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Some Political Truths

Some Political Truths image
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I. Ceaseless change is the order of the universe ; a oontinual becóming pervades both anímate and inanimate creatiou. Nothing is just what it was yesterday, and nothing will be to-niorrow just what it is to-day. This applies with as much forco tü political parties and politioal creada as to anything else in the world. The party that was founded by Lincoln, Chase, Suinner Greeley, Adains, and Truinbull bore the same name with that now led by Morton, Chandler, Cameron, Logan, and other " worthiea." But to aasunie that these two parties are one and the same, beoauae they have the same name, would ba about as correct as to say that the English Church of to-day is the same as the English Church of tbe time of Henry VIII., with its masses and its auricular confessions. So of the party calling itself Demooratic, and accepting unanimously the recont amendments to the Couatitution, aud pledging to maintain all the political and oivil rights of the negro. It is not the same with the Demooratic party of 1854, or 1860. The Mortons, Logans, Camerons, Butlers, Bolknaps, aud Sickles, went out of the Democratie party of that day into another one called Republican, and the Adamaes, the Chases, the Trumbulls, the Bryants, the Suinners, the Greeleys, the Blairs and the Juliana, went out of the so-called Re publican party, and into the Democratie party. These oleinents going out of the one and into the other would uecessarily bring new blood and new life with them, working a tranaformation in their political character. So that these two parties of 1876 are no mote the two parties of 1860 than the partidos of water which together constitute the Miaaiasippi river are the identical particles which componed it sixteen years ago. Old issues havo paased away. The queation whether Congreas hus tho cnaUtitution power to say to tho people of a territory, you shall or shall not have slavery within your limits, is forever settled, and has passed beyond courts, lawyers, and statesmen in roth parties on the oue hand, and demagogues, fanatics, and ignoramusoa, possesaed oi more zeal than kuowledge and discretion, in both parties on the other hand. The question whether a State has a constitutional right to peaceubly withdraw from the Union, which the South almost unaniraously held and the Korth with equal unanimity denied, has likewise pasaed from both these elemflnts in all sections of the land. It is written in blood on the tiells of Buil Run, Shiloh, Lookout Mountain, and Gettysburg; that slavery, and all the ÍBSues it gave rise to, are dead, dead, forever dead ! All these issues are logitimately gone, and any man who proclaims oth erwiae, whether from pulpit, presa, or rostrum, ie a dangerous enemy to the beat interests of his country and his race ; and it would be hard to say whether he deserves most to be pitied or condetnned. With the passiug away of all these old issues there have oonie new ones to fill their places. We are now, in a spirit of Christian statesmanship, to bind together in harmouy and concord the North and South, the East and the West, that we may hava a Union in spirit and truth. We are to see to it that the finauces of the oouutry are put on a solid and aubatantial basis, to the end that industry may ñourish and prosperity return. We are to bring back public virtue, and to raise the standard of public office by purifying the oivil service aud abolishing that abominalion of all political heresies, that " to the victora belong the spoils." We are to choose for public servante men of deep, broad, and aggressive culture, rathor than politictil nobodies, or demagogues with strong lungs but oqually empty brain8. There are questions of pacification, of fiuance, of civil service, of tariff, of Indian af fairs, as well as nthers, which are the real important issues, which have come in to take the place of those long siuce settled by the arinies in the murender at Appouiattox, and afterward seoured by the people in the adoption of the war amendinents. But there exista, in the niindsof some, unfounded prejudices, and an unreasoning attachuient to old forma aud old ñames, without referenoe to what those forms and names stand for, which serioualy interfere with the calm and proper consideration8 of these new and important issues. It is to sonie of these prejudicea and political myths that we proprose hereafter to direct attention. Jt'UBLICUS. We invite the attention of our Republican readers especially to the following aentence from the inaugural addreas of Gov. Croawell : Eloction boards should be so organized and constituted aa not to be composed exclusively of men of one pohtical party ; it is but fair and just that tho opposite party havo at lenst a representativo on the board. Provisión should alao be made that personB who are candidates for office should uot be canvassers of the votes given tor or uainst themselves. They are interested parties who might be tempted for their own benefit into ilijustice aud iraud. The luw does not utsually ailow men to pronounce judpment in casos whore they are directly concerned, and there nhoulcl certainly be no exception in ascartaininf; and determining the result of hotly contestad elections, whero rivalry is great and prejudice bitter. It would scarcoly be possiblo to frame a stronger indictment against the law of Louisiana establishing the returning board of that State, against tho constitution of thttt board, or against its claims and decisious, whether within or beyond the provisions of the governing law. But one party was represented on the board, and two or three of the memberg were either candidatos, or wero oth'irwise (by other official poaitions) direotly intereated parties, - judgeB in their own cases. Able jurists hold the law of Louiaiaua unconstitutional and void, becauae violating oue of the most fundamental principies of the common law and subjecting one citizen to have both his individual and political rights adjudicated and determinad by an officier who is to profit by the judgment he rendered. Such thoughtful languago aa that of Gov. Crosswell ought to cause conservative Republicana to cali a halt. Wmti thé two hoüses of Congres were engaged in counting the electoral vote in February, 18G5, or in " witneaaing the count" as our Ritpublican friends would now put it, and after the tellers had gono through the list of certiíiciites opeued and handod to thein by the Vice-President (the now Senator Hamlin), Senator Cowan iuquired if there were no further returns to be counted, addittg.' "And if there be, I would inquirn why thoy are not submitted to this body in joint conventiou, whioh is alone oapable of determining whether they should be counted or not." The Vice-President respondod that he had "in his possession returnB from the States of JLouisiana and Tonneaaee, but in olxidiuucu to the law of the land " (a joint resolution disfranchising certain States, but the approval of whioh by the President had not yet been oftioially anqounced) " the Chair held it to be his duty not to present them to tho convention." Note the words uaed by both Mr. Cowan and the Vice-President, " the convention " not " the witnesses," as the late Sehnylor Colfax teiins the Senato and Huuse present. In the discussion whioh followod no Senator or Representativo denied that the body or convention could entertain motionn touuhing the count, or even could questiou the sufficiency of a cortilicate or return, and the Vice-President distinctly said : " Motions can be entertained upon any inatters pertinent to the purpose for wliioh the conventiou has assembled." I3 precedent of any account ? In the inaugural address of Gov. Robinson, of Now York, he discussed at length and with olearness and ability the coinplications growing out of the recent Presideutal election, reviewiug the frauda perpetrated in the interest of 1 layes and Wheeler by the Republican returning and canvassing boards of Florida and Louisaua, as woll as the groundless claim inado by the Republioans that the President of the Seuate must not only couut the votes but is the solé and final judge of what certificates he shall open and what votos he shal] count. And very nutuially the Rupublicans tbink that Gov. Robiusou should have confided himself to a di.cussion of State affairs.


Old News
Michigan Argus