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The Press Boss

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Parent Issue
Day
14
Month
December
Year
1887
Copyright
Public Domain
OCR Text

[The following nddrest was deliveretl ly Junlns E. Beal lefore the Yoanu Men's Republlcau League of Detroit, on Thursday avening, Dec. Sih, and publlshedat thelr reinint. -Kd.J Mr. President, üentleiuen of the Young Men'8 liepulillcan Lcngue, and Prlends: In tome spare inomenU snntcheil from u rathcr busy Ufe, a lew thougUts hay come to me wliich hitherto may not have been considered of onough importancc to be worthy of a talk about. Thcy come from au editorial standpoint, wlikii I ain confident will make you all feel at home at once, for althougli tbere are many persons in tbis broad land of ours who are not able to pay for their paper, never has thcre been a man found who was not able to edit one. Henee, as we all know all about ü, let us Jiave a brotherly chat as to the fícete procluced. A few wetks ago tlie mayor of New York city, in one of ]¦ is dyepepttc frenzies, growled out his hatred ot the press and dcclarod that the wliole pack of editorg were nothing more tlmn politica] " bosses " - the party papers being bought by political patronage and the independent sheets purchased by the candidatos themselves. I am not here simply to deny this, but father to dlscuss the oeeper meaning behind and beyouil this charge. For, although it may h ive bolled n from an outraged stomach and :i disofdercd livtr, soinething of import muy be gathered from the suggestlon whidi hould be not entirely without use to those of us whose age, or perhaps want of age, compels to rely upon quick, intelligent thoaghts; slnce, as yct, (xporieuee is lacliinf. Herein lies the difïerence between the plans and methods el the Younfr Men's Kepublican Club and the Michigan Club, as it Seeins to an outsider: the fortner act priucipally fr.mi rcason, while tlie laltcr are more foilunate in being able to add to reason experience. bo we must mak up for tbc deliciency by increased study and an earnest search alter triith. To use Matthew Arnold's phrase - we mustlearn "to thlnk straight and see clear." By the successful formatlon of tliis and similar clubs over all the land for steudy work the year around, the Ineffecttvenes of the old spasmodic way for permanent results is confessed. While on the other iiand the method of the newspaper is idopted, i. e. of steady, penistent hammerlng at falsehoods and the brinaing out of trulh. In that l'es in p:irt the teervt of the power of "Ttie l'ress Boel."" Let us admit the first part of his charife, that tlie press is a "Bom." llow can it help being a "Boss?" For the rresistible tendency of the times is towards a multiplication of newspapcraud an enlargement of ciiciilations, nothing is said abont the "clai medici rcuations" of some of our noisy sheets, wheie wind answers for brains. Of a tr.ith, as the night-vapors of illiteracy ire driven away we arise In the raornlng with a hunkering after a newapaper for jreaklast. More and more ate we gnided - even more than we admit to our very selves - by the clear-cut morning editorial; our thoughts and conversation are lirected unconsciously, yet surely, even jy the headlines ; in argument we may not be able to state the polnts In order to a conclusión as we read theni, nevertheless the conclusión sticks by us. The constant iteration of an idea until it tt'üoinu8 familiar conquere much of stubbornness. In fact.all tliat savestbe muie's reputation is because lie cannot read, else lis stubborn will would yield. Furtlierinore, the way In which news is preíenWd and the quotation of personal lyiiiiims as news indirectly, Lut none the li'8s potently, teuds to bias uh. As tlie suc cess of a juiy lawyer oft times depeiuls on bis steady reiteration of a point until it is well pounded into brain and heart, so too, the daily or weekly advent of a paper, always attacking tlie weak points }f the oppo?ition, at last leads to deeprooted conviction of the general uselessness of the other party, if not of ts total nicapacity for govei ning the afl'iirs of state. Well, Uien, is not a subscription to a ive party journal a better and a surer method Ot gaining votes than bj' epasmodic distribution of tracts, speeches or garden 6eeds? The placing of a weeklv idition of tle Detroit Tribune, the N. Y. Tribune or the ínter Ucean in the hands of doubttul young yoters will go miles In making them solld for wlnit we cali the right. This theory is credlble because lUCh seed sown during the quiet afler electtons falla into receptivo miiids, while eieclions inlls into receptivo minus, wlule ,lmt whlcb is atteinpted to be sown diirnjr tlie heat of election times falls on stotiy frrotlbd wliicli Is then tiei n r tOO rreqoenüy plowed up ever to bo fruittal. A young man's mlud, just bflfore ie becomes old enough to voto, is easily nflueneed, and many cases are welltnown where an accidental course of rcü'linir lias set liim even agaiust hll 'ather's politics. 80 it may readlly be sccn tliat such a metliod wouli! not be waeted campalgnlng, and some day It will be reconized as the powerfnl agent t really is. In olden days t':e two mightlest movers of the world, Christ of Galilcc nul Sócrates of Athen?, never wrote a word, yet we in these later times would have rroped without their divine thoughts had hej not been rescued by the printer to je placed as an eternal llght on the home altara and by every fireside. Too true in times past was the plaint of Hiawatha tliat 1 .1 il men dlo and are forgolten, WiRe men spenk ; thelr words of wisdom Perish In the ears t lmi heur them, Do uot reach the generatlong 'rimt, as yet uiitxirii, are wiiillne In the great, mysterlous darkncws Of the speechlcss days tliat shall be ! It is different now, and the art preservativo ot all arts, coming to mlllions to whom paintings and statues, great architecture and great music cannot appeal, and coming with more thoughts and feelïngs than all the other arts can c n --, we must declare tliat this ad vanee of Witten tliought symbols the advance of society. Our own Michigan poet, Will Carleton, Bays that whlle a boy plodding 011 the old farm the newspaper was the only ruy of Ight whlch came into that dreary life, nul 1 need not add how the darkened iours of Mllton's life were only llghtened Ijy others reading to hlm from his [recious books. Our friends, the cnemy have been uckier nnil shrewder than we In thla one strong polnt, of having better journals Tor tlieir leaders. For instancc, for several y ears the F ree Press was more ably ;dited than the Tribune or Post. It was livelier, more enterprising, and the articles were better prepared to catch the public. Then along came thousands of our gfiod bttt thoaxMleM repnbllonm wlio bscked it vip by tlit-ir subscriptions to it or their purchnse of it. In the mean timetliey too selfishly foraook thelr own party paper by withdrawing thcir sup port from it. In New York City the Workl got a sharp young business man, Mr, lloward of Boston, to take charge if it, payiiif him $10,000 a year. He has built It up to the largest circulation of any daily in the country. While east I ahvays usei to buy it for its enterprise. I was taken in by its apparent public spiritedness In ralelng tlie fund for Liberty's pedestal, hut when I found its contlnued and brutal attacks on poor old John lioach, who was driven t bis grave thcreby, I swore I never would buy another copy. I liave kopt Ihat so well that when at a New Jersey resort tliis summer, the World beIrig the only daily for sale, I went without, althongh dying to see the base ball sniii'Ñ I do not. know whethcr j-ou have many of these Mugwumps here in your beautiful city, but wohaveanumbeiat Ann Arlor,:is well as in litera ry centers generalij1. Xow do you know why so many men of letten have strayed off! It Ie mainly due to thcir reading of The Natlon. Tliat [t ftcknowledged to be the literary paper of Ihe very lught-st tone. In its columns are to be found the most able critiques on niusic, art, paintinsr, sculpture, poetry and the best book-reviews. For they have connoissieurs in all these higher irtt, and specialists write for it. In the midt of all this willet) is noble, elevating, attraotive lo mtnda of culture - amongall the tlowers of loftj' thnught creeps the toad of free trade, spitting out its poison oven into tlie honey of the flower. Eng lish ideas there are repeated on politica! econoniyas well as on aesthetics. Then what wonder Ie it, that as we have a high Veneratlon for the grand old bardsof Britain and for theirmethodsof lofty thniight, tli.it we should be blinded In followinc tliem in other tilinga? Our scholars wrapped up in literature, science and the arts, wblcb II the same in America, Kngland, France or ttllMlft, forget that the economie oondtttona of our newer, l.irm-r and freer land are radically different from those of a nation a thousaiid J't'ars older, The Republic of Korth America is not as the Republic of Letters. Followlng the dicta of the college professors are too many of tbose who daily -it at their feet in the class room. It was only scven years ago when your worthy president and the speaker weie coming out of the political econoniy class wonlering in spite of our repúblicas anteoedents whether or not ourbeloved party was not on the wrong side in advocating lrotection. In fact, we wure both freetraders until we nt out into the workl and saw things as they real I y are right here in the United States. Thus the poison is far reacblog, England rules The Nation; The Nailon rules the college professor, while the professor guldee the thoncbt of our young men. Something tiiv.it be done. On the other hand, another class is to !e educ.ited. These are they to whoui the yc is a etronger gnide than the reason. They want pictures. So Puck has jeen preacblns to them. lts weekly cartoons of wit, satire, surrasm, coarse ihougb they may be at times, appeal ioader than Sunday scrinons to the mas8!S. The young and the old crowd eaeh other at tha shop wimlows where they ui' stuck up, nnd the joke i- au argument thunduring in the houd even in Ireamland. You cannot forget it so sooii is i sober truth. SomeÚiing must be done. Then, what shall we say about Ilarper's Weekly? You all know what a powerful exponent of pure republicanism it was duiing and after the war. It guided by sense and nonsense, untll it was led astray by the personal pique of its editor and also by its hitherto secret yeaining after the biazen image of the free trade calf. 15y its apostasy it lost much of its prestige and its circulation was wonderfully lessened at news Btand ;hroughout the country. Ho-wever,it stlll tellg many minds what to thiuk. Something must be done. Still another class are powerfully nfluenced by the rcligious and temperance jress. You will pardon me if I again ;ake myself as an illustration by relating an experience with the practical workings of prohibltion. "The Centre" had led ne to imagine that prohibltlon was a fact and not a shadow of a name in Malne. Two years ago I had occasion to go into southern Malne on the cars, passing hrough Portland, Augusta and Bangor. l'ho train made ten minute stops at these owns and I noticed a general exodus 'rom the cari, mei; rushing out to get nto line. I following soon found a soda ountaln to be the objeotlve polnt Qln_!t ale was called for, but unaccompanied by a wink, when the fellow handed ne a glas of beer! When I arrived mine I asked some of my iirohlbition 'rienda about it. Thpy admilted that t iniglit be sold in those large cities, but they declared that I should have 5011e, back into thecountryainong the small owns, for there 110 whisky ever gurgled from jug or bottle. Well, I thought it night be so. However, this last summer with a number of wheelmen friends a ráyele tour was made from Quebec down icross tb o Green Mountains into northern Maine near Moosehead Lakc, that nost charming inland lake lying in the nldft of vast plne forests. One afternoon, although the road was liilly, bcveral of us got to rushing cach other until four of us were going as f ast as we iould. Being pretty evenly matched the race was a long, hard one, and we ar'lved 11 at supper rather exhausted. To estore my strength I thought a whisky 3ath might be good. So 1 went to the anillord of the hotel and asked him if I could aret some whisky. He sald "Oh yes," and conducted me into the next room where a barrel was on tap and I got what was wantod. Havlng been informed that hc was the sheriff of the county, postmaster and justice of the 5eace, I asked him if he was not afraid .bat he would have to arrest himself for ¦elllna whi.-ky. ',Oh, 110," was the re)ly, "all the hotels geil it." Now, the lett part of this is coming. I took the vbtaky bath (on the outside) and went to jed. In the night there was a taint rcaliation on my part that some of the others of our party were continually cussing, slapping ainl siarcliing among the bed clotheB in the adjacent rooms. Some got lp, dressed and went down stairs gaying irofane words about there being too maní 'or them in one bed. But your speaker )c:icefully tlept and in the tnornlng nrosc ¦efreshed. At breakfast a general comlarison of experiences revealed the fact bat all but three of us, who luid bathed in ru.sky, had been grievously smilten with the sauif brinl of bugti The next night it another town, the most of the party ;ook our prescrlption and escaped, while those who did not had another attack of rimex Uctularius. That convluced u thoroughly that prohibition whisky wa so vile that even the nut-over-fnstldiou bed-bugs would avoid it.or anything whicl liad been soaked tlterein. Thus anothe prohibilion paper idol was shattered. One day a man in Chicago, anxious les fais umbrella should be stolen as he Wñ in the Paluier iiouse dining room, placee a card on it rèading: "The man rhi ouns this strikes a 200 pound blow.' When he carae out he did not flnd liis stnrm-protector, but in its place a can reading : "The man who borrowed tha umbrella runs ten miles an hour." Now it ia the same with us in politica! literature. We can strike the heavy blows but the democrats, being more nsed to it, can outrun us. Henee, for us to encourage our good frienda in reading Buch stuff, elther by exainple or countcnance endangerü haring votes stolen, and votes are our protectors to keep off the deluge Moreover, from the constant reading oi t hoM-.i.crts comes in-niv a slip, and a slip on a ticket Is the deadliest enciny to party organi.ation, for it is done in secret. Wiiy do I say these things? To show yon that republicans are too liberal to be thorouglily loyal to party interests. Who ever heard of a democrat taking a republicun paper? But yon and I can think of niany of our party frieiids who fooi with irunpowder by reading the Bourbon shetts. Now let us beat the enemy at its own game. Let us stand up for the Detroit Tribune against the Free Press ; the Chicago Inter-Ocean against The Times; The New York Tribune against The World; Judgo against Puck; The Uentury against Harpcr's. If a friend says any of the second list are goot! papers, teil h i in ours are better and set the example by purchasing them or none. If a newsboy on a train says he has none of our papers, ask h lm why, and enss him bo that he wlll remember thom uext titne. By such a course you help doubly : in building u stal wart republican newspapers, and in weakening the oppoaition. For just as long as we remain a republie, foverned by the votes of a reasoning nul thinking people, just so long is it our pariiniount duty to help toguide their thonghts iuto proper channels by supilying them with the best republican "eading. Do not misunderstand me, however, in this, as urging that no good republicun sliould read the journals of the enciny. What is meant is that the great masses of our noble party should no more purchase, subscribe for, beg, borrow or steal one of those mugwump producers than .hey would 8 dynamile bomb. But our eaders should and must, in order to f a hl a knowk'dgo of their tactics and to udge of their strength, for we munt never itulerettimate it. The greatest hero or i', -mn this fiinimcr, not even excepting Prof. KulHvan, was that doughty old yachtsman, Gen. Paine, of the Volunecr. Tlicy jr.ive a reception to him In I aiiiicü Hall, and in a short speech he -aid : "I wlsta to say that one of the rinclpal reasons which contributed to he lllcceM of the late contest was the 'act that none of us uudervalued our antagonist." That golden thought has been rining In iiiy cars ever tlnce, evea In my I reama, and I am thorouglily convinced that success in enrylltitHj depends on tliat. Those words, if written in letters of lire on all our hearts. will make this eague invincible for republicauism, for ;houands of failures in business come 'lom overtsUinating profits and uuder¦sliniating expenses. He who has the golden mean come to a oompetence. Such couservatistu wlm not less in politics thau in business. In that wonderful and supromely desjerate campaign of the Wilderness, an 'ngagenient was on. Ainong the ofllcors of the unlon forces the most unpretenlous and quiet one was General Grant. hiring the wildest momenta of the terrible shock of battle several start' offleers rode ip to hun shoutiug: "The right brigade is shattered; the enemy have turnea our tank, and their reinforcements are upon us." The Sphinx stood at the foot of a arge tree calmly whlltling a stick in his lands. He alone was unmoved and master of himself. After a moment or .wo of reflection he cooly said: "I don't jeüeve it. At such a time euch a división was ordered to such a place and such a jeneral was to advance the lines in such a direction. There hasn't been time for such a catastrophe." Ile gave a few orders and went on to win the bloody battle. Some of our leaders to-day are demoralized. They say the enemy holds he fort with the machinery of state; the south stands hopele9sly solid, even by suppressed votes and fraudulent countng and returns; New York is in the lands of corrupt, unscrupulous ringsters whom no audacity appalls; the deuiocracy is backed by whiskey money and y English Cobden Club infiuence for ree trade; the forelgn (whlcli is the worst) element votes, repeat3 and deVauds for the party which promises it its so-called liberty; the republicans are iable to have dissensions over their nomiïee for President: all, all is lost. But the press, while recognizing many of these things to be so, says that it is not 'et time for the republican party permanently to be defeated. The principies at stake are too great to be settlod wrongly and the Republican party will not down until it bas killed the inlluence of the "saloon in politics;" until it has compelled an equalization, so that 2,000 voters for congressmen in one section of he country shall not equal 40,000 in another section; until this nativo latid of ours shall be managed for our interests first and not in the interest of foreign countries who needs must build up their own factories by pulling ours down; intU wc have proper coast defenses; unil our own ships carry our own goods and mails to forelgn ports ; until the illitrates can be made fit for the ballot; intil the proictariat can be helped to a worthy citizenship, and we be made a ïappy republlc. This may take the work f years, but the republican party has no ieed of being defeated until these huge eforms nre accomplished. Through it all the Press Boss wlll help to guide and o direct; to propose and to dispose; to order and to execute. The bravo old general sleeps, restlng from bis stormy ictivities, but the Press never tires, never ests, never dies. It is lighting the reMiblican battles .tbrough The Wildcrless.

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Subjects
Ann Arbor Courier
Old News