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Practical Vs. Impractical Temperance

Practical Vs. Impractical Temperance image
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The raising of tho liquor tax will be opposed boMi by tliu saloons and by Prohibitionlsts. Both will work together; the oue because it sbuts up all the lower groggeries and the other because it does not pretend to stmt up all. The N. Y. Tribune puts it in a good way when it says: "But it is deplorable any iionest and sincere Irieuds of tomperance reform should shut their eyes to tlie utter inconMsteney and unreason of the posltion ia which they are placed by the perverse opposition to hih license. The advocates of the latter equally with the advocates of prohiuition, seek to restriet and diminlsli the drink evil. Uut the friends of high cense undertake only that wliicli in practicable, whereas the prohihitionlsts refuse 11 partial remedies and iusist on the oue whioh is iiiiattuinable. The arguments upon which high license is supported are Lthose which modern sclencu and philosophy approve most strongly. The inore we learn of nature and uatural law the more clearly we perceive that all niovemcnt toward perfeetion is gradual; all ebiiage upward the result of slow processes. Ctvilfsütion itst-lf iiccorda at all points with these conclusious. It lias requlred long periods to lift man irom the animal state' to tliat of the savage; stH furtbvr periods to carry hini trom savagery to barbarism, and yet other agesto take liim from barbarism to hij present condition. All through tliis prolonijcd prooe.-sof evolutiou he has been submitted to tbe moulding influence of external conditions. He has outgrown one defect afler anotber, and in like manoer developed successive capacities. Hut lie has made no sudden leaps. Time and mdcH tinu-, bas been of the essence of his growth. Tlie drink appetite, nurtured by thonsands of years of liabit, lus uecome looted In lus system. lts elimination can ouly be efïocteil by time, pntience and hlgher cilucation. Attempts to l'orce oommanlties belleve in driukiug to stop it have inly been made, but liave never succeeded. The only real suceess prohibitlon has had hasbeeu th coinmunities the inajority of which weie ripe tor tlie adoption of total abstinence. All experienoe shows that in great een ters of population it is neces-ary to proceed gradually and cautiously in tempeianci! reform; to gain a little and hold it; to go forward step bystep; and to tliat end high license is specially adaptiil. 'l'he rational principie must be to proportion the torce and extant of the refm in mriyenarnt to the force and extent of the public opinión which can alone Mlr tain and icalize it. All cfforts to coerce public opinión in a free country must fail. Drajrooning people into reform to which thcy have not been educ ited, for which they are not prepared, is a waste of energy. Moreover, all sucli experiments produce reautions, which arediscouragfng and wliivli ically hinder progn-ss. In ¦ word, the consent of the Hovirned, as we have been taught, is the necessary foundation of all stable government, nd the term governnient i, as regard the principie, intercliangeable with law. High license is not a solution of tlie drink problem, but neither is prohibition when applied to uuripe cmnmiinities. The virtue of high license consits in restralning and educational effi'cts. It is a first step toivard better things; aa entrame into the path at whose upper end shines renunciation of the drink appetite. It will not d much: that is conceded; but it will do tomething, and prohibition which cannot be applied can clearly do nothlng. Rcasonable triends of teraperance ouaht, on these ground, to support high license."


Ann Arbor Courier
Old News