Monday, March 10, 2014

"see what fierce and swift progress their leaders have made in the work of destroying constitutional liberty...."


   A contrast between the beginning and the end of Republicanism--between the first platform and the present policy of the ruling party--between what that party promised, and what it is doing and has done, would be so instructive that the St. Louis Republican is constrained to direct attention to it at the present time. The Republican party, as a national organization, is still youthful--not quite fourteen years old; yet, says the Republican, it has achieved a stage of crime and corruption that no other party ever reached in half a century of power. Indeed, it has actually completed tho falsification of all the leading assertions, and the violation of all the boasted principles on which it first appealed to the sympathy and confidence of the people. In proof of this we quote its own admitted record. The Republican platform of 1856 drew its inspiration from the Kansas episode, and the fourth resolution of it relating to Kansas was its leading feature. It is as follows:

   "Resolved, That while the Constitution of the United States was ordained and established by the people in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, and secure the blessings of liberty, and contains ample provisions for the protection of the life, liberty and property of every citizen, the dearest constitutional rights of the people of Kansas have been fraudulently and violently taken from them--their territory has been invaded by an armed force--spurious and pretended legislative, executive and judicial officers have been set over them, by whose usurped authority, sustained by the military power of the Government, tyrannical and unconstitutional laws have been enacted and enforced--the rights of the people to keep and bear arms have been infringed--test oaths of an extraordinary and entangling nature have been imposed as a condition of exercising the right of suffrage and holding office--the right of an accused person to a speedy and public trial by an impartial jury has been denied--the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures has been violated--they have been deprived of life, liberty and property without duo process of law--the freedom of speech and the press has been abridged--the right to choose their representatives has been made of no effect--murders, arsons and robberies have been instigated and encouraged, and the offenders have been allowed to go unpunished," etc.

   This was the virtuous proclamation of the Republican party in 1856. How startlingly it contrasts with the policy, the acts, the army orders, the reconstruction statutes, and the declared dogmas of that party in 1870! Every sentence of the resolution we have quoted is an arraignment of the party that adopted it; it has committed and is committing every one of the crimes it then and there denounced. If the people have not been alarmed and stimulated to general opposition by its usurpations, it is because it has awed and subdued the people by armed intimidations, and stupefied them With its corruptions. It is because, in some parts of the country, it has arrogantly told the people that it "means to rule," in defiance of their will, and intimated that no popular opposition to itself will be permitted to succeed. It has outlawed and expelled every original member who dared to re-assert and adhere to its original platform, and followed the lead of those who incited it to new usurpations. We commend the resolution above given to "the good Radicals" of this party, that they may see what fierce and swift progress their leaders have made in the work of destroying constitutional liberty in the short period of fourteen years.

[Nashville Union and American, Nashville, Tenn., Friday, April 15, 1870. New Series 507. Pg. 2]

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