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MAKING THE ISSUE CLEAR
Democratic Convention was bright as the week, but they would have been jostled unmorning and full of vitality from the start. pleasantly in the Jefferson at St. Louis. There was no doubt about the genuine There were prosperous office-holders in this Americanism of its spirit. There was no Democratic gathering, but they were not in South and no North and no East and no the majority, by any means. Places had West about it. It was voiced at once in the been made for hundreds of respectable and crashing notes of the first selection by the able Democratic citizens from all over the band and of the song that rang through the Nation. And, for the most part, they were steel rafters of the vast structure—“ America all there for the Democratic party and for is ready, that's all.” And the spirit of it the country, and not for any particular innever left the Convention.
terest and not for any particular section. A man of another party, I nevertheless The Tammany delegation from New York value highly the reflections and the experi- is worthy of a friendly and a kindly word. ence of these days at St. Louis. I shall go The sort of delegates who have often dison in the proper place and in my own way as credited it in the past, the coarse rough-neck a citizen to criticise the methods and the and the clever corporation representative, fitness or lack of fitness to rule, to guide, were well weeded out and were conspicuous and to inspire possessed and exercised by by their absence.
by their absence. The Tammany men were the Democratic party ; but I shall never good-looking, straightforward Democrats and doubt that Democratic patriotism, South and American citizens, and they behaved like men North, is as genuine as mine. I have said who at bottom loved their country. Whatever before in The Outlook, and I repeat it their irritation or resentment may have been now, that one great triumph of the Wilson when they arrived at St. Louis because of what Administration is its breaking up in the they regarded as the President's unkind treatSouth of the deeps of National feeling and ment of them in the matter of patronage, they National conviction. The South still has forgot it all in the enthusiasm of their Democanmgonistic prejudices and doctrines to racy and their Americanism. And therein is overcome, but, to an extent not equaled in disclosed the human trait of Tammany. I that section since the Civil War and for saw it first in the State Senate at Albany. many years before, the South is for America. The milk of human kindness flows a good And in the Convention at St. Louis the deal nearer the surface in the average TamDemocrat from Kentucky or from Alabama many man than in any temperamental, colwas as devoted in his Americanism, as he lege-bred Bourbon that you ever looked at. understood it, as the Democrat from Massa- Tammany behaved ill at Baltimore. Tamchusetts or New York.
many behaved well at St. Louis. If I am A word about the personnel of the delegates. not mistaken, the spirit of the times is at That was one of the surprises of the Conven- work in that organization. Tammany has tion. Over at Baltimore four years ago there learned. The Bourbon never learns and was a mixture of men who were there, like never forgets. The hatreds of a Bourbon some of the big financiers in the New York become his obsessions. It was worth while delegation, to watch and work hopefully for to go to St. Louis to see Charles F. Murphy a candidate and a platform best suited to the and the men who were with him rise to the needs of their own particular interests ; spirit of party service and patriotic inspiration together with a crude and coarse element of and the leadership of the human idea which political henchmen, intermingled with plain, was evident in that Convention. contented patriotic citizens as well as other And this brings me to the heart of the groups of the discontented and the unpros- whole proceeding. It was the speech of perous. At St. Louis this year the whole ex-Governor Glynn, the temporary chairman. Convention was of an excellent and uniform Senator Ollie James followed it, as permanent sort. The thousand men before you gave chairman, with a masterly address, but this the impression of prosperity and equality. only accentuated what Mr. Glynn said. There There was no clearly marked, even if en- is no doubt about what is going to be the tirely patriotic, wealth group, such as was issue of the campaign in the mind of anybody in evidence at the Progressive or at the who heard that speech or witnessed the reRepublican Convention. Newport and New sponse to it. It fearlessly recited the record York society found the Bl stone in Chi- of the Wilson Administration. It was strong cago highly congenial during Convention for a sound military preparation. Like Governor Bradford, of Massachusetts, if anybody the United States—not because of the emosends us the skin of a rattlesnake, we are to tion, not because of the eloquence, but bebe ready to send it back stuffed with powder cause the response seemed to be from out of and bullets. But these were not the parts the very depths of the aspiration of human which enthralled and captured the great souls. And when the unwieldy frame, but throng. Mr. Glynn had been reciting how the powerful personality, of Senator Ollie James, Wilson policy of negotiation had availed in of Kentucky, held sway over them, the great international relations, and how, as he alleged, response was not to the eloquence but to the it was in line with the spirit and the acts of single dominant idea which the throng itself our great Presidents from Washington down selected from among the many which James to Lincoln. As he took up illustration after and Glynn discussed before them. When illustration, the throng became tense and James, of Kentucky, arose to speak on the eager and exultant. Each time that the day after Glynn, the storm of exaltation had orator would finish the statement of the facts altogether passed, and the orator was greeted in a particular case, perhaps in Washington's gayly to the strain of “The Sun Shines Bright time or Lincoln's time, up from the throats in My Old Kentucky Home.” The prayer of the more overwrought of his ten thousand of the archbishop had just ceased as he inhearers would come the shout, “ What did voked the Divine Father to drive from our he do? What did he do ?" " He didn't go hearts the blood-lust and barbarism of the to war,” answered Mr. Glynn at each interrup- jungle. But there was as yet no sign that tion; "he settled it by negotiation, just as the demonstration of the day before would the President of the United States has done once more recur. James went on in his own and is trying to do to-day.” And then came ponderous and powerful way to frame the the glad climax of exaltation. “ This policy," "ishuh." The Administration, said he, has Mr. Glynn continued, "may not satisfy those proclaimed two amendments, one taxing the who revel in destruction and find pleasure in wealth of the country and making it bear its despair. It may not satisfy the fire-eater or just share of the burden, the other liberating the swashbuckler. But it does satisfy those the United States Senate from the control of who worship at the altar of the God of Peace. vested interests. It has, said he, driven the It does satisfy the mothers of the land, at lobby out of the Capitol at Washington, and whose hearth and fireside no jingoistic war- turned the American people in. It has overfare has placed the empty chair. It does turned the iniquitous Payne-Aldrich Bill, satisfy the daughters of the land, from whom against which, he said, the Bull Moose cast four brag and bluster have sent no loving brother million votes, when the stand-patters could to the dissolution of the grave. It does sat- only muster something over three millions isfy the fathers of the land and the sons of in the entire Nation. The dinner-pail is the land, who will fight for the flag and die full and full to overflowing. “'At a boy!" for the flag when reason primes the rifle, shouted a fervent Democratic disciple. And when honor draws the sword, when justice the Federal Reserve Act—the great Repubbreathes a blessing on the standards they lican leaders in Congress, said James, deuphold."
clared that it was an invitation to the mightFor many minutes he could not go on. It iest panic that ever swept across a great was the note from the American fireside, the Republic. What is the fact ? said the orator. issue of home and love and happiness and In 1907 four men on Manhattan Island, yearning humanity against the measureless under the Republican system, precipitated a brutality and carnage of the present world. panic. Under the Democratic system a All at once, in the midst of the emotional up- world war cannot precipitate a panic. And, heaval, there came from that vast throng a finally, he came to Wilson. “ He acts, he weird cry up from the very depths of the doesn't rant; he builds, he doesn't bluster." human soul : “ Say it again, say it again !” Once he was a professor in a college at And in response the orator repeated the Princeton. Now he is a world teacher. His passage. Once more the long emotional class is made up of kings, kaisers, princes, upheaval, and once more the cry: “Say it and potentates. And then the Wilson method again, say it again !" And again the orator of negotiation and patience in the midst of repeated the words.
the German crisis. “ Without orphaning a sinIt was one of the most notable events that gle American child, without widowing a single ever happened in a political convention in American mother, without firing a single gun
MAKING THE ISSUE CLEAR
or shedding a drop of blood, Woodrow Wilson suite in the Jefferson was trodden secretly wrung from the most militant spirit that ever and tenderly by many a devoted adherent of brooded over a battlefield a recognition of other years. American rights and a concession to American The speeches of Glynn and James and the demands." And once more the tremendous sounding of the keynote of peace brought response. Once more the cry of the previous Bryan back into the hearts of the Convenday : “ Say it again, say it again !” And tion. No sooner had James finished than the James said it again. And while everybody call for Bryan rang across the convention hall was on his feet in the midst of the great from hundreds of throats and would not be upheaval, I saw James smile sweetly and stayed until the chairman announced that Mr. wave his hand at Bryan on the press platform. Bryan had gone out to speak at a noon meet
It began to dawn on the vast throng that, ing of the City Club of St. Louis, and that in spite of the shortcomings and blunderings there would be full opportunity to hear him which, for the time being, have sterilized his before the day was done. The whole Coninfluence in Democratic councils, it was really vention seemed glad, although there were the spirit of Bryan which had laid the empha- doubters who privately expressed the view sis and interpreted the issue for the Demo- that the re-entrance of Bryan into the discratic party. Bryan's qualities are those of cussions of Democracy would do nothing but the seer and evangelist and not of the states- harm in those States where, above all, Democman. For the time being at least, he has lost racy needs help. But this made no differall control over National Democratic politics. ence to the Convention, which in the keynote And he appears to have lost permanent stand- issue was following the promptings of its ing with the Democratic party of his own heart and not of its head. State. The causes for this in Nebraska are At the night session Bryan came back. plain. The Populist party, organized in 1890, His speech was imbued with religion, with was the real Bryan par in Nebraska. The the spirit and purpose and a little of the original Democratic party in Nebraska was a phraseology of his address on “ The Prince liquor and corporation party. Early in his of Peace. And the Convention again rose career Bryan carried the Populist party of to it with the echo of the race-old and his State over into the Democratic camp. age-long cry for rest and peace and happiThus for a time he made a majority. Old- ness and home and love. There was this line Democrats got into office, and in the difference in the case of Bryan. With Glynn presence of the spoils the liquor and con- and James the great throng spontaneously servative Democrats burned incense to Bryan. selected the idea and rose in exaltation to it. But in 1908 Bryan started out to fight the When Bryan proclaimed the idea, the Conven" liquor power," as he had previously fought tion rang with shouts of his name—“ Bryan ! the “ money power.” He bolted the Demo- Bryan ! Bryan !" Here is the man, said cratic State ticket in 1910 when Mayor Dahl- they, who incarnates the issue. man, of Omaha, an out-and-out liquor candi- This was the real climax of the Convendate, was named for Governor. He openly tion. Senator Jim Ham Lewis, of Illinois, advocated prohibition and woman suffrage. and Senator Reed, of Missouri, afterward The Democratic coalition between liquor and added strength, but not quality, to the key Populism broke into pieces, and Bryan lost that had been sounded by the trio of orators, control, probably permanently, of his State. Glynn, James, and Bryan. Nothing else The task of making a “ dry," woman suffrage counted for much until near the end, and I will party out of the Democracy of Nebraska describe that in a moment. The speech of within his lifetime is probably too great. Wescott, of New Jersey, nominating Wilson, And so he has lost home rootage in his politi- fell dead upon the field. It was in a legal cal organization.
and academic form, not in the style of Of course, also, his whole party has come the home folks. The Convention was restto look upon the resignation from Wilson's less. Then they broke out into shoutsCabinet at a critical time as unnecessary and “Cut it down," " Name him," and when short-sighted, even from his own standpoint Wescott at last referred to Wilson as the of pushing the issue of peace. When he peacemaker of the world—" That is a good arrived in St. Louis a day or two before the place to tell who you are for," "Tang through Convention began, very little open homage the humid air. They had nothing against was paid to him, although the footway to his Wilson. They were for him strongly. But
it was a Convention dominated overwhelm- mothers-a sine response. . Philippine indeingly by an idea and not a man.
pendence-very little interest. The recital And therein lies its menace—in its empha- of diplomatic victories—some emotion. The sis. From the Democratic Administration, heavy hand of the National Government to as well as from the Democratic Convention, be laid against child labor—a tumult of we have heard much about peace--not yet cheers. And they came from the South as very much about duty. Peace or duty ? Is genuinely as from the North. Finally, the not the issue now plain before the American woman suffrage resolution and the confirmapeople? The determined and efficient moral tion of all the planks, and then adjournment. enthusiasm of '76 and ’61 must be invoked And out of the Coliseum they poured for the against the deep but sentimental and danger- last time, with the band playing and the Conous spirit of peace at almost any cost. And vention singing "Onward, Christian Soldiers.” it is only by invoking once more this pro- It was a combination of spontaneity and found and patriotic sense of National duty, strategy, but taken in connection with the to our own citizens everywhere, to our weaker legislative achievements of the last four years neighbors, to the world—that the Republicans in Washington and the several States it invites will have either an issue or the victory.
a final reflection. It was not all tenseness at the Democratic There is one dynamic American personality gathering. There was a lighter side. You whose influence-directly or indirectly-pershould have heard the donkey in the alley meated all three conventions this year, as in bray loudly through the open window again 1912. In 1912 the battle of Roosevelt at and again in the very midst of the Glynn Chicago opened the way for the Bryan attack peroration. Whether it was the woman at Baltimore, and made Wilson first the suffrage donkey that had appeared in the nominee of necessity and then the President preliminary parade or whether it was a gen- at Washington. In 1916 the deep-seated uinely Democratic donkey illustrating the hostility of the Republican delegates toward inherent fallacy in the argument of the Roosevelt could find no channel of expression speaker, I really could not say! There was which would at once fulfill the demands of realso another awful moment. Out of defer- sentment and patriotism, except in the adopence to the solidly Democratic South, the tion of the Roosevelt ideas and the nomination tune of “ Marching Through Georgia” is not of the man who, among all the party Republiyet regarded as courteous or tactful in a cans, can best organize and lead to victory what Democratic National Convention. When the was essential in those ideas. And back in band started suddenly to play it at one of the the mind of the Democratic delegates at St. high points of fervor, the temperature fell Louis, as they whole-heartedly flung thembelow zero in a quarter of a second. It froze selves out into the fight for social justice, was the band, who stopped in the middle of a bar the very practical conviction that the road to and left the tune in midair. The delegates success at the polls lies in the appeal to the were loyal party devotees. There was nothing great independent Progressive four millions else there. "I never scratched the Demo- who in 1912 threw off the weight of mere cratic ticket in my life, and I never will. I political tradition and subterranean political want to go to heaven," I heard one delegate tyranny and have this year forced the unwilling say to another, and he probably voiced the board of control of both parties into the normal universal habit, if not the universal yearning, course of National liberalism.
The longof the Convention.
evident break-up of the Progressive political I have spoken of the great high point of machinery is no injury to the Nation or to the the Convention. At the end there was one cause of political freedom. For purposes lesser but extremely significant climax. It of practical administration and resolute politicame during the reading of the platform. cal advance this is a two-party country, and Mirabile dictu. Senator Hollis, of New third-party movements are justified only when Hampshire, read the second part upon social nothing else will avail to open the eyes of justice. And the Convention rose to that unwise party leaders. Unwilling eyes have with eagerness and emotion. A living wage been forced open. That is the story of the -applause and cheers. An eight-hour day great National conventions so recently adand one day's rest in seven—" Read it journed. It is Bourbonism which has lost again !”—and Hollis had to read it again. the fight in America. Easing up on the labor of women and St. Louis, June 17, 1916.
These pictures, which are now for the first time published in America, are part of a collection made by Mrs. Fiske Warren, of Boston. They have appeared in Germany and are striking examples of the sentiment and style of German cartoonists in their seriousness, their grasp,
their vigorous technique, and their somewhat grim humor