Press enter after choosing selection

Political Lying As A Fine Art

Political Lying As A Fine Art image
Parent Issue
Public Domain
OCR Text

Tho men appointed to irrite the platform of the Kepublicsn party at ('iiii'iilntitl seom to have complied it according totho maxim oí tito dancing jeter who speaks the epilogue to the second part of the play of " King Henry IV.," 11 bate rue pome ar-d I will pay you somo, and. aö most debtors do, ]romittc you infinitely." Every four years tlie enterprlaing managers of thi8 party cöme boforo tho pooplo with a new edition of the mot alluring specifica, warranted, liko " lïadway' lleady Kelief puls," to manage overy acho aud infirniity oí the nation. It does not matter at all, in the Judgment of these charlatan praetitioners on the public credullty, that tli e intervals betwecn cach Itepublicnn Naional Convention are fillod up with tho opon ind delibérate violation of the party's soleinn engagements. ïhero ia indeed nothing golden tbout the irredeemablo promines of the Repubican platfoiTn-builder, though in one respect t must be adruitted that these spocioiiH engagements do closely resemble the goldou tree ffhloh stood, in tho classic fable, at the portals of Inferno, from which a twig could not be plnckod without another'a coming instantly to take the vacant placf. As Boon ae the Iiepnblican party break one of its promisos it straightway rcplaces tho violated vow with a fresh assortmentof juggling phrase, devised especially for the occasion, rauch as a bankrupt creditor is always roady to settle au old scoro by reneviDg his worthlesí notes for the unpaid balanco. If auy value should be attached in thiB centennial year to tlie preceptn aud oxample of a llevolutiouary sago like Patrick Ileury, it is ifliitc. plain tliat hin venerablo shade, if permitted to rovisit tho gliuipsos of the moon, would be excoodingly out of place at a Hayos and Wheeler " ratili'cation meeting." "Ihave but ono lamp," cxclaimed the Virginian orator in a notable cmergency, "ly wuieumy feet ar guided, aud that is the lamp ot experience. I know of no way of judging of the future but by the past." He who suffers oxperience to be a lamp to his feet and a light to his path will certaiuly bo guided at a safo (lintiiuo.0 from the newly-ornameiited gull-trap which has just been sot up at Cincinnati and sprung upon the country. He who judgoa of the future of the Itepnblican party by its past (and it is only iu the I'aradiao of Fools that a different critorion i adopted), will be apt to mako a vory short ehrift of the wcak invontions with w'hich it is again proposed to amuso the poople, now that promisiug has become ouco uiore l tho very air o1 the time." Lotus for a moment turn "tho lamp of experienco " u[X)n only a few of tho past prornises of the Kepublicán party, that wo may diacern the measore of faitli that should be motod out to its lateet evangel. In its national platform for tho year 18C0 tlie Kepublican party doclared that "the maiutenance inviolate of the rights of States, and especially the rjght of each ötato to order aud control its own domestic institntions according to its owu judgmentloxchwively, is essontial to that balance of power on which tho perfection aud endurauce oí our political fabric dopond.' This promise tho party haa kept by ita " rononstniction acts" in Congress ; by tho military élomination of Sheridan iu New Orleans ; by uio orgumsauun ui uiu uuuirihi jjc löintiu c at tho point of tlio bajonet, ia the muutli of Jauuary, 1875, aud, as if to cap tho climax of ita iniqnity under tbis hoad, it has jnst uomiimti'il as its caudidate for tho Vico Prcaidency gentloman who count it among hl highest menta that ho helped to reconstituto tiiat Lcgislaturo by an " aJjiiattneut" effected in a New York business office ! In this samo oarly platform the Republicana of 18G0 inveighed agaiust "the reckleau extravagance"' of Mr. Buchanan'n administration, and claniorously demandod "a rotnrn to rigid economy and accountability." In 1868, nÜ every departmont of the flovernmont nncfer their control, and with the liando of President Johnson tied behind bis back, they had the impudence to roasaert that "the Government of tho United State should be administered with the strictest economy, and that the corruptious which have beenso shamefully mirsed and fostered by Andrew Johnson called loudly for reform." IIow this brozen piomiao has been kept may bo read in the bistory of the mrdtiplying villaiuios which have disgraced the administration of President Graut, and which, beginuing with Santo Domingo speculations in naval stations and Black Friday spcculatious in gold, have run through an unexamplod career of railroftd rings, whisky ring, municipal-improvoment rings, real-eatate pools, Emma-Mine Bcandala, Sanborn írauds au CustomHouso pillagings, until at last the carnivai of public proíligacy has ended in the impoachinent of ono niembor of President Grant's Cabinet, and the voluDtary or coercod retirement of that Secrctary upon whom the patrons of "reform in tho partv " had built their evanes cent and now evanishod hopes. In tliia same platform of 1800 tho Ropublioans declarcd that they were "opposed to any chango in our natural ization laws." This proruine they kept by paaaing the act of July 14 1870, which did make changos in our naturalization atatutea ; aud Bubsequently (bj treaty stipulatious with certain Germán staten) they have bargainod away the rights of our Germán naturalized citizens untiJ, in this year of grace Ib7(i, wo find the party managers reduced to the liurniliating nocessity of doclaring their own coudemnation in the tenth plank of their latest platform, wliich pronoun'ces it - the imperativo duty of tho Government to 80 modify erdetinj? treaties with EaropeaD Govern ments Ihat the atue protectlon Bhall bc afïorded to adopted American citizens that is giveu to natire born, and all necessary laws be passed to protpc ini;;rant8 in tho absence of power in the State fo that purpose. The "adopted American citizon" who con fides in tluü promiee, after his experience o the performance made under tho promise o 18G0, will nced to be supplied with instructions how to use tho iamp of Diogones as well as Tatrick üeury's "lamp oí oxperience." lu the piaiform of 180 tho Republieans doclared that ' ' thoy recognized the greát principies laid down in the immortal Declaration 01 Imlependence as the truo foundation of Democratie Government." In the new Cincinnat platform they iustruct Ck)ngre8S to inquire im niediatoly whether those principies apply to Mongoliang, or should be rcatricted to men o European and African descent. In tho platform of 1872 the Republicana doclarod for Civil Service lieform. What tkey have done in this directiou duriug the last fou: yoars, ia pretty well kuown - indeed, is so wel knowu that the political phrae-niongers have judged it prndent to reaftiiTQ their faith in thiö heautifid and beneflcial renovation - until tho next Presidential election is over. In 1872 the Republicana ' ■ confidently expected that our excellent national ciirrency would bo perfeoted b.v a speedy resumption of specie payments." Tbis promise thoy havo kept by twice iniiating the volume of our paper monoy, aud thoy now propose still further to keep tho word of promise to the car until Januarj', 1879, that tbey may break it to the hope of the people for an indefinito period after that dato. In 1872 tho Republicana rejoiced in the "growtli of poaco and fraternal feeling tbroughout the land." Sinco that date thoy have tiied to push new "f orco bilis" through Congres, and dnring the present session thoy have followed tho lead of Blaine against universal amnesty. Tho " bloody shirt," though torn to tatters from long service, and mangy from conlact wiili the seurvy political Bcalawags who havo worn it to hide tlioir plunder, has again boon reinatated as tho "gonfalón" of tho party. In 1872 tho Ropublicaus favorod "suchadditional legialation as will extend the bounty of tho Government to all our soldiere and sailors." Of oourne nu uch "additional lcgislation " hss been passod, and after such additional logialation had boen defeated by the action of President Grant, it was in order for the Cincinnati Convontion to declare that "tho pledgos which our nation has giveu to our soldiers aud sailors must be fulfilled." When our soldiers aro urged to "vote as thoy hot, " it might bo suggosted that they should lokt these broken promiaos along with their ballot; seeing tliat they can no longer uso the countorfeit paper au wadding for their bulléis. But wo are wearyiug tho patience of the reader by this detailed enumeration of the cases in which tho ltepubhcan party has failed to koop its public engagemonts. The casos, moreover, are " too nuoierous tomentiou," as tlie auction bilis say, aud we nm-t abandon tlieir further recital co-day, with tho simple remark tliat, however truo it may be, as Shakospeare hath it, that proniisiug ' ' open the oyea of ex])ectation," it is very certain that the boatitudo promised to those who "oxpect nothiug " ia the only kmd of bleiug which a Republican platform of tho modorn era can insure for ita votaries. It might bo well enougb foi Iiamlet "to eat the air, promiao-crammed, " but. as thatwiso prinoe remarked, "youcanuot feed oapon so."'


Old News
Michigan Argus