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Des Moines Iowa Homestead (Newspaper) - May 3, 1917, Des Moines, Iowa
828 the Iowa Homestead Tmay the Homestead a practical journal for the Farmer Stockman fruit grower . Gardener and housekeeper by James m. Pierce James Atkinson. Editor in chief established in 1855_________ entered at Des Moines Post office As second class matter published every thursday member agricultural publishers association member audit Bureau of circulations. A subscription subscription. O a year. In clubs of ten. 75 cents a year and an extra copy to getter up of club. In clubs of 100 or More 25 cents a year. Single subscription three rears in Advance years in Advance ten years in Advance. Subscription Price in Canada a year. Re Mit by draft registered letter Post office or sex Cress Money order. In changing address Send both the old and new addresses. In renewing give the same name and initials As before or state both the old and new names and explain Why you change. In Case of errors or failure to receive the paper within two weeks promptly notify the publisher. Address the Homestead company Des Moines. La. Des Moines better Side. The True America is a country not of classes but of masses and of no state is this More True than of Iowa. Anyone who seeks to draw artificial class lines to stir up class jealousies and animosities is a traitor to his state and nation. However it sometimes happens that Little groups of men seek to control the political destinies of a City or state and thus become a sort of privileged ruling class and it is then the duty of every publisher to use the Means at his hand for exposing them and defeating their efforts. That is what the Iowa Homestead has been trying to do during the past two years. It has been trying to show its Farmer readers How a Little clique in Iowa with Headquarters in Des Moines and hindquarters in such towns As Marshalltown and Council Bluffs have attempted to dictate Public affairs not in the interests of the farm ers who represent the bulk of the population and the wealth of the state but in the selfish interests of their own Little coterie. Every political is sue every Campaign during the last half dozen years has reflected this alignment. It began with the Holden primary Campaign for governor when this Little Des Moines bipartisan ring was forming five years ago it showed itself throughout the Campaign last year and it was in evidence at every turn during the session of the Legisla Ture just closed. The votes on the Road Bill on the immediate abolishment of state printing waste and on other measures presented different phases of this one fundamental Issue of the Farmers interests As opposed to the interests of this unholy political combination. But when the Homestead criticizes the Des Moines gang and its hangers on it does not mean that All Des Moines is bad or that its interests Are counter to those of the other towns and Rural communities of Iowa. In the broader sense their interests Are Mutual. Certainly Des Moines cannot enjoy her fullest measure of Prosperity excepting As agricultural Iowa pros pers and develops. On the other hand the whole state needs a clean prosperous Beautiful capital City of which All can be taxpayers of the Border counties just As much so As the residents of Polk county. There Are lots of Good people in Des Moines More Good people than bad ones. Des Moines is in the Center of the state with the smallest percentage of illiteracy and the highest percent age of improved farm land of any state in the Union. Its population has Long since passed the Mark thou Sands of whom came originally from farms and retain their agricultural interests. Other thousands of its peo ple came from various portions of the state because of the educational and other advantages which it offers. In fact it is doubtful if the capital City of any other state is so tinged with an agricultural atmosphere so capable of appreciating the Farmer s viewpoint As the City of Des Moines taken As a whole. Many of its most successful business and professional men have the breadth of vision to see that it is the farming interests of Iowa which have Given this state its real great Ness. All these elements when United form a powerful body of clean honest fair minded men and women who Are in entire sympathy with the Aims and needs of agricultural Iowa and completely out of sympathy with the Nar Row prejudices of the Des Moines Reg ister and its satellites such As James b. Weaver. Like the people on the farms of Iowa All they Lack is Leader ship and when that leadership appears they Are ready to respond to the Call. The Lack of influence of their self appointed leaders was evident in the state Campaign last fall when governor Harding s Appeal to the Farmers of the state received the endorsement of a Large majority of Des Moines Vot ers against a local candidate and against the venomous opposition of the Register and wallaces Farmer. Again in the last City election was the Small influence of the Register demonstrated when not a single one of its candidates was elected to the City of its weak stand ing at Home which could be multiplied Many times Over. So we say that Des Moines has a better and a brighter Side than that which is often turned towards the Farmers of the state. The hearts of a Large majority of its Citi Zens Are right their motives clean and their judgment sound but they have been caught in the same Way that the Farmers have and it is just As much to their interest to purge Iowa politics As it is to the interests of their coun try cousins. And so far from seeking to play the City against the country in Iowa the Homestead is working in its Humble Way for what it believes should be j their Mutual Aims and advantage. In our efforts to rid Des Moines and Iowa of the Power and influence of its Des Moines registers its wallaces farm ers and its Jim weavers we Are seek ing to draw together the great mass of Good people in both City and coun try who have been exploited politically by As selfish a gang As Ever disgraced a state. In this fight the chief Burden must fall upon the Farmers both because of their Prepend rating influence in Iowa and because the political atmosphere which they breathe is More conducive to higher ideals and fearless Leader ship than the polluted atmosphere of Des Moines and other centers of social and political corruption throughout the state. The Farmers of Iowa have the Power to cleanse Iowa politics and to bring about a better and a greater Iowa and their activity in doing so will meet with the Hearty approval and support of the Best elements of Des Moines and of every other City in Iowa. Ife a common cause in which All can and will join and in the end Victory is certain because the truth is mighty and will prevail. Contended were right they were just As truly right in either Victory or de feat. Speaker Pitt could no More wage the Campaign which he did for certain fundamental principles such As local self government and then appoint men who did not agree with his views to carry them out than the Iowa Homestead could charge the things which it did against the state printing system and then remain silent when men broke their solemn pledges to help abolish that system immediately. To be what the sporting world Calls winners or Good losers in such matters is to make a hollow mockery of the eternal struggle be tween right and wrong in govern mental affairs and to confess that it is All merely a game in which the hold ing of offices is the Only thing at stake. The Homestead stands for the things it does because it believes them to be right and so believing could not with self respect play the usual role of so called Good Fellowship by letting its feelings be affected in the least by Vic or defeat. For help or else to go their Way in peace without any increase. Fair play and a Square Deal to All demands neither More nor less. Good statesmanship and Good a Well known politician remarked the other Day that the Iowa Home Stead was not a Good Winner in the state printing contest settled by the recent Iowa legislature because of our criticism of representatives who went Back on their Campaign pledges to favor and vote for immediate abolish ment of the offices of state Printer and he thought that having won out on the matter of principle involved we should have then been completely satisfied. Similar remarks were made about speaker Pitt after the speaker ship fight for appointing committees which he thought would Best carry out his policies. It has also been suggested that the speaker and his followers were not Good losers in the administration Road Bill. This represents a very common but to the Homestead a very wrong View of such matters. It confuses the ethics of a political struggle for what men think is right with those of a sporting event. A fight against graft is not a wrestling match nor is a political Campaign a baseball game. When one wrestler Downs another the loser can very properly and sincerely congratulate the Winner on being the better Man of the two and the Winner can return the compliment by praising his adversary s lameness. But in a political struggle for principle the question of right and wrong is not affected by Victory or defeat. If the things for which speaker Pitt and the Iowa Homestead have Clifford Thome s offer to the railroads. The shippers of the country can be divided into three classes according to their views on the proposed freight rate increase of 15 per said Hon. Clifford Thome to a representative of the e Iowa Homestead last week. The first class according to or. Thome is composed of those who Are willing that the railroads shall have whatever increase they ask without regard to the proof offered that it is needed. This is naturally a very limited class and is largely comprised of those whose views Are affected by local considerations such As their desire for a new terminal station costing millions of dollars or else of shippers such As jobbers who can pass any freight rate increase on to their customers. The second class Are those who Are opposed to any increase no matter whether the railroads Are Able to make a showing which would justify it or not. This number is also somewhat limited. The third class which comprises the great body of fair minded shippers rep resented by or. Thome and his Asso i cites in the rate Case embraces those who Are opposed to any rate increase unless the railroads can clearly prove its necessity and Justice. In taking this position or. Thorne has placed his Case on behalf of the live Stock and other shippers of Iowa and the Middle West before the Public in the most favourable Light possible. It is so eminently fair that even the railroads can hardly object to it. He simply asks them to present Fig ures substantiating their claims the same As the shippers have done to submit them to the test of careful and fair analysis and then if it shall prove that they ought to have the increase asked he will withdraw All objection. But he contends rightly that in any event they shall receive no More of an increase than they prove conclusively they Are entitled to. Simply because the railroads set 15 per cent the amount they desire does not the attitude of Iowa s political bourbons. The first break in the ranks of those who would like to get government a Iowa As far away from the people As possible was made in the closing Days of the late legislature with the pass age of the Bill introduced by senator e. M. Smith of Winterset to return the office of state superintendent of Public instruction to the people for election instead of having it appointive As has been the Case for the past few years. While this particular office May not be As important As some others in the state government it touches the daily life of the people to a much greater degree than is generally appreciated. But even if it were much less important than it is the change would be a welcomed one simply As a matter of principle. It is the first notice which has been served on those who would make All state offices excepting the governor that the people of Iowa will not tolerate any such Auto cratic russian zing of Iowa s state government. It. Will be recalled that under the pleasant sounding term of the Shorter the retrenchment and Reform committee two years ago recommended to the legislature that the governor alone among state officers should be elected. The other officials such As the Secretary of state the state treasurer and state auditor were to be appointed by him and constitute a sort of gubernatorial Cabinet. The Des Moines Register of course approved the plan most enthusiastically not dreaming at that time that governor Harding could be elected Over their opposition. Id fact they went even further with the idea of centralization of Power than the retrench ment and Reform committee. If this could be done in the state government Why not carry it out to its logical conclusion by appointing All county officers also then we would have a centralized system which would be modelled right after the hearts and sympathies of All the Des Moines registers and the Gardner cow Leses of Iowa. In commenting on it editorially th9 Register said As necessarily mean that 5 per cent would not be All that they were entitled to even granting that any increase was needed. All the railroads have to do is to prove their Case fairly. It is probably True however that or. Thome has his own views about their ability to do this but that does not affect the fairness of the offer. In fact he has touched upon one of the weaknesses of the railroads claim to special consideration at this time be cause of emergency conditions by Cit ing the fact that so often before they have asked and secured concessions to meet an emergency which never arose that the Public is justified in regard ing their further claims along this line with scepticism. It is a Case of having cried Wolf too often. He also Points out that in Basing their Appeal to the interstate com Merce commission for a 15 per cent Advance because of increased operating expenses due to the Adamson eight hour Law they have asked for at least five times the amount that this Law could possibly Cost them. It is now up to the railroads to meet or. Thome s offer squarely and Clear up his criticisms of the grounds on which they have based their Appeal we have already abandoned the county superintendent and have turned the county Engineer Over to the state Highway commission in both instances wisely. Why should we continue to elect the officers of the county the county Board la peculiarly a reminder of Frontier conditions. When everybody was a member of the fire department when everybody played in the Vil Lage band and everybody joined in local baseball games everybody expected to serve his term on the county Board. Today we have professional fire departments professional bands and professional base Ball teams but we still have the same old Frontier county manage ment. Such an expression As that above Springs from a Basic distrust of the people. It is the argument of the political Bourbon of All Ages and All countries. It is the Cornerstone of special privilege and officialdom and it is contrary to All the principles upon which this government was founded. The government of such states As Iowa is built upon Faith in the ability the honesty and the patriotism of the average Man and the greatest efficiency which it develops a not the efficiency of some few officials holding their positions through appointive Sufferance instead of from the votes of the people but it is the efficiency which it develops in the great mass of the people through conducting their own affairs in their own Way. Even though the political affairs of Iowa could be managed More economically and efficiently by a Rockefeller a Goethals or any dictator a thing which the Homestead does not con cede or believe we would still main Tain that it was Best that we should go along on the path which our Fath ers blazed doubtless stumbling by at times perhaps even wandering from the beaten track now and then but coming Back to it As our errors Are discovered paying for our blunders As we go and profiting from them. Any government which the people of Iowa work out for themselves with prayer and fasting will be better for them m that song run than one which
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