their only answer is, "Be ye clothed and fed;" but they give them nothing to eat or to wear. Tell these financiers that the farmer has found his prices falling when he sold his products, without his taxes, debts and fixed charges falling; tell them that the farmer has reached a point where the income from his farm is not more than sufficient to pay his debts, his taxes and his fixed charges; tell them that falling prices have about extinguished the farmer's living expenses, and that he is needing food and clothing, and they say to the farmer, "Be ye clothed and fed" without giving him anything to eat or wear. They are preaching the same doctrine that was rebuked eighteen hundred years ago, and it should be rebuked now. It is a confidence game, my friends. If you ask them to have confidence in you, you will find that confidence is very one sided in this game. If you say to the men who have accumulated their money among you, "Can't you trust us to make laws? Can't you trust those who produce wealth to have a voice in the Government?" and some of them will reply to you that the people are a rabble, and that they doubt their capacity to make laws. If you have a farm which is worth half what it used to be and try to borrow on it, the banker will tell you that it is not worth as much as it used to be; and if you ask him to have confidence that the price will go up, what will he say? He will reply, "Wait until the price goes up and then I will have confidence." If you ask the financier to loan you money on the prospect of better times, he will tell you to wait until the good times come. He will compel you to wait until you have some security. They are asserting that the restoration of confidence is the only belief that can come to this country, while we are trying to secure a foundation for confidence to rest upon.
When money goes up, property goes down. A dollar cannot buy more unless property sells for less. You can make a dollar buy as much as you like. If the dollar does not buy enough now, you can make it buy more. A dollar is a creature of law. When we talk about legislation in regard to money, cur opponents tell us that commerce regulates money. I ask them why they did not trust commerce to demonetize silver in 1873? Why was it that they invoked the law to strike silver down at that time? We have as much right to invoke the law to restore silver as they had to degrade it. The silver dollar was worth three cents more than the gold dollar in 1873, and if you ask our opponents why they demonetized silver, they will probably tell you that it was because silver was worth too much, and if you ask them why they do not remonetize it, they will tell you that it is not now worth enough. They will tell you that they demonetized silver because it was going abroad, and they refuse to remonetize it for fear it will come back again. The opponents of silver have invoked the law at every opportunity, but they always dispute the efficacy of law when we desire to legislate. They invoked the law in 1893 when they wanted to repeal the purchasing clause of the Sherman law, and what reason did they give? They said that the purchase of silver was making gold go abroad, and yet, after they repealed the Sherman law, gold went abroad faster than it did before. When gold went abroad before 1893 we were issuing paper money in its place, but when they repealed the law and stopped the issue of money, gold still went abroad and we had nothing to take its place. According to the Treasury report we have $150,000,000 less in actual circulation than we had two years ago,
whereas we ought to have an increase. Notwithstanding this actual decrease in the circulation within two years, the Republican party is offering no plan to stop the decrease. In 1890, when Senator Sherman spoke in favor of the Sherman law, he gave for the reason of its adoption that it added to the currency something like $54,000,000 a year, and he submitted an argument to prove that the country needed that amount of new money every year. If we need $50,000,000 of new money each year to keep pace with population and industry, and instead of having $50,000,000 a year for the last two years, have had a deficiency of $150,000,000, then we now have $250,000,000 of money less in circulation than we should have according to Senator Sherman's estimate. But Mr. Sherman does not stand alone. Other Republicans have made the same argument in favor of an increase of the currency. Read for instance the speech made in the House of Representatives by the Republican candidate for the presidency in defense of that same Sherman bill. He stated in that speech that we need more money. The Bland act was then furnishing about $24,000,000 a year of new money, but Mr. McKinley said we needed more than that, and voted to increase the amount to $54,000,000 per year, and yet at this time when, instead of having $24,000,000 a year increase, we have a decrease of $75,000,000 a year, he says that we do not need more money but only need to put the money we now have at work. Why should money go to work when it is more valuable in a vault than when invested in enterprise? We are told that we should open the mills instead of the mints. My friends, your mills could be opened now if the people were able to buy what the mills produce. What is the use of opening mills when the people are not able to buy the output? If you cannot dispose of what you produce, you have simply to follow the opening process with the closing process. You have here a great city and adjoining you another great city-the twin cities of the northwest. These cities rest upon your broad and fertile plains. If you make it impossible for the farmer to buy, I ask you how are the merchants of Minneapolis and St. Paul going to sell? If you destroy the value of farm products, you lessen the amount of money brought into this country by exports, and when you lessen the amount of money derived from the sale of these products, you lessen the amount of money which the farmers have to expend in the purchasing of the things which you have for sale. Are St. Paul and Minneapolis going to be made prosperous by making the foreign financier prosperous? It is your farmers who are going to buy the things which you produce, and we had better take care of them instead of making legislation to suit the financier. We are told that this is a business question. In one sense it is, and if the gold standard advocate will use his ballot to advance his interests, why should not the producers of wealth in all the States use their ballots to protect themselves from the invasion of this foreign policy? If I were to tell one of you that your house was on fire, that your family was in danger, would you be unconcerned? Suppose I told you that only one-half of your house was to be burned, would you say "If it is only half, I do not care about that." No, if anybody attempted to burn any part of your house you would resent it as a personal injury; the gold standard has for its ultimate object the destruction of a large part of the value of your house and of your land, and a large part of the value of your farms and factories; can you remain indifferent while this policy is marching toward you? Instead of sitting still,
do you invite it to come? Instead of being inactive do you help to fasten it upon yourselves and upon your children? That is what the Republican party asks you to do. The Republican party tells you that the gold standard must be maintained until the leading commercial nations will join you in abandoning it.
I can appeal to Democrats as the regular nominee of the Democratic party; I can appeal to Populists as the regular nominee of that party; I can appeal to the Silver Republicans as the regular nominee of the Silver party; but I can appeal to you all on a higher ground than mere party regularity; I can urge a higher claim than mere party regularity can give-I am the only presidential candidate prominently before the people who believes that the American people are able to attend to their own financial business. Do you say that we must wait for foreign help? I reply that we have waited for twenty years. We have sent three commissions abroad and they have come back to us empty handed. Three national parties have now declared that the time for waiting has past. Three parties have declared that we shall wait no longer, and that the people of the United States, rising in their strength, shall declare for the free and unlimited coinage of gold and silver at the present legal ratio of 16 to 1 without waiting for the aid or consent or any other nation. You ask, "Can we do it?" Upon that question we are ready to meet the opposition. We are ready to state our reasons. There is only one way to find out and that way is by trying; our opponents will never find out by waiting. If you tell me that there is danger in our system, I reply that the worst thing which you can prophesy as a result of free coinage is better than the best thing that you can hope for under the gold standard; and more than that, we not only believe we have the strength and ability to furnish a use for silver that will take all the surplus silver upon the market and maintain the parity at 16 to 1, but we believe that the action of the United States instead of discouraging other nations, will compel them to join with us. So long as our foreign creditors can drive down the price of our products and drive up the value of the money which we pay them, they will have a selfish interest in maintaining the gold standard and depressing prices, and if-to follow up Mr. Washburn's suggestion-they are dominated by human selfishness, they will do it. What will be the result when we open our mints to the free coinage of silver? Do you say that foreign creditors will draw all their money out of this country? If they try that, how far would they go before they got all the gold? We have not gold enough in this country to pay one-tenth of our foreign indebtedness, and if our foreign creditors attempted to collect all their debts they would have to take nine-tenths of it in silver or in products. When our foreign creditors find that the American people have opened the mints to the free and unlimited coinage of silver and made silver a legal tender equal with gold, so that all coin obligations can be discharged in silver, then they will become interested with us in making the silver dollar as good as the gold dollar. We have their selfishness against us and we have suffered from it. Open the mints to the free and unlimited coinage of silver, and we will bring their selfish interests over to our side of the question. Open our mints, give us the double standard, and then we stand as the mistress of the world's commerce. We will then invite the trade of the gold standard countries and the trade of the silver standard countries also, and the other commercial nations would have to come to the double standard or be
outstripped in the race. Washington, in his farewell address, not only warned our people against foreign influence in our domestic affairs, but stated what everybody must know to be true, that disinterested favors are not to be expected between nations. One nation cannot be expected to help another merely out of philanthropy, but nations will join together in the promotion of those things. which are mutually beneficial. As soon as we have shown our determination to act alone and to protect ourselves against the degrading influences of a gold standard, you will find that other nations will be willing to act with us, but they will not act with us so long as they can run our finances and attend to our business for us. I believe that nothing good can come to our people until we have turned over a new leaf in our financial policy. Instead of having the financiers of Wall street call the Secretary of the Treasury before them and tell him what he must do, I believe the time has come when the Secretary, standing as the representative of seventy millions of people, ought to call the financiers before him and tell them what they must do, and then make them do it. When you know my views on this subject, you will know why I am not considered a safe man by the Wall street financiers. For twenty years the great financial influences have dominated the national conventions of the two great parties The same financial influences have written the platforms and have nominated the candidates. Those platforms have been substantially similar, and have eld out the hope of international bimetallism, while those elected have been known as "safe men." The financiers have nominated candidates entertaining similar views on the financial question, and then have been able to sit back and say, "They are both good men." The only trouble in this campaign was that they only got one good man; only one candidate for the presidency who was a safe man in the opinion of the New York financiers.
We do not expect the support of the men who have made a profit out of the disasters of the Government after they have brought those disasters upon the Government. We do not expect the support of those financiers who have been saving the honor of the nation at so much per save for the last twenty years, but when we lose them, I think, my friends, we have a right to appeal to the great majority of the people who are tired of wearing the yoke which has been fastened upon them.
The second meeting was the first of a series of meetings exclusively for ladies. Mrs. Frank A. Valesh was the presiding officer at this, the first women's meeting. So far as I have been able to learn, this was an innovation in campaigning. These ladies were not voters, but, as wives, sisters and mothers, they took a deep interest in the campaign, and I was glad to defend bimetallism in their presence. I give in full the speech delivered here:
Minneapolis Speech-To the Ladies.
Ladies: I believe this is the first political campaign in which a presidential candidate has addressed his remarks to an audience composed entirely of ladies and discussed an economic question before those who do not vote upon it, and yet I offer no apology. On the contrary, I deem it not only a great privilege