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as a rule, are optimistic; but certainly, from conversations with their leaders in Washington, one gathers the impression that next year they expect to win.
Can the Democrats win with Bryan? That question is, of course, uppermost. The answer is to be found in the opinion expressed by Representative John Sharp Williams, of Mississippi, the leader of the minority on the floor of the House. He says that the Democrats may not win with Bryan, but that Bryan can, without doubt, poll more votes than any other candidate who can be named. This is the situation in a nutshell. Where is the candidate who can command as much strength as Mr. Bryan? If there be such a candidate, no one in Washington seems able to discover him.
There is, of course, some talk of other candidates, chief among them being Lewis Stuyvesant Chanler, the Democratic Lieutenant Governor of New York State. Mr. Chanler's claim to recognition lies in the fact that he carried New York State for the second place on the ticket at the election in which Mr. Hughes became governor. This fact has undoubtedly given him some prestige. There are men in the South, like Representative Broussard, of Louisiana, who say that they are tired of voting for candidates who cannot win. Mr. Broussard says that if a Democratic President is to be elected he must carry New York; and he adds his belief that Mr. Chanler is the only Democrat thus far mentioned who can accomplish this much-to-be-desired result. "Mr. Chanler's campaign last year and his election after years of Democratic defeat and despondency," says Mr. Broussard, "did more to revive hope among Democrats than any event that has occurred since the election of 1892." In New York State Mr. Chanler has already secured the endorsement of the State Democratic Committee, and, in addition, he has had his claims enthusiastically emphasized by many leaders. They characterize him as a young man and a strong man who has something more than money to commend him, who has been the successful architect of his own political fortunes and who can be trusted to administer the affairs of the country, if elected, in a vigorous, yet conservative fashion. While all this may be true, the fact remains that, to a very large degree, Mr. Chanler is regarded as unknown, untried and inexperienced. It is also charged against him that he was too closely identified in the last campaign with Mr. Hearst and the Independence League; that unless Mr. Hearst supports him next year he cannot expect to carry New York and yet, on the other hand, the very fact of Mr. Hearst's support would be detrimental
to his chances. How seriously the Democracy will regard Mr. Chanler's candidacy remains to be seen. The one great factor in his favor is that he has carried his State and that the electoral vote of New York is essential to Democratic victory.
Mr. Chanler's formal entrance into the arena of Presidential politics may be said to have occurred in Atlanta in October, when he delivered an address in which the tariff was his theme. He denounced protection as an unqualified evil, but, at the same time, declared that it would be dangerous to attempt suddenly to destroy the system. He regarded it as equally unwise to attempt unintelligent revision. His solution of the problem can best be given in his own words:
Take the tariff out of politics. Divorce it from every suggestion of political manipulation. Make the raising of revenue a national, not a partisan, responsibility. The army and navy are not fettered by politics; they are not made use of for private gain. The tariff should stand upon the same high plane, not to be made use of as a private privilege, but regulated and respected as a national necessity, reduced to the lowest terms commensurate with our commercial growth and national importance.
Let us insist upon rigid and intelligent investigation. Let a commission be appointed of Senators and Representatives of both parties. Add to that commission the most learned exponents of political economy, chosen by recognized institutions of learning. Add to them men who represent the importer and exporter, manufacturer and consumer, chosen by the chambers of commerce of our centers of civic strength; call in authorized representatives of organized labor and of the Farmers' Grange; and, after all sides have been heard, such a tariff conference will have enlightened the people of this country as to the best remedies. Then Congress can act.
All of which sounds well, but it is hardly likely to be adopted. When the tariff is taken out of politics Mr. Chanler will be much older than he is to-day. In the actual operation of his proposed commission he would find the Senators and Representatives of both parties in a state of constant disagreement, while they would inevitably be influenced by the conditions which obtained in their own respective localities. As some one has truthfully and humorously said, you cannot separate the tariff from politics with the aid of a crowbar; but, in addition to this, it was at least courageous for Mr. Chanler to make a violent attack upon the protective system in a city where the chief Democratic newspaper once openly espoused the cause of the Protection Democrats and in a State whose Senators and Representatives have, in every tariff discussion, been conservative.
If the nominee is not to be Mr. Bryan, who is available? Mr. Chanler's ambition has also already been made known. The result
of the election in Cleveland when Mayor Tom Johnson defeated Representative Burton in a campaign that had a national interest, brought Mr. Johnson prominently into the limelight. For a day or two he was hailed as a prospective Presidential possibility. Then he fell into line for Bryan. "I shall do all in my power to obtain Ohio's delegation for you," he wrote to the Nebraskan, "and wherever I have friends in other States I shall advise them to follow my example in this respect." This eliminates Mayor Johnson. Is Governor Johnson, of Minnesota, suggested? He has written that he does not want the nomination and will not accept it. An incipient movement is under way in favor of Judge Gray, of Delaware, who is a jurist of great ability, but who has absolutely no chance whatever of securing the nomination. Former Attorney-General Harmon has been mentioned; but his name has fallen upon unresponsive ears. The suggestion in favor of former President Cleveland is absurd. The fact is that there is not a Democrat in the entire country who stands in the same running with Bryan. There is no Democrat, unless it be Mr. Chanler, who is trying to get delegates; there is no Democrat, other than Mr. Bryan, who can get such a large number of delegates without the asking. These are the plain facts, written without partiality or prejudice. They may not be pleasant reading to those Democrats who have no use for Mr. Bryan. It may seem to them like writing the death warrant of the party; and yet, after a careful survey of the situation, if there is any other outcome possible than the nomination of Mr. Bryan next year the basis therefor is certainly not discernible at the present time.
Conventions without Mobs
Some time ago THE FORUM emphasized the wisdom of managing national conventions upon the principle that they were deliberative assemblies and that their proceedings should not be conducted in the presence of huge and frequently uncontrollable throngs. It is gratifying to find that this suggestion has met with favorable response. Quite a number of editorial comments have been elicited by the suggestion, in line with the utterance of the Washington Herald, which pleads for a sane gathering held solely for the purpose of transacting the serious business in hand, and not for the amusement or entertainment of a great throng of spectators. "Nowhere else in the world," says the Herald, "would the conditions that have existed here for decades be permitted. Nowhere else, probably, would the delegates of a great political party, assembled to select a candidate for the highest office in the land, tolerate a system inevitably tending to the interruption, delay, and influencing, by a mob of sightseers, of what should be dignified proceedings. Even if
all the countries of the globe nominated and elected presidents as we do, it is our opinion that this would still be true."
It is not necessary, as some of the newspapers have done, to refer to specific instances where disorder has taken possession of a convention, as at St. Louis in 1904. Every one familiar with these conventions knows that friends of candidates have only too frequently manipulated the supply of admission tickets in order that the galleries might be filled with noisy and demonstrative adherents, in the hope that an exhibition of apparent popularity would influence the delegates. There is no reason or sense in the attendance of many thousands. The only possible excuse is the stimulation of party enthusiasm, and it is doubtful whether the benefit in this direction offsets the disadvantages. It would, indeed, be refreshing to attend a convention where the number of spectators and their capacity for noise are considered of less importance than the careful consideration of the important duties which a national convention is called upon to perform.
The propriety of Associate Justice Brewer's public denunciation of the President may well be questioned, but few will find fault with the suggestion that an occupant of the White House should be confined to one term. The ineligibility of a President for re-election was quite seriously considered when the Constitution was being framed and there is now a very general consensus of opinion that instead of the present system it would have been better if the Presidential term had been fixed at seven years, with renomination impossible. Mr. Bryan, however, favors the one-term idea without lengthening the time of service. He bases his view upon a desire to let the people speak as often as possible. There is force in this position, but, at the same time, if a President is not to be eligible for re-election he ought to be given a period longer than four years in which to formulate his policies and put them into effect. Even President Roosevelt, with all his earnestness of endeavor and intense application, could not have achieved the full measure of his purpose in four years. He could only have begun to shape the course to be pursued and then would have been compelled to leave to his successor the working out of his ideas. There is no danger in the seven-year suggestion, because a President whose policies were not regarded in a favorable light would find himself blocked by an unwilling Congress. A longer interval between elections would also contribute to the quietude of the country.
The four-year term, however, is provided for in the Constitution and that document is not likely to be amended in the near future. Henry Litchfield West.
A BEGINNING OF BETTER RELATIONS IN EUROPE
BY A. MAURICE LOW
It would be the crowning achievement in King Edward's long list of diplomatic triumphs if he should succeed in bringing about an entente between his people and those over whom his nephew, the Emperor William, rules. It is much easier to establish good relations between the governments of England and Germany than it is between the two peoples. Officially those relations are perfectly "correct"; a word the import of which used in diplomacy means as much as when a young, pretty and frivolous step-mother says, with a meaning voice, that she cannot complain of the way she is treated by her step-daughters, prim, plain and of uncertain age, and wedded to spinsterhood. That sort of family correctness is more apt to get on the nerves and destroy all the Christian virtues than declared hostilities; and when one great government takes studious pains to assure the world of the correctness of another great government's attitude, diplomacy knows only too well the intense irritation that exists under the surface. Metaphorically, the German and British governments have no more thrown dishes at each other's heads than have the second wife and her husband's children indulged in that bourgeois display of temper, but there are other weapons that can inflict a more grievous hurt. The pretty woman can wound by casual references to age, and her senior retort by allusions to the ignorance of youth. Neither Germany nor England sent ultimatums or made threats; on the contrary, they have been studiously polite and each has been considerate of the other's feelings, but it has been diplomatic politeness and not friendship. Each has watched the other, and each has been prepared for any sudden move that might not require the continued maintenance of the fiction of friendship.
Nevertheless the relations between the King and Kaiser and their constitutional advisers have been better than those between the two nations, which, of course, is quite natural. Although country counts before family, it must have been distressing to a man so genuinely goodhearted as the King to know that his nephew, whose father and mother were both very dear to him, is disliked in England; and ministers feel the weight of their responsibilities and know too well the danger always