[This is] a struggle between "the idle holders of idle capital" and "the struggling masses, who
produce the wealth and pay the taxes of this country:" and, my friends, the question we are to
decide is: Upon which side will the Democratic party fight; upon the side of "the idle holders of
idle capital" or upon the side of "the struggling masses?" That is the question the party must
The sympathies of the Democratic party, as shown by the [pro-silver] platform,
are on the side of the struggling masses who have ever been the foundation of the Democratic
party. There are two ideas of government. There are those who believe that, if you will only
legislate to make the well-to-do prosperous, their prosperity will leak through on those below.
The Democratic ideas, however, has been that if you legislate to make the masses prosperous,
their prosperity will find its way up through every class which rests upon them.
You come to us and tell us that the great cities are in favor of the gold standard; we reply that the
great cities rest upon our broad and fertile prairies. Burn down your cities and leave our farms,
and your cities will spring up again as if by magic; but destroy our farms and the grass will grow
in the streets of every city in the country.
My friends, we declare that this nation is able to legislate for its own people on every question,
without waiting for the aid and consent of any other nation on earth
It is the issue of 1776 over
again. Our ancestors, when but three millions in number, had the courage to declare their