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The How-not-to-do-it Policy

The How-not-to-do-it Policy image
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Tf it be true tbat " wbere there is a ill there is a way," the prime question is whether there is a will. It is haviug no will to do atbing that makes what is called an " impracticable," and to be tbat is to be without an'y right to moral itflueneo. There are mea who have no will that the South ehould sooa be reetored. They are full of objections against the Presiden t's plan, which sprang not so ruuch f rom opposition to tbe particular mode of restoration, as to the restoration itself. They are shut up to the " foregone conclusión" that the South ought not, for an indefinite period henee, to enjoy again its full constitutional posvers. In many cases, this comes frmn bb tonest belief that the Southern w hites will not, for years, be fit to bo tr usted with any power over the race t+ipy have eo lately held in slavery. In nvmy ofber cases, it is but the oflspring of that old vindictive feeling of the human heart which delights in keeping down a prostruteeuemy. In other cases Rtill, it proceeds from a dread of the revived power of the South, as a mifichk'vous element in the future politics of the country. JBut however various the motives, tbe result is the same - a policy of obstructiva and procrastmaion. The only study of these people is how not to do it. Obiecticns aoainst any plan which pioceeded from such a eoudition of mind are but mere pretests, and have do title to oonsideration. A good deal has been aaid about an establishment of negro suffrnge in the Southern States as a prerequisite to their restoration. But to no small extent this talk lias been but a covert for the ui terior purpose of keeping them out a all eveots. We are forced to believe this, beoause there is an habitual avoid anee of all discussion of the metbod bwhich this suffrage is to be secured. - The eight millions ot Southern white are, almost to a man, most strongly op posed to it. How is their will to be permanemtly overruled ? By the wa power of the President ? But that pow er, even if it embraced the question o puffrage, whieh it cannot, terminates th instant the restoration is efl'ected; auc tho States wnuld again be íree to d their ovvn will. Shall negro suffrage b secured by an amendment of the Con stitution ? That, if practicable, wouk the only true mode. We adopted i in respect to negro freedom. We did not trust to any. permanent eöact of the emuiicipution proclamation, or to any abolition ordained b.j the conventious of the States seeliing to return. We have undersstood that the permanent val idity of (he proelamation might be hereafter denied, and that future eonvontions might undo the ordinance of the present. Therefore we have insieted upoa the incorporation of a perpetual interdict of slavery into the Federal Coustitution, where it will be for alL time to oome beyond the reach of any Southern option. Uut not the first proposition ha been made for a similar aniendment to secure pennanently negro suffrage. Why ? Is it because negro suffrage does not re juiio as struug a safeguard for its perriianency üs mtgro ireedom ? If the latLsr, tbough eupiiortcd by a proclamation Miod v.ith pluiiary war powers, and by tl.i' delibérate acceptanue of. the Southfiii States in the most sulemn of all f', wii uot deemed safe nnless proteotei by tb'o 'julwark of the Federal Uonslitution, howcould theformer, wiüiout oitherof the other deienoes, do with out thisiustgruutBafeguard h would nol stand a day agakist Southern will, 1 after the Southern States once reoeived back their civil powors. Yet uo sign of a mov ii 01. t bas boen mude to procure a cou terpstrt of tiic at:', i .-lüvery ttmtradment in a. p:o-suftV;iL'c ■nieiidment. The rtquisiie ihree fourthe nmjority of the St.i es coufd never be otitained, and ejrerybwdy knows it. A f tor all the dee laniation of the last six nicjiiths, about ! the right of freemeu to the fránchitíe, tliose who have indulgod in it are stiil as far as ever from submitting auy schütue for pernianently forcing the Southern States to aeknowledge that right, They have avoided this for no other reasou than because they know that any se' errui they could duvie wuuld carry its impracticable charucter on its face. Aflirmativily they eoufiue themBelves lo mere obsíra;t seutiiuenializing; negutively, to embarrussing Prenident Johnson's ]jlan. it all resolves itself, fis we have said, into a simple obstructive poiicy - a polioy oí' keeping the South out for au indefiuitc time. The real qnestion is, whether in early. estoration of ihe South is expedient. - 'hose who really believe this, find no ifficnlty in supporting President Johnson's plan, as both utt and eSectlvu - just, beeuuse the prerequisites insi&ted upon are all the logias] eonsequences of the wur, and etfeclive, becsiuse the Sou1 hem States can and will accept theiu, with a fu 11 purpose to abide by thera. To"oppose that plan ia nothiug else than to go fur postponing the restoration ol the South indctinitely No project eould bc worsu ihan that. lts whole working would be to hinder all good, and to promote all evil. It is-of almost vital cousequenee to the finanees oí the country that the industry of the South should be speedily re-established, and the great Soutiitru staples be again produced in something like their old nitghty measurc. This cunnjt be done so long is tho South remaiua uuder military governmeni, iind with a iuture altogethor incertain. Tho capital yliich is ucoessay for the purpose will not go to the South without the certainty of a settled cnndilioD of society, which civil safejuards alone can guaraiHee. To postpoue the i estortttioo is not only to siuk the national credit, but is to keep the Southern people impoverished and humiliated aiaí tu excite in their heirts the very worst feelings agaioBt tho Government. The whole North has been astonished by the uuivermility and tho (iromptncss of their submission to tne Govcrnmen", after the overthrow of their annies. A year ago few deumed such a changa posible. The present spirit of the South is surely remarkable, a d we ought to make tlie most of it in usinp; it, hile still fiesh, tore-ccment the Union. If repelled, it will inevitably tura tobitterness and bate, and work endless discord and confusión. The Unió i j a1 tv wonld belie its name if it failed to hus;ain President Johason iu his opening of the only feasible way f r n speedy reurn of tbe South to lts qIu constitutional place iu tbe Union.


Old News
Michigan Argus