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the office is considered worth. In New York even candidates for judgeships are thus assessed by political bosses to the figure of thousands of dollars; and some of the most eminent and worthy of the judges of that State have had to submit to this mulct, if they would reach the places for which they may have a proper ambition and for which their fellow-citizens deem them specially qualified. In this case the vicious custom which has assumed the force of law should certainly be forbidden by law. Of all official personages, a judge should be clear of even the suspicion of contributing money for his own election. And, generally, it would be more becoming, even if statute law cannot accomplish it, that the unwritten law of public opinion should prevent a candidate for any office paying money for a campaign in which his own election to office is in question. But now the expectation is just the reverse. A candidate for public office is not only looked to for such courtesies as dinners. and railroad tickets to delegates on convention days, all of which courtesies are of the nature of small bribes, but he is expected to pay largely into the campaign fund, if he has the means to do it, and is quite likely to be chosen as a candidate because he has the means and the disposition to use them freely in behalf of his political ambition. And so we have, at election times, our political journals full of suggestions, which should make our cheeks tingle with shame, that the candidates with the largest "barrels "— as the political slang
is are winning the political race; and intimations are thick that rich men buy their way even into such high offices of dignity and power as that of a United States Senator or a Cabinet position. That campaign funds are used, in one way and another, for the bribing of voters, for the actual purchase of voters at so many dollars a head, has become an open secret: it is practised in cities. and in country towns, and even our new ballot laws have not yet stopped this profanation of the freeman's duty of voting. To this shameful degradation has fallen the sacred right of self-government by the ballot which our fathers fought to establish. Oh, for the higher patriotism before whose indignant scorn both the briber and the bribed should be driven, at least, into outward respect for the Declaration of Independence and the decencies of free citizenship!
Then, again, the extravagant pension legislation. of the country has opened another most fertile. source of corruption. It is a kind of corruption that is infinitely subtle, working like a deadly disease at the very roots of patriotism. The United States Senate has just passed the "Annual Pension Appropriation Bill," aggregating nearly $145,000,000. The Commissioner of Pensions, however, estimates that this immense sum will fall short of the requirements, which he puts at $156,000,000; and in the course of the discussion it was stated that, even with no additional legislation increasing the list of pensioners or their pen
sions, the present laws would bring the necessary appropriation up to nearly $200,000,000 in the course of two or three years. When General Grant was President, he thought that a sum less than $30,000,000 annually should suffice to meet all just pension claims, even when they should reach the highest point. And up to 1879 his estimate was, on an average, correct. In that year Congress passed the "Arrears of Pensions Bill," which at once nearly doubled the annual amount required. And, what is worse, it disclosed to the ex-soldiers of the country the fatal facility of Congress for passing such bills. The legislation had not been called for by those whom it would benefit. The soldiers had, up to that time, been selfrespecting. There was no argument of any weight to show their needs. It was simply a demagogue's measure to catch their votes. And from that time to this, as still more liberal legislation has been proposed and adopted, there has been no party in Congress that has dared to oppose it. A new business for pension claim agents and pension lawyers and lobbyists sprang up, the soldiers themselves were plied with circulars reminding them of the government's bounty, and setting them to work to look up their diseases and disabilities and establish their claims. The result was that thousands and scores of thousands of soldiers went on to the pension rolls because of some wound or contingent disability, though abundantly able to take care of themselves and their families, or possessing an
ample fortune; and a multitude of others are there who may be disabled, but whose disability is in no wise the result of their wounds or exposures in the country's service. Moreover, nearly thirty per cent. of this enormous annual appropriation does not reach the soldiers at all. It goes to pension agents and to the expenditures of the Pension. Bureau. Now, I am well aware that to raise any criticism of this enormous pension system of our country is to subject one to the charge of being disloyal to what was our Union soldiers' cause. Do you ungratefully forget the debt, it is asked, which the country owes its soldiers? To which I reply, No: I can never forget it, nor is it a debt which the nation can ever pay. It is a kind of debt which cannot be measured nor paid in dollars and cents. If the old soldiers were disabled by the war, and they or those dependent on them are in need, then let the help be prompt and generous. The nation should see to it that none such should suffer. But to provide that a soldier not of this class should be aided by the bounty of the public treasury is to transform the proud and honorable tie of patriotism into a mercenary relation. As to loyalty to the cause for which our soldiers fought, I claim that it was not the thought of pay, but the spirit of patriotism which was the impelling motive which led to enlistments in the army. It was enough if our State or the nation promised to care for those dependent on us, should the fortunes of war deprive them of our support. That was the
only contract which the nation undertook,- that and the support of the army in the field. The rest of the compensation was to be found in the prizes of valor and self-sacrifice and in the honor of doing honorable service for the salvation of one's country when in peril and for human liberty. It was my privilege to be one of those who did some slight part in that great service. But, though I had been wounded and maimed in the conflict, so long as with brain or hand I can earn my bread, I trust I should have the grace to say to my country, "Keep your pensions for those who are disabled and in want: leave to me the sole but ample satisfaction of having served my country as I would have served my own mother in peril, from filial love and duty." The true loyalty can ask no other reward than that. Apply not your silver knife to cut the nerve of the higher patriotism, which places honor above silver or gold or comfort or life.
There are other evils of recent growth in this country which are a great strain on the patriotism of good citizens. But I can only briefly allude to them. There is the growing misgovernment of great cities, due largely to political entanglement with the vicious power of the liquor saloon. There is the utter failure of free government in some of our cities, owing to this and other causes, and a condition of practical anarchy, -as when, in New Orleans, if the courts fail to do justice, a mob of citizens breaks into a jail and deliberately murders a dozen imprisoned and defenceless men;