Εικόνες σελίδας
Ηλεκτρ. έκδοση

own happiness under such a form of government as they shall deem most conducive to that end ; and in connection with any other government they shall wish, or in an independence of all connection. Such are the dictates of nature ; such the teachings of revelation ; and if in practising on these tenets, our nation shall come in conflict with powers that would selfishly abridge the rights of man, we must, as heretofore, look to our duties, rather than to the hazards of performing them.




We may as well believe that the seasons succeed each other by chance, as that chance has caused the fifty years' ascendency in our country of the Democratic party. Our two main political sects obey opposite impulses, as naturally as the North and South points of a magnetized needle. The Whigs, who recently opposed the annexation of Texas, and now deprecate acquisitions from Mexico, are the same party that two generations ago opposed the annexation of Louisiana, and who recently generated a faction to exclude adopted citizens from official stations, " that the children's bread should not be cast unto dogs," and that fifty years ago quarantined immigrants fourteen years before they could vote. So, while Democrats have constantly struggled to accord political equality to all citi. zens, the Whigs have constantly exhibited a desire for property qualifications in voters and rulers. Indeed, the predilections are so marked of the two parties, that when posterity shall read that, in 1844, the people of Rhode Island rebelled, as the only attainable relief from a Constitution which enabled a few property-holders to control the State, every reader will know instinctively, that the Whigs withheld the melioration.

* Published March 21, 1848.

These opposite practices proceed from opposite feelings. By the Democrats our boundaries are never large enough for the benevolence that would provide a happy home for all men, while the Whigs deem our boundaries too large already for the selfishness that looks to only exemption from danger. By Democrats' poverty and ignorance are benevolently deemed curable by the enticements of political privileges, while the Whigs deem poverty and ignorance manageable by only political restraints. Excessive reverence for the rich, wise, and powerful, characterizes the Whigs, who delight in 'designating some men as "godlike," and others as “ dear leader;" while Democrats sympathize with the humble in preference to further elevating the exalted, and making the strong stronger and the rich richer. The same excessive reverence for power

inclines the Whigs to a latitudinous National Government, and to a disfavor of State rights; while the dread of power inclines Democrats to a strict construction of the Constitution, and a respect for State sovereignties.

The continued ascendency of the Democratic party proves that a majority of our people are Democrats ; hence the Whigs can never obtain political power, except by some artifice, which enables their proper smaller portion of the people to outnumber at the polls the larger portion. To effect this unnatural conversion, they select for Governors and President, candidates as little tainted with Whig peculiarities, as is compatible with the partisan services expected of the candidate-candidates who possess some odor of democracy. Mr. Clay derives all his Whig availability from this odor, acquired in opposing the Whigs in his better days. Indeed, a man's availability as a Whig candi . date must be in an inverse ratio to his Whig orthodoxy ; hence Daniel Webster, who was always Whig, possesses


no availability. Gov. Young's recent patriotic opposition to Mexico has greatly impaired his Whig standing; but it has, in an equal degree, enhanced his availability as Whig candidate at any future election; while Mr. Clay's recent Lexington speech in favor of Mexico,* has enhanced his Whig standing to almost idolatry, but it has destroyed his availability. His admirers are again essaying to roll him up the steeps of power, but he can never attain the summit; and he will probably be cast aside like Webster, as too good a Whig to be nominated.

The same reasons prevent the Whigs from enacting their most cherished measures, when they happen to possess a majority in Congress, or in a State Legislature. Nothing, for instance, is more abhorrent to the Whigs than the existing restraint on our State Legislature against borrowing ; but they forbear instituting enactments for its repeal, deeming such a consummation too Whig to be successful. So in Congress, while they constantly declare the Mexican war unconstitutional, unnecessary, and a wicked slaughter of women and children, they have not dared to negative votes of thanks to the generals and soldiers who perpetrated these Whig-denounced acts.

The Democratic party, on the contrary, constituting naturally a majority of our electors, know that Democratic nominations will be likely to succeed, in proportion to the Democratic orthodoxy of the nominees; hence, in 1844, the Baltimore Convention rejected several prominent Presidential candidates, and nominated Mr. Polk, his feelings towards Texas and Oregon being more Democratic than the feelings of his rivals. This selection of a comparatively humble individual, with nothing to recommend him but his Democratic orthodoxy, was so variant from the practice of

# We were at war with Mexico.

the Whigs, that they asked exultingly, who is James K. Polk ?-implying thereby, that his deficiency of personal importance would ensure bis deleat. But what can be wiser than thus to present to our electors principles to be voted for in the person of some candidate, rather than to present some candidate to be voted for as a wonderfully wise bel-wether, whom the people are to admiringly follow. Providence has not been so partial in the organization of individuals as to make one man superior to the united wisdom of a majority of his fellow.citizens; hence the people collectively must ever be wiser than their rulers, and hence rulers exhibit more wisdom in subordinating their individual notions to the will of the people, than in persisting, as some have to their cost, in thwarting the popular will, and demanding a “sober second thought.”

When we thus see the organic difference of our two main political parties, who can avoid hoping that Democracy may continue to prevail? Who can see the patriotism, for instance, with which in times of danger the poor rush to recruit our armies, and not desire them to partici. pate fully in civil honors? If Democracy, in its good will to all mankind, is pursuing an unattainable end, let us find the error experimentally, and mourn over the frustration of bright hopes; but let us not assume the failure by a condemnatory creed, like that of the Whigs.

But in the approaching Presidential election, the Whigs are answerable for more than the possession of a repulsive creed. Forewarned by the historic odium of their opposition to the war with England of 1812, they determined to avoid all factious opposition to the Mexican war; but, alas! “man proposes but God disposes.” The ball that is placed on an inclined plane will roll onwards and downwards, despite the intention of the man who placed it there. So the Whigs, who

« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »