« ZurückWeiter »
Gontents for September.
The WHGS AND THEIR CANDIDATE. By Hon. D. D. Barnard,
* Late Professor of Harmony in the Royal Academy of Music in London, Musical Director at Covent Garden Theatre, &c., &c.
NOTE.—The friends of Judge McLean will find an error of fact regarding his nomination, corrected at the end of this number.
The Whigs of the United States have a to an end, and is really valuable—nay, is heavy responsibility resting on them in the only justifiable—when it is employed as an approaching Presidential election. We instrumentality in behalf of the country, hold that it does not admit of a reasonable and of the whole country. When party doubt that they can elect ZACHARY TAYLOR becomes selfish-when it becomes amto the Presidency if they will. It is bitious—when it desires to rule for the equally clear to us, that if he be not elected, sake of ruling, or for the profit of ruling, it will be because Whigs—some Whigs- or because it wishes to set up its own idols do not possess that measure of disinterest in the high places of political worship, it ed patriotism to rise above mere party and must soon lose cast and character in the personal, or sectional views and considera- estimation of all good and wise men. A tions. The trial of men's virtue never combination of men to take possession of comes but when they are called on to power for purposes of their own, less commaintain their principles at some sacrifice, prehensive and catholic than the common or under some discouragement. Many good of the whole nation, is something Whigs are now in this category, and it re- very different from a great and patriotic mains to be seen how they will come out party. It is a conspiracy, and not a politiof the trial. It is the tendency of party cal party. organization to contract the horizon of Those who have composed the Whig duty to the country; at least, this is the party of this country have professed to effect on many minds. Party-the suc- unite for the purpose of promoting and cess of party-the exaltation of party- maintaining certain great and distinctive become the absorbing objects of thought principles, as being essential to the preand desire. An ideal of what the party servation of our form of government, and the ought to be, what it ought to have and en advancement of the real interests and the joy, and under what particular auspices its true prosperity of the nation. When an success and glory should be achieved, election is at hand, like that which is now takes possession of the imagination, and approaching, the proper question for every sometimes quite shuts out other and higher Whig to ask himself is, whether these considerations. It is forgotten, for the principles are likely to be preserved and time, that party is properly only a means vindicated by our success as a party in the
election. If they will, the way of duty, as within which his duties lie. He may make well as of party obligation, is plain. There himself at once despotic and irresponsible. may be many things not quite up to our We have actually seen a President, weak in expectations or desires. We may have everything except in the power of his office, seen many things in the management of involve the country in war, without and the affairs of the party organization not at against its own will and judgment, for the all to our liking. The wrong persons may, purpose of conquest and the acquisition of in our judgment, have taken the lead, to the foreign territory; and all this in the face discomfiture of wiser and honester men, of the Constitution, which expressly conand to the manifest disadvantage and dis- fides the power of declaring war to Concredit of the party. The candidate may gress. Thus, for two years and more, a not be the man of our individual choice; nation, loving justice and loving peace, is and we may think that those who have chained to the car of a President, having a been chiefly instrumental in presenting petty ambition to figure as the head of a him to us, and disappointing us of our people wise and powerful, carrying death preferences, have designed or hoped to and desolation to the heart, and over the promote some personal, selfish or sectional hearths and homes, of an unhappy and imobject or scheme of their own by his ele- becile neighbor, for objects of territorial vation. We may even entertain doubts plunder. This is one example to illustrate whether the candidate we are to support the strides which Executive arrogance will agrees with us in all our notions about the take if allowed to escape from the Constiparticular means to be used—the particu- tution, and to appeal for the sanction of Iar measures to be adopted—for advancing his acts solely to the will of an unreasonthe common weal. And, finally, some of ing ochlocracy. Whigs set themselves, us may indulge a shrewd suspicion that first of all, at open war against any and all once in office his allegiance to country will assumptions and encroachments of Execube suffered in many things to outweigh his tive power, under any and all pretences. allegiance to party. But after all, what From the period of General Jackson's acconcerns us to know is, whether, if our cession to the Presidential office, under the candidate shall be elected, the distinctive machinations of the Democratic party, enprinciples which belong to us as a party croachment has followed encroachment in will be likely to be maintained, and the this office, with the full sanction and supaffairs of government conducted with ref- port of that party, until the Republic is erence to them as a general basis of ad on the point of being converted into the ministration. If this is our faith and very worst and most unendurable of all forms confidence upon a view of the whole of tyranny—the government of an irreground, then we are guilty of a double sponsible and proscriptive párty, the desertion if we hold back from the support dominant element of which is found in the and effort necessary to the success of our lowest and worst classes of society, cohercandidate ; we desert and betray at once ing by the principle of plunder, and giving both our party and our country.
a fearful energy to their power by concenIntelligent Whigs do not need to be in trating it in the hands of a monocratic formed what their principles are; but a chief, elective by their suffrages, serving summary statement of them cannot do the for a limited time, and bound and pledged best of us any harm. The great doctrine to make their pleasure, and the gratification which
gave us our party designation was of their will and wantonness, the principal that of opposition to Executive usurpa- end and aim of his administration. In tions. We hold it to be essential to the such a government, Congress is nothing success of our free form of government but a convenient, or inconvenient, sort of that the President should be kept strictly medium interposed between the nation and within the limits of his proper Constitution the ruling chief, through which his decrees al authority. Events have shown what are made known by a formal registration, fatal mischiefs do and will follow if that and through which also his necessary suphigh functionary, with the vast patronage plies are furnished. We Whigs want no which attaches to his office, is permitted such government as this. We desire to to overstep the Constitutional boundary see the Congress restored to its original