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10. The President, Vice President and United States Senators should be elected by direct vote of the people.
11. Ex-sohliers and sailors of the United States army and navy, their widows and minor children, should receive liberal pensions, graded on disability and term of Bervice, not merely as a debt of gratitude, but for service rendered in the preservation of the Union.
12. Our immigration laws should be so revised as to exclude paupers and criminals. None but citizens of the United States should be allowed to vote in any State, and naturalized citizens should not vote until one year after naturalization papers have been issued.
13. The initiative and referendum, and proportional representation, should be adopted.
14. Having herein presented our principles and purposes, we invite the cooperation and support of all citizens, who are with us substantially agreed.
Very largely the men and women who organized the National party had previously acted with the Prohibition party, and had been in attendance upon the National Convention of that party in session in Pittsburg during the two days preceding. They withdrew from the party and that convention because it had refused to take a stand in defence of the principles of "Liberty, Justice and Equality," and had adopted a platform which utterly ignored every reform issue of the day except the prohibition of the liquor traffic.
Those who organized the National party were fully aware of the magnitude of the liquor evil and were of one accord in the belief that it must be destroyed. But they also recognized the fact that there are other great evils afflicting this nation, and that silence by a political party in reference to wrongs resulting from political action is sanction, and that sanction of the oppression and degradation of the people by the powers of injustice and wrong is a crime.
The women of America, recognized as citizens by the Constitution and laws, are yet denied that right which inheres in citizenship, "the freeman's ballot," and are refused all voice in the Government which they are taxed to support and compelled to obey.
Silence'in reference to such a violation of the principles of civil liberty is a crime.
The Government of the country has been for years completely dominated by the money power of America and Europe. This money power has controlled Congresses, Legislatures and Presidents, and secured legislation which enables a pampered few to live in luxury on the labor of the many. It has put poverty, wretchedness and vagrancy where there should be peace, prosperity and plenty. It has crippled our industries, fostered monopolies, organized trusts, increased the burdens of public and private debts, robbed every man and woman engaged in any legitimate occupation, reduced millions to pauperism and suffering, and created a spirit of unrest and discontent which threatens our existence as a nation.
Silence in regard to such a perversion of the province of Government is a crime.
And as the Prohibition Party was silent in regard to all these political crimes except the liquor traffic, it was impossible to remain in the party without giving silent sanction to these crimes.
But to what party could those who recognized this fact turn?
Under the alternate dominance of the Republican and Democratic parties have these evils grown to their present magnitude. It were folly to look for relief to the parties which had created and nurtured the evils from which relief was sought.
The People's party is making a brave stand against the aggressions of monopoly, but is as silent on the liquor question as the Prohibition party is on the monopoly question.
And in all four of these parties there was not to be found one to champion the civil rights of womanhood.
Under these circumstances, to support either the Republican or Democratic parties was to assist in perpetuating all the legislation which has brought the country to its . present condition.
To support the People's party was to consent to the continuance of the liquor traffic, and the disfranchisement of woman, in order to strike a blow at our financial and industrial system.
To support the Prohibition party was to consent to the disfranchisement of women and the continuance of our present financial and industrial system, in order to strike a blow at the liquor traffic.
What could those persons do who were unwilling to compromise with two great public wrongs in order to strike a third one?
They were compelled to either disfranchise themselves and neglect their duties as citizens, or organize a party which should be true to the right on all the great political questions of the day, and which should uphold the banner "Liberty, Justice and Equality," for all people, of all sexes and all classes. •
That party has been organized. It is called the National party. Its platform of principles is before you. It invites all citizens who desire the good of the whole people and the overthrow of all political wrongs, to unite at the ballot box next November and elect Charles E. Bentley and James H. Southgate, President and Vice President of this Republic.
L. B. Logan, Chairman.
John P. St. John, Vice Chairman.
D. J. Thomas, Secretary.
A. M. Todd, Treasurer.
Helen M. Gougar.
John Lloyd Thomas.
R. S. Thompson.
National Executive Committee.
LIFE OF CHARLES E. BENTLEY.
Charles E. Bentley, of Nebraska, nominee of the National party for President in 1896, was born in the town of Warner's, Onondaga County, New York, April 30, 1841. His forefathers were of sturdy New England stock, and his grandparents migrated to Warner's in .1809, carving out of the forest the farm of 100 acres which has been ever since a Bentley possession.
Mr. Bentley is the eldest and only survivor of a family of six children. His parents were of decided literary tastes, and the father was of an active political turn, being a pronounced Whig and Republican. The son received his education in the common schools of his vicinage and in seminary courses at Elbridge and Cazenovia, New York.