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Offspring Of Protection

Offspring Of Protection image
Parent Issue
Public Domain
OCR Text

What is Coxeyism, and who or what is responsible for it? It is important that this new ism, in view of the possible danger attending it, be properly diagnosed and traced to' its source, in order that the responsibility for its being and continued existence may be fixed and the remedy applied. Undoubtedly it is a species of sedition and lawlessness in new guise, but having for its object the intimidation of public opinión, of the authorities and of Congress by means of a demonstration of organized forces. It is no new thing in principie, however; it is new only in form. For thirty years organized forces have been in the habit of periodically descending on Washington for similar purposes. Again and again in the past have tha organized forces of class interests gone to Washington for the purpose of influencing and even intimidating legislators, and they have succeeded in their undertakings. Representatives of these interests have then boasted that they dictated the laws by which they exacted tribute of the consumers. By precept and example these favored interests have disseminated the doctrine that if a man is not getting all he wants, the proper thing to do is to go to Washington and demand of Congress to be put in the way of getting more. Hearing the boasts of the favored ones, therefore, and seeing on e,very side the results of government favoritism, has caused thousands to believe that the government at Washington is the source of all their blessings or ills. The protectionist press and political charlatans have constantly taught the doctrine of government matters. Coxeyism is but the application of these mischievous doctrines, taught by the protectionists, by a class which has not heretofore been in the habit of going to Washington for the purpose of putting through such legislation as they desire to see perperfected. The Coxeyites are following the example set by the monopolists for years past. Why should their demands not be enacted into law the same as were the demands of the organized manufacturers in the case of the McKinley law? True these laborers and tramps have not as much money as they had, but that makes no difference with the principie involved. There may be danger in the movement of these organized bodies of the "unemployed," but if so, it is but the legitímate fruit of the "paternalism which is running riot in this country, and which raust end (if not crushed) in the destruction of the liberties which should be dearer to us than life itself." That the responsibility for this movement rests with the advocates of protectionism and is an outgrowth of that system, is pretty conclusively shown by the fact that it exists only in the north. It has no foothold in those sections where the sentiment of the people is strongly opposed to tariff robbery and paternalism in general. The officers, the rank and file, the entire outfit of these "industrial artnies" are republicans and believers in the doctrines of McKinleyism. The movement not only had its origin among the protectionists, but it has received its chief support from the republican press and politicians. The recent vote in the senate on the cringing Peffer resolution, calling for the appointment of a committee to receive the Coxey army or any Communications from them, showed the position of the parties on the issue. Twelve republicans and one democrat voted to take up the resolution while twenty-one democrats and five republicans voted against it. As Coxeyism is the offspring of protection, it would naturally be aided and encouraged by the republican press and politicians as a part of the general scheme to defeat at any cost the enactment of ihe legislation ordered by the people in 1892. The remedy for this condition of things so far as vicious legislation and incendiary teachings are responsible, is for the government to repeal its discriminating legislation, go out of the paternal business entirely and return to its legitímate prerogative of protecting citizens in the exercise of their rights without discriminating in the interest ol any. Such action would soon dispel the pernicious teachings of the high tariff regime that government is the source of all blessings, and that if a man is not succeeding to his entire satisfaction, he has but to go to the government to do for him what he is unable or unwilling to do for himself, and place in its stead the more wholesome doctrine that energy, economy and self-reli anee are the fundamentals of pros perity and success.


Ann Arbor Argus
Old News