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There appears to be a great deal of fear...

There appears to be a great deal of fear... image
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There appears to be a great deal of fear in the Ohio republican fold over the vote the golden rule candidate for governor is going to pull. He has invaded the "western reserve " and it is said there is a disposition among the employees of the rolling mills there to vote for Jones. This group of counties gave the republican candidate for governor in 1897, 17,000 majority, and it is feared the man without a party may get votes enough here to wipe out this majority and, thus greatly endanger the republican majority in the state.


According to the New York Journal, the democrats of Ohio are looking an unmerciful thrashing in the face because they have abandoned the "sound democratic policy of expansion and have stupidly allowed themselves to be put in a position which no American party has ever occupied without ruin - the position of encouragement of armed resistance to the national government." Yet, in Nebraska, John P. Altgeld, than whom the Journal holds there is no greater American, makes this same anti-imperialism the all important plank of his platform. There are opinions and opinions.


It is said President McKinley will ask congress for an expression of its policy concerning the Philippines. The president desires a declaration of purpose to maintain permanent sovereignty there at whatever cost, with a promise of self government within the limits of their fitness after the Filipinos have laid down their arms.


Such a declaration would clean up the situation and undoubtedly the hands of the administration. That there will be a fight over the question of permanent retention of sovereignty, to which proposition the president is committed, seems certain.


Yesterday, by invitation of William Jennings Bryan, ex-Gov. John P. Altgeld made his appearance in the Nebraska campaign, delivering a set speech of 10,000 words. It was devoted entirely to anti-imperialism. Not once did he allude to his favorite topic, "government by injunction," or the Chicago platform. In all those ten thousand words there was not one single mention of 16 to 1. John P. Altgeld framed the democratic platform of three years ago. He is today close to the democratic leader, is campaigning Nebraska in his interest. What, then, is the significance of his speech of yesterday? Let him who runs read.


Englishmen who do not accept the doctrine that everything done by the government during time of war is altogether right and above criticism, are having as much abuse heaped upon them as are American citizens who do not accept the dictum that everything in the policy of President McKinley is dictated and directed by Providence. Lord Rosebery, in a recent speech on the Transvaal war, said that there were nations watching with eagerness every trip, every stumble and, what is much more, every catastrophe and disaster that may overtake British arms, and he begged the nation to present a solid front. Yet, Lord Charles Beresford, speaking of Lord Rosebery, declared him largely responsible for Transvaal's resistance and the present war. In the same way some of the ablest, purest and most patriotic American citizens, who differ with the administration relative to Philippine matters, are charged with responsibility for t!ie insurrection there. This is most unjust. Such persons are undoubtedly as patriotic as those who direct the affairs of government. Those who direct the government are of the people, men in all ways similar to their fellows, given the direction of affairs for the time being for the people. They are no more infallible than the people, nor are they above legitimate criticism. In fact, the doings of a government during and immediately preceding a war deserve more criticism than at other times, for the reason that the step is taken in an atmosphere of passion and excitement and carried on in the same spirit. Questions of going to war and carrying on war are not, as a rule, decided in cold blood and cool calculation as to consequences. There would appear to be, therefore, room and cause for difference of opinion among honest and patriotic men as to government policy even during the progress of war. In a government of the people, they are certainly quite as deeply interested in its policy as are those who temporarily direct that policy.


The international commercial congress in its session at Philadelphia revived interest in the project of a canal across Central America, connecting the waters of the Pacific and the Atlantic, by discussing the comparative advantages of the Panama and Nicaraguan routes. The time now appears to be opportune for undertaking this project, if the government of the United States contemplates the construction and control of this great water way. The concession by the Nicaraguan government to the Maritime Canal Co. expired this month, and our government would experience no trouble through having to deal with that company. There is now no necessity for forming a quasi-partnership with a private concern. This difficulty is well out of the way, and it is not probable that Nicaragua, under existing circumstances, will care to take the risk of granting another concession to a private Corporation. It is also said that England stands ready to abrogate the Clayton-Bulwer treaty, thus leaving the United States free to go ahead with the project. The commercial necessities of such a canal have long been clear to everybody and recently the political necessity of such a waterway has been brought home with a force which convinced all. The trip of the Oregon furnished all the argument needed on this point and also convinced that the canal should be controlled by the government. Pubic sentiment will in all probability make itself heard at the approaching session of congress relative to this much needed highway. Commerce should no longer be compelled to bear the burden of rounding the Horn to reach its destination.


Some ten years ago the whole state was startled by the report of two willful and premeditated murders, committed by one Charles T. Wright, a wealthy lumberman. Two officers of the law went to make a levy on some property belonging to Wright. He had armed himself with a rifle and revolver and warned the officials away. When they attempted to perform their sworn duty, he deliberately killed one of them with the rifle, and when the other grappled with him, Wright used his revolver on him with fatal results. He then used his large fortune to prevent being convicted, and every possible influence was brought to bear to avoid conviction, but there were no extenuating circumstances and Wright was found guilty of murder in the first degree and sentenced to Jackson for life. His powerful friends have never ceased their efforts to secure his release. Now it is said the pardon board will recommend that his life sentence be commuted to 15 years. If this be done, in about two years more he will go forth a free man. But why should he be given his liberty? If ever a red-handed murderer deserved the life sentence, that murderer is Wright. The officers whom he foully murdered were executing the mandates of the law. Wright had no grievances against the officers. They were not enemies. They had done him no harm. There was absolutely no aggravation. There could be nothing of a personal nature in what the officers desired to do. Nevertheless they were brutally shot down in their tracks and while in the performance of duty. Why then should the proposed mercy be extended to this man? Simply because of the much importunity of his friends. But it makes a mockery of justice and licenses the killing of officers on duty. A state board of pardons that can so outrage all sense of justice as to recommend such a thing should be gotten rid of as quick as possible. Money and position should never be permitted to cheat justice where human lives have been wantonly taken. Let Wright stay in prison the rest of his natural life, where he belongs. No man guilty of the crimes proven against Wright should ever again be allowed freedom among his fellow men.