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vain. It is for Congress to prescribe the terms and conditions under which street cars shall be operated upon the public streets, provided the companies also transport the mails.
The World takes it for granted that Mr. Roosevelt does not dream of such an extension of the Federal power, but where does he propose to draw the line? Once the claim is admitted that Congress under the power to establish post-roads can regulate commerce and common carriers within a State, then the States are at once stripped of authority over their own roads, their own streets, their own street cars, their own railroads and all other means of transportation.
This is an immeasurably greater power than the Presi'dent demands even when he insists that the Federal Government shall exercise as complete supervision over railroads as over national banks; for the Federal Government in controlling national banks does not undertake to control State banks, savings banks, private banks or trust companies.
Mr. Root in his speech before the Pennsylvania Society warned the States that they could preserve their authority only by a vigorous exercise of their powers for the general public good. But there is no salvation by good works in Mr. Roosevelt's scheme of theology. Under the clause empowering Congress to establish post-roads the States were predestined to be extinguished, and that's the end of it.
If this interpretation of the Constitution be correct, then the States are indeed lagging superfluous on the Their mission is ended, and the sooner they go out of business the better. But is the Constitution of Theodore Roosevelt the Constitution as known and interpreted by the Supreme Court of the United States?
[June 28, 1907]
WRITING to The World from Southern Pines, N. C., on the question "What is a Democrat?" George H. Lacey
I note your period of limitation to the year 1907 and infer from that your conception of the policies of the party in power and the public utterances of President Roosevelt to be essentially Democratic in principle and in purpose, and that through the logic of events the Republican party has so far absorbed the leaven of Democracy as to leave no ground for separate and individual party action. But is this true?
We think it is not true. The World has neither said it nor believes it. Mr. Roosevelt has carried out many measures which The World approves, but he is not a Democrat and the Republican party is not Democratic. Neither in the smallest degree has rendered a militant, truly Democratic party superfluous.
A Democrat who is a Democrat from principle fears too much government rather than too little government. He knows that the human struggle for liberty is an unending effort to strike off the shackles forged by authority and Privilege.
This makes him
1. Opposed to all undue interference with personal lib.rty.
2. An advocate of home rule.
3. A defender of State rights.
4. An opponent of Centralization-not a promoter of further Centralization, like Mr. Bryan, who surpasses Mr. Roosevelt.
5. An enemy of all socialistic and semi-socialistic pol
6. A believer in a government of checks and balances as against a government by passion and prejudice.
A Democrat who is a Democrat from principle is opposed to all special privileges conferred by government. This makes him
1. Opposed to high protective tariffs which enrich the manufacturer at the expense of the consumer. For more than a generation a majority of Democrats have leaned toward free trade, while the Republicans have revised the tariff upward.
2. A believer in the largest possible freedom for the natural person, but in all necessary supervision and control of the artificial person—that is, the corporation.
3. An uncompromising enemy of all trusts in restraint of trade.
4. An advocate of such franchise, income and inheritance taxes as will compel Privilege, Plutocracy and Protection to pay their full share of the cost of a government which makes their existence possible.
A Democrat who is a Democrat from principle instinctively sympathizes with "the under dog."
This makes him
1. Partial to measures that encourage the poor to improve their conditions.
2. A believer in universal education at public expense. 3. An opponent of militarism, imperialism, jingoism and the arbitrary rule of alien races against their will.
4. Against public oppression of a corporation no less than against corporation oppression of the public.
5. Sympathetic with labor, but as firmly set against socialism and predatory poverty as against predatory, plutocracy.
A true Democrat who is a Democrat from principle deplores every appeal to class hatred and class prejudice
as a menace to republican institutions. To array masses against classes, employed against employer, poor against rich, labor against capital, is a denial of the whole theory of democracy upon which Jefferson founded the Democratic party.
There is no surer or simpler way of overthrowing republican institutions than by stimulating class hatreds and inciting class wars.
So much for what a true Democrat is and for what true Democracy is.
Let us admit that party lines at present are tangled, twisted and intertwined. Republicans are applauding policies they denounced as crazy ten years ago. Democrats are trying to outbid Republicans in the auction of the anti-corporation vote. But the fact remains that in spite of plutocrats who call themselves Democrats and demagogues who call themselves Democrats there are certain well-settled Democratic principles and tendencies which will assert themselves in the long run and which are necessary to maintain the equilibrium of the Republic.
If the Democratic party were to be exterminated by a socialistic or a semi-socialistic party the character of the American Government would be revolutionized within a quarter of a century.
If the Republican party were to continue as it is under Mr. Roosevelt, while the Democratic party became what Mr. Bryan wishes to make it, all the essential powers of government at Washington would pass ultimately into the hands of the President. Instead of three co-ordinate branches there would be one supreme head-an elective Little Father.
If the Republican party were to continue its Rooseveltian traditions, while the Democratic party became what Mr. Hearst wishes to make it, we should, soon or late, see a desperate minority appealing to blood and iron for the rights a ruthless majority tramples under foot.
If the rights, liberties, activities and opportunities of the individual, as distinct from the mass, are to be preserved, it must come through the enforcement of the true Democratic principles that The World has enumerated. Should those safeguards ever be beaten down we may have a government that is republican in form but it will no longer be republican in spirit.
The Democratic party is necessary.
This is not the first time Democrats have 'despaired of the party's future. In 1872, thirty-five years ago, the Democrats nominated for President a bitter anti-Democrat who was a Republican, a protectionist, a prohibitionist and a socialist.
Horace Greeley's 'defeat was a rout-overwhelming and unparalleled. Seemingly the Democratic party was destroyed, annihilated, exterminated. But at the very next election, only four years later, this annihilated, exterminated Democratic party arose from the dead, elected Samuel J. Tilden President on the face of the returns and had a popular plurality of 250,000 to spare.
Who knows what the next sixteen months may bring forth? What if the Democratic party should purify its organization? What if the party should return to its true principles? What if Mr. Bryan, content with his undisputed laurels as chief orator of the party and its greatest agitator of the masses, were to make the personal sacrifice of declining the Presidential nomination in favor of such a man as Judge Gray, for example?
Nothing can crush the Democratic party but itself. Nothing can destroy the Democratic party but its own refusal to be Democratic. Let it return to its true principles. Let it clean its own house. Let it get rid of its Taggarts, its Murphys, its Connerses, its Gradys and its McCarrens; of its Ryans, its Belmonts, its Tony Bradys. Let it be Democratic not merely in name but in faith.
Who would then dare to say that the Democratic