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the fiat of the law may violate the laws of any State of the Union with impunity. We have repudiated the doctrine of States Rights and sealed that repudiation with the blood of the nation, but have fostered this false doctrine of State depredation by corporate power until it has become one of the most gigantic agencies of wrong and spoliation that modern civilization has seen. It is in the tall rank grass of the wide pasture, of this error, that the grafter has fattened and multiplied until he is like the stars of heaven for numerousness and the devils in the pit for ingeniousness.

We are come to the parting of the ways. This nation must once for all determine the question, shall Mammon or manhood be the dominant force in this government? Shall the dollar continue as king over the children of pride?

The evils that have come upon us in the years of our great growth and prosperity are the evils that every nation worthy of the name must meet. As prosperity is harder for an individual to bear than adversity and penury, so great industrial growth and development with its rapid accumulation of wealth are harder for a nation to bear than poverty and weakness. Honest wealth acquired in great quantities brings with it great responsibilities. Wealth acquired in great quantities by improper or unfair means at the sacrifice of the rights of competitors, brings with it greater and graver responsibilities. The vast majority of our people are patriotic, honest and moved by pure motives. They are determined to take the right course if they can learn where it lies. The men who founded this government, of the people, for the people, did not put their trust in the people in vain. Among the people there always have been and always will be good and evil; good men and bad men. The rock of our safety is the fact that the good men always have and always will be in the overwhelming majority. The body politic is in some measure diseased, but it has within it the vital, divine spark of life, with which it has met in the past all adversities; with which it can meet present and future

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requirements. We are not ready here in the dawning of the twentieth century to say to the nations of the earth that our government, by the people, cannot survive. We are not ready to make the declaration to the world that there is any function of government that it cannot perform. We are not ready to say that the grafter, the trust, the combinations for rebates or any conspiracy to nullify the laws of the land are too strong for the government of the people, by the people, to cope with. This controversy is not one of the poor against the rich man. There are bad men that are rich and bad men that are poor. There are good men that are rich and good men that are poor. The individual who tries to incite the poor against the rich, or the rich against the poor, is a dangerous demagogue, to be shunned by all men who love their country. The line of demarkation and cleavage is between the good men and the bad men; the law-abiding men and the law breakers; the just against the unjust; the fair against the unfair; the honest men against the grafters.

Fear has been expressed that the outcry against graft was becoming hysterical, and that the muck rake was a detriment. The muck rake is only detrimental to the muck. No honest man, no law-abiding man, no just man, no fair man, no honest, clean, lawful business, however profitable, need fear the muck rake. No man, business or interest need fear, except the muck of graft and the grafter in the muck. The muck rake is its own justification. So long as it turns up muck we need the rake. So long as the grafter survives and his graft is known, he must feel its harrowing tooth. He must stand at the bar of public opinion and be judged whether or not he is guilty of conduct unworthy of an honest man. He can rest assured that unless his righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the mere letter of the statute he shall in no wise be considered an honest man.

Mr. James Brice, in his most excellent treatise on "The American Commonwealth, says:


“Of all the experiments which America has made, public opinion is that which best deserves study, for she has shown more boldness in trusting it, in recognizing and giving effect to it, than has yet been shown elsewhere. Towering over Presidents and State governors, over Congresses and State legislatures, over conventions and the vast machinery of party, public opinion stands out, in the United States, as the great source of power, the master of servants who tremble before it.”

In the light of the history of the last twelve months can we doubt the truth of these words? Can we doubt the power of public opinion in dealing with offenses of this character? What has moved the long line of presidents, directors and agents of corporations, great financial institutions and colleges, who have resigned, died or gone to Europe within that time! Have they departed from their vantage and stronghold of a year ago as the result of the execution of the laws written upon the statute books alone? Or has the adverse judgment of public opinion driven them into seclusion?

The most reassuring sign of the time is the promptness and unanimity of the judgment of the court of public opinion rendered on the offenders as soon as the offenses came to certain public knowledge. There has been no dissenting opinion, except by grafters. There is always one element needed to make the jurisdiction of this court effective, and that is that the knowledge of the facts shall promptly become known to the general public. No nation has ever been better conditioned than this to gain that public knowledge through an efficient press.

Graft and grafters can thrive only in secret. The darkness is their breeding ground. Publicity is their poison. The sunlight their death. They have thrived, fattened and multiplied for many years. Their effect is like that of an electric current by electrolysis on a steel tower. Day by day the deadly current, under cover of the darkness and dampness of the earth, eats away the trusses and braces of the structure, robs them of their life and strength until the vital member ceases to perform its function, when the whole structure collapses in ruin.

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If we would save the structure, we must apply the remedy with a steady and determined hand. The secret currents from grafter to grafter must be exposed and cut. The corroding influence in the body politic of the electrolysis of graft must cease. The currents must all be made to flow overhead, in the open, where the public eye can see that they are clean, honest and true and do not corrode the foundation of our national life.

Our people must restore the doctrines of an earlier time; the ideas of a simpler and truer life must be re-established; we must know that the only safe foundation of the government is truth, and we dare not substitute anything else in its place. The present generation and their children must realize and know the truth that a free man is more than a dollar or any multiple thereof. They must realize and live the truth as a nation, that his rights are more sacred than the rights of property. The nation must turn its back upon the idolatry of materialism and learn again the ideals of her youth. Her schools and colleges must free themselves from all connection with graft and grafters, and teach the ideal that an honest man is not only the noblest work of God, but necessary in the foundation and preservation of the republic.

The citizen must cease his mad chase of the nimble dollar long enough to realize that he owes a greater duty to the State, to see that his portion of the burdens of the government by the people are borne by him in person and not delegated to the politicians of his precinct. The citizen who sells his vote should be disfranchised and the citizen who neglects the duties he owes his government should be punished by the State until he is willing to perform those duties.

The people of the nation must govern it in fact as well as in theory, or the experiment of republican government will fail for the last time. The townships, villages, cities, counties and states must enforce the laws as written in the statutes of those states and ordinances of those municipal corporations.


If laws are not just or practicable, their enforcement will reveal the fact. If they have been enacted unwisely, or are unpopular, the executive power must enforce them until they are repealed. It is suicidal for the State to allow a law to be nullified. It will not do to permit an ordinance of a municipality or a statute of a State to express on its face one standard of civic virtue and allow it to remain a dead letter in order that the citizen subject to it may live in accordance with another standard of civic virtue. When this is done the grafter has his day, and it will last as long as the executive power fails in its duty of executing the law.

The corporation in its creation and management must be brought into subjugation to the law; it must be the servant of the people and not their master. It must be so governed as to protect the rights and liberties of the citizen as well as safeguard the interests of the stockholders and managers.

The law, federal, state and municipal, must be executed with absolute and unfailing certainty. The efficiency of law as a corrective agency does not depend upon the severity of its penalties, but upon the certainty and swiftness of their infliction. The federal government has given ample assurance of its attitude so far as the subject comes within federal authority; the legislative branch of the general government has spoken the will of the people in the passage of the Rate Bill, the Pure Food Bill and the Immunity Bill. The States are timid in some instances and hesitate about their ability to handle the matter of rebates of freights and kindred subjects within the borders of such States, by State legislation. The authority is in those States and the citizens of them must see to it that the laws already in force are made effective, and if they are inadequate to so amend them in each instance that they will be effective. After the controversy that we have had over State rights, and State prerogatives, we must not now allow any State to shrink from any duty, legislative or executive, that does in fact devolve upon it. The federal government is not the only

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