Baltimore Evening Sun (24 July 1913): 6.
Moralist eat moralist! The pious Dr. Goldsborough, so lately the darling of the suffragettes because of his attempt upon the Hon. John F. Weyler, is now put to ths torture in the Maryland Suffrage News for pardoning Dr. Dawson. A ghastly cartoon in the current issue represents him with his arm around the neck of a hideously repulsive criminal. (A few short months ago all criminals were shiny-faced Sunday-school scholars, in white bibs and tuckers!) The criminal is standing in a pool of muck, and beneath his feet, half immersed in the muck, are four little girls with pigtails down their backs. Two other little girls atr shown seeking refuge from the doctor--not from the criminal, mind you, but from the doctor!--behind their scared mothers’ skirts.
Let the right hon. gent. take warning from this sudden volte-face. He who yields to crusaders will perish by crusaders. The one permanent lust in their hearts is to make same one sweat--and when the enemy begins to run dry, they turn cheerfully to their friends. Observe, for example, the case of Judge Ben B. Lindsey, that great posturer and ear-bumper of the Chautauquas, that hero of the uplift magazines. No longer than a year ago the suffragettes of Denver “saved” him, by their virtuous votes, from a cabal of “white slavers,” “saloon ringsters” and other such fabulous monsters. And now, having saved him, they proceed to butcher him. He is to be given a taste of this recall by the same voracious virgins who smeared him with myrrh and frankincense in 1912.
Beware, good doctor! The vice crusaders are with you today. They invite you to their camp-meetings; their applause is sweet music; you are hymned by their cantors as the most moral Governor since John Winthrop. But will they be with you tomorrow? Is it in them to resist, on some bloody day to come, the sore temptation to give you an experimental hack? Think it over, my dear sir! Look before you leap–even after you have leaped! At the moment, of course, everything is lovely. The crusaders revel in a saturnalia of raids, of plots, of spying. The boss cops, seized with panic, give them first-rate sport. But soon or late, alas, the cops will pull themselves together and revolt. Soon or late the present moral roughhouse will cease. Who will be the mark and target then? Who will be the goat? Take heed of that day of wrath to come! Keep watch in all directions at once! Beware of Greeks bearing grease!
A DAILY THOUGHT. The liberty of the individual is a necessary postulate of human progress.--Ernest Renan.
The Hon. Charles J. Ogle in defense of the initiative and referendum, tipple and chase of the uplifters:
Switzerland, sometimes called the ideal republic, has had the initiative and referendum for half a century.
Well, what of it? Does the Hon. Mr. Ogle seriously maintain that whatever is workable in Switzerland is also workable everywhere else? Certainly, I hope not–if only as one jealous of his reputation for ordinary horse sense. The President of Switzerland is elected by the Nationalrath (Senate) and Standerath (House of Representatives) in joint session. His term is but one year, and he is ineligible to serve again until the expiration of another year. Does the Hon. Mr. Ogle advocate the adoption of this system in the United States? It is a logical development of the initiative and referendum. It naturally follows from the doctrine that all public officials are undoubtedly numskulls and probably thieves, and that the only way to keep them from running away with the national treasury is to keep them in constant peril of their jobs.
This argument, by example, is one that the initiators and referendors use incessantly, but there is very little actual force in it. I haven’t the slightest doubt that the initiative and referendum may work satisfactorily in Switzerland, which is more a neighborhood than a nation. It may even work in Oregon, though on this point the overwhelming preponderance of fair testimony is against it. But would it work in Maryland? We have here an incredibly ignorant and corrupt electorate. In Baltimore city fully 60 per cent. of the voters are meek followers of professional politicians, most of whom are for sale. In the counties, unless I am grossly misinformed, fully 75 per cent. of the voters will take money for their votes. We are burdened down by foreigners who haven’t the slightest idea what they are voting about, and by negroes who sell out invariably, almost as a matter of conscience.
The Legislatures springing from this electorate are bad enough, goodness knows. But I think every fair man must agree that they are appreciably better than the electorate. They represent a degree of intelligence that is plainly a trifle higher, putting it at its worst. They can, as a rule, at least understand the problems they presume to deal with, whatever the defects of their solutions. Would it improve matters to hand over the law-making power to a body of men who are obviously more ignorant, and certainly not less corrupt? Would it do us any good, for example, to get rid of the Eastern Shore delegates and throw ourselves into the arms of the Eastern Shore blackamoors?
I seriously doubt it. The adoption of the direct election of Senators has shown us how little is gained by such exchanges. It still takes a lot of money to go to the United States Senate from Maryland--a great deal more than most men of the first ability are able to muster. It takes more, in fact, than ever it took in the old days, when Legislatures did the choosing, and took tips for their pains. And the quality of our Senators is not being improved. An honest candidate is just as sorely handicapped today as he was 20 years ago. His unwillingness to use money corruptly is just as heavy a disadvantage to him. And the money he must pay out honestly, even under the most favorable circumstances, is sufficient to break him.
The Hon. Mr. Ogle’s belief in the virtue and intelligence of the common people is so little supported by the plain facts that it must be denied the quality of a logical conviction altogether, and considered merely as a benign superstition. Let him go back, for proofs against it, to the Politics of the late Mr. Aristotle, an author seldom consulted in these romantic days, but one still full of sense. Let him read Aristotle’s discussion of natural castes, and make a note o’t. And as auxiliary reading, let him turn to Senator Elihu Root’ little book on “Experiments in Government,” just published by the Princeton University Press.