Press enter after choosing selection

The Temperance Question

The Temperance Question image
Parent Issue
Public Domain
OCR Text

All this gii8li and slush, and goody good school boy slop about the immorulity of iaxlng the saloon is disgusting. Anything tlmt accotnplislics a refürni is agood tliing. and the taxing of the liquor Iraflic lias done that very thing. It has helped the temporalice cause by reducing the nuinber of saloons more than onc-half, and cducatiiig the pcople In temperance. Il has m:ide the saloons contrlbute to the care of the poor caused by them. It is gradually and surely paylng tho way to a stronger temperance sentiment and hcalthicr state of public moráis. The government lias a right to tax any business that public sentiment allows to bc carricd on in ts luidst, and it is not inmoral to do t, eitlicr. Any coiumunity in which an ovcrwhelmlns temperance sentiment prevails eau crush out the saloon business with perfect case. Bul where such a sentiment doos not so exist it is about as wlse to be governed by facts, cxpeiïencc and common sense as it is by school girl sentiment and "high falutin" gush. Facts are facts, and they hare to be met by something bcsides pretty phrases and sweetly constructed sentences that appeal to the passionsof the people. Moral ruin is wrought iu secret as well as in public. A young man will drink in a private club room who would not be seen entering a public saloon for the price of his good right hand. Who is to prosecule these men if they dosell liquor? Will the men who write the "God and morality" articles for the papers do it? Under the prohibitory law, if we are not in error, to be seen going into or coming out of a place where liquor is known to be sold does not constitute evidence, as under the tax law, but one must swear that hc drank the liquor hlmself, in order to testify against an offender. Who will sneak around these places and drink in order to testify? Will our friendsof the Register? No law enlorces itself. This is as true of a prohibitory law as any other. In the country towns an overwhelming public sentiment in favor of prohibition prevails. But unfortunately the men wlio will constitute the juries, the offleers wlio will prosecute, and the men who will make the complaints against the liquor sel Iers, will all come from the cities. The country can vote prohibition on the cities, but it can not and will not help to euforce t. The burden of that falls upou a coiumunity where public sentiment is about pqually divided, and where not one man in a thousand can be found Who will meddle in the matter, if lie can help hlmaelf. Talk is cheap; t is easy to say things that will make the public applaud, but those who say the most ara seldom found In the front when actiou is required that calis for bravery, for money, aud for fight. To crush out the saloon business of this county to-day will require a bitter struggle; it will cost money, too, and calis for men who are willing to risk not only danger to their business, but personal danger as well. Are the people prepared for It nowf That's the question. Good wishes for the success of a cause, and going down into one's pocket to help it along, are two different things, and our leading prohibitionists will have to go down into their pockets deepei tlian they did at the court house last Friday, when a gathering of seveut3--five or eiglity only netted $11.66, if the law is carried to a successíul enforcement. On the lst of next May the new liquor law will require a tax of $500 from each saloon. Tlns it is tüouglit will close up nearly one-half of these now remaining in this county, and the law is still more stringent in relation to the manner of conducting the business than at present. The enforcement of this law for a year or so, will give the temperance people justsomauy less men to fight gainst, witu a constantly growing temperance sentiment. But, say sonie, the law will not be enforced. If not, who U to blamo ? If the people will not lend their aid to the enforcement of this law, will they enforce a prohibitory law ? ''Oh, yes," say some of the more-holy-than-thou men. " We believe in prohibition, and we will help euforce that." It is diflicult for one to keep a Christian temper in the face of such an argument as that. Becausc our own views are not carried out in a law, we will not lend our influence or ald to the enforcement of any law that is constructed for the benefit of the conimunity 1 Such sentiments are narrow-contracted, mean and contemptible. It will be remembered that when the rebellion lirst broke out someenthusiasts claimed that they could take a brigade of old vomen down kmui.1i with brooms and sweep that entire section into the sea within a few days; and even good old Abraham Lincoln only called for three months' men, on the start. But the war went on for years, and we all know it cost mili ions of money and untold suffering and sorrow. Intemperiince is as great a monster to fijjlit as ever slavery was, and a more difücult eiieniy to defeat, for it is everywhere about us, and the one who underestimates itsstrength or poohs at all statements of fact, and abuses everyone who does not believe in his own peculiar inethod of fighting it, is not wisc in his day and genera tion. It is a fact that if proliibition is adopted Ann Arbor city will lose scveral thousand dollar?, and her cHIzem wlll be obliged to tax themsclves that much; the lirst item being from $3,000 to $4,0OQ to support the poor. This Is presented as a fact not as an argument. Must we simt our eyes and go it blind in this business without regard to consequences? Only fools do that. The CuuuiEit will present facts on this question and the people eau jude of them and decide for theinselves. That iutemperance is a dreadful evil no one disputes for a moment; that it ought to be wiped out of existence no decent person will deny. But there is a wlde difference of opinión upon the best method of attaining the desired end. There are as good temperance people, both in principie and practice, iu this county who believe that a high license law is the best way to deal with the saloons, as will be found in the ranks of the prohibltionists. They nre just as honorable, températe, upright and intelligent as the most fanatical howler ngninst them. It is probable that option will be adopted in this county, one convincing symptom is the fact that our republican contemporary comes out strong in U favor; for no person can ever polnt to a time when that paper uuder its present ownership ever took a decided stand upon a question unless it feit certain that t was on the popular side. It has constantly nd coutimially trucklcd to policy. If irohibiüon is adopted, it laststhreeyears, wlicn a cbangc can be effected if deelred. Iiecause of this, very inany men who beieve tliat a high liccnsc law is a bettcr leniperanco law as yct, tlinn prohibitlon, will refraln from votin;, la order tliat a testcan be mude, of the merils of the two ncthods. We wonder if it will shock the intcnsely sensittve nature of our wonderfully goody-good conteinporary to state the fact tliat there is a buildinjf in this city to-day being tixed purposely for the adoption of prohibition. A room is being fitted up in the center of the building, whcre no jioseiblc I ight or noise can reach ouUide ears, and no entrance effected unless with the knowledge and consent of tlie outsidu gaard. This is a fm f, not an argument, and facts muft be lookcd in the face.


Ann Arbor Courier
Old News