Chicago coliseum, July 9, 1896: Thirty-six-year old William Jennings Bryan put forth the Democratic Party’s proposed national platform to a cheering crowd that frantically waved red bandannas in a sign of solidarity. Bryan became convinced that victory was his. A new monetary policy based on the coinage of silver, free silver, had proven to be an even more enticing message than he had expected. The new supply of money would relieve crippling debt for the impoverished voters Bryan sought to mobilize. As he neared the climax of his remarks, he mustered every last ounce of energy and unleashed some of the most famous lines in American political rhetoric:
If they dare come out in the open field,” he thundered, “And defend the gold standard as a good thing, we shall fight them to the uttermost, having behind us the producing masses of the nations of the world and having behind us the commercial interests and the laboring interests and the toiling masses.
Bryan’s speech launched the era of progressivism, featuring the biggest liars in American history. These liars achieved their so-called progress using fear and hope, two uniquely human feelings, to impose their will upon mankind.