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that has made nullification easy. There is that which makes and mends, and breaks and bends Constitutions, for the most serious and sacred papers have not inherent force of execution, nor is there immortality in their veneration.
If we had the Southern strength that belongs to the National cause of protective reciprocal Republicanism, we could take hold of other matters of a momentous nature that await opportunism, with immediate confidence in security. The stability of the Republican administration of Republican Government, needs the application of this stalwart common sense. The law that has not perpetual public opinion to sustain and demand enforcement, whether repealed or not, fades out, and the law lapses though still in the statute book.
The sentiment for Civil Service reform has been strong, healthy and steadily increasing, but repeatedly embarrassed by Presidents who saw in the enforcements of the rules and regulations of the reformation, as outlined by its advocates, the beginning of a Dynasty for their officeholders, and there was temptation in the increase of life office appointments. There has been no President unready to try the system by giving the start of it to his own appointees. Presidential co-operation can be counted upon for the perpetuation of preferences of our successive Chief Magistrates; and, naturally, the members of Congress have been called to the assistance of the power, to “pick out” the "good men;" when, as President Roosevelt says, not literally, of course—there is a class of good men more hateful than any sinners! Congressional partnership in Civil Service reform "limited,” is very real in the Senate, which had the substance of solid things in the capacity of confirming or rejecting the officials of the Great Hereafter. The policy of the courtesy of the Senate rests upon
It is agreeable to remember that when Theodore Roosevelt was Commissioner of the Civil Service and William McKinley a member of the House of Representatives, they were in agreement in the matter of reform of the Civil Service, the Commissioner publicly speaking officially of the co-operation of the Representatives in Congress. There was proof in this mutual consideration of the sincerity of both men, and it was as certainly as reciprocity in McKinley's mind when he was elected to a second term and stricken by an assassin. Neither McKinley nor Roosevelt had the appointing or confirming power, when they stood side by side for the Civil Service law, and took their places together solely for conscience and duty's sake. The business of betterment began seriously with Harrison's appointment of Roosevelt as Commissioner. Where he sat was the head of the table, and McKinley in Congress gave his support to the man and the law. Mr. Cleveland's good will for the movement appeared in his continuance of Roosevelt, who retired when he had accomplished all permitted by the circumstances, and he hastened on to other fields. He was as sagacious in quitting a task at the right time as in helping
a cause. He did not hammer cold iron, but struck when it was hot, and even was able to give Mr. Cleveland assurances of his relentless seriousness and perseverance in the straight path, without concern as to personal comfort, and they acted with the concert of mutual respect and tolerance for differences.
The opposition President Roosevelt has to encounter in progressive development of the Civil Service movement is from the Privileged Persons of the confirming Senate, as also of the Appointing House. The President must see to drawing the line in the classification, as it were, or he allows the movement to which he has given so much care and labor, to permit the burlesque of an established, above the law, higher class, largely composed of incompetents, the favorites of patrons going up head, passing the candidates who, according to specifications of examination, are successful on their merits. It would be a poor excuse for a law or policy, if so flagrant a pretense as this were permitted. President Roosevelt would not be himself if he consented to surrender his prerogative, and countenanced a class representation of dictatorship of patronage. In no other form could degradation of the Civil Service be more offensive. It would be something more than open sale and the only thing that could be worse.
It may be well to consider as a fixed fact that President Roosevelt will not concede to Congressmen of any grade the perquisite of making him an object of blandishment or victim of flattery, and if there is to be a conflict of jurisdiction, that will have to happen; and at last we may have for a time a change of issues. The strength of the Republican party will appear in the ability to be in earnest about Reciprocity and Protection, hand in hand, and the elevation of the Civil Service, according to the law and the testimonials of the records of what has been done.
A tenderness has been for some time noticed in the Republican ranks that are of an official nature, directly or indirectly, through patronage, as to risking the grasp upon the highest places of managers of the conventional and electoral delegates from the far South States. They are well understood to be important in nominations for the Presidency. It would be the plan of operations against a Presidential candidate before the people, if there was a Congressional Cabal raised against him—if he had disarmed himself in the South-by refusing to make unfit appointments in the classified Civil Service way of saying it, to prevent a continuance of that kind of Executive Administration, by arranging a solid South against him in the National Convention. Several times have been noticed a line of cleavage slightly opened and threatening an abyss between two groups of States--one the solid Republican, and the other the solid Democratic commonwealths, as votes are cast and counted. Repeatedly the reproach has been put upon Presidents, desiring nomination for elections of continuance, that the bulk of their reliable support in the conventions was reliably
against them in the Electoral College, that the majority of Republicans could be beaten by machinery. The custom has been for the votes of the Republican States to win-for the actual will of the party to prevail—but formidable Presidential scaffolding has been erected according to the architecture of dreamers, and the designs of intrigue, the foundations of which were the delegations in Republican Conventions from States certainly Democratic. Experiments enough have been tried to show ambition resting upon this structure is of such stuff as dreams are made.
President Roosevelt has been well instructed by his own investigations as to the "solid” facts in Southern politics, and is aware of the special dangers to be taken into the most constant consideration. If the Democratic party perceives an opening in the Republican ranks that promises a division of the Old Guard, they will hasten to promote it; and there will be a variety of continuous opinion on both sides as to the correct issue to run on for the Presidency. Take up the South, and that which will have weight in that section, and apply measurements. The Southern white people are, of course, against anything they regard as having a flavor of social equality between the black and white races; but they are less liable than the people of the North to misunderstand the colored element in the South. It is not in the South that there will be offered antagonism to the good appointments, in the mind of the President so momentous. There will not be a discrimination by President Roosevelt in favor of illiteracy and incompetency in the selection of Federal officers. We are secure on that skirmish line, at least. The color line will not be drawn in favor of color, neither will that line be drawn against white men, on account of color, “or previous condition" of rebellion or servitude.
The Civil Service policy of President Roosevelt is something grounded in his manhood-a part of his life, the auspicious beginning of his career, his hope and pride. He will be with it indomitably, as he ought to be, and must be. He can not compromise it in honor, and so it is impossible. His carrying out of the purposes of his predecessor does not mean that he is to sacrifice his sense of personal integrity with the people and responsibility of interpreting them as he understands the conditions of the country, but precisely the contrary,
In this matter President McKinley was his friend and well-wisher, and gave the Civil Service details less attention than can be expected now, because he had an overwhelming load of responsibility to carry. As War President he could not give his strength to peace measures, other than as they affected the financial and industrial interests. It was enough to have won a war without a defeat, and to see the triumph of his principle of protection in unparalleled, popular prosperity. Not once in a century does a man witness such triumphs as he in his undemonstrative way enjoyed. His last public utterance—his last words, save those that have given his death bed sanctity and are known to man
kind—for when he died he was the foremost man of all this world, and the human race was his audience. His farewell address at Buffalo countenanced an advanced movement, looking to an adjustment of certain custom duties. Protection had done its work well, and Reciprocity was to be taken up, not to cast Protection aside, or to in the least undervalue it, but to be supported by proceeding on the lines of its logic, and perfected in its rounded-out application.
A great deal was accomplished by President McKinley in his Administration toward the union of hearts and hands between the North and South. This was not impressive as a novelty, but imposing as an assurance that all was indeed well the country through, that the new developments were not reconstruction so much as restoration. McKinley's aspirations were that the whole country should share the plenty, peace, glory and fame; and this was to be the "consummation devoutly to be wished" that all might be proud of one nationality; and that all the States and we, the people of the old and new United States, were under the roof of Our Father's House, and there all of us equal and feel at home to stay. The Army and Navy had obliterated sectional lines. Confederate Generals had put on the blue, and a long list of Southern heroes glorified the old flag again, and brightened the whole constellation of stars. The reception of President McKinley crossing the Continent by the Southern route, was eventful in the magnificent demonstrations aroused. It was not as protracted a journey as that of the Duke and Duchess of York and Cornwall, who visited the Dominions beyond Seas of England, but it told the story of the generation in the pageantry of peace, as well as the splendors of war. When we study the drama of the last year of McKinley's life, we can not escape the thought that he had gone so far and done so much, that the messenger of Death met him at the summit of his ambition. He was loved, honored and obeyed. He had not only the troops of friends becoming age, but all the Nations of the earth respected the records of his statesmanship, the virtues of his life and the serenity of his dignity.
President Roosevelt has been qualified by his experiences and endowments for the guidance of the Government, upon the later questions, that, like himself, have been transformed since the question whether the United States should be one or two countries was submitted to trial by arms.
The party that in 1900 was solicitous to disturb the situation and carry by popular pressure, made some progress in the agitation of certain phases of popular dissatisfaction and development of inflammatory prejudice, but had the misfortune for their adventure to have hindered themselves with a long series of causes that were so lost they seemed to be camping in grave yards.
The protective tariff, denounced as for the few against the many, turned out to be an aid to employment at home, and the people prospered, so that the strongest thing that could be shown countenancing a change, was that the dis
tribution of the profitableness of the period was not on a basis of equality for individuals. The difficulty was in distribution.
All men knew there was need, more than ever, for laws of our Nation to defend our markets from competition that placed a premium on destitution. If we do not take care of our workingmen, who are at home with us, foreign countries are not far off. Goods may be ordered to-day in Europe by cable, and landed in a week on our shores. The distance between New York and London is not as great as in the time of Washington between the cities of Trenton and Baltimore. Foreign competition is at our doors. The value of our independence was originally largely in ability to protect ourselves, and defense of our skilled labor demands tenfold to-day that which sufficed a century ago. Then the passage of the Atlantic was counted by weeks instead of days.
Our people have had an abnormal terror about the sufficiency of the currency, of the money in the hands and pockets of the people, and there was fanaticism to the effect that it should be worthless intrinsically that it might be abundant. The gold standard was alleged to be impossible without popular impoverishment, because gold was so scarce. That standard fixed, gold was abundant, and the better the quality of the circulating medium, the lower the interest; that is, the cheaper the money in the market, the less the charge made by capital for cash to loan. These issues have passed away. We should remember the facts, but go on to take up that which is not settled.
The opposition to the National Administration, in 1904, will not rally on Free Trade or Free Silver. The "problems” first in order will be touching taxation and the civil service; and if the follies of the past are bundled up and strapped on the backs of the opponents of the possessors of power, the people capable of self-government will go on voting as they have been doing, with increasing emphasis and efficacy. The probability is, however, that there will be a serious reconstruction of party lines, and those who propose simple solutions are the more certain to find favor. Disorder will declaim about the phantom of imperialism.
It is preferable to speak of Opposition and Administration in writing history and trying to find the crucial truth of conditions. Changes in the names of parties are unlikely; for parties, however confused, have characters from which they can not rapidly escape, and the partizans are slow to ascertain the advantage of new titles. Events teach. There are laws made other than those passed by legislative bodies, and duly signed. Legislative bodies are behind the sentiments of the people, and that it is so, is conservatism.
The party in possession desires to hold that which it has, and there are certain works, clearing of decks for action of the ship of State, that carries the flag of the Commander-in-Chief, in good time; to arm with the best guns and train men to make the music of victory. The death of McKinley, and the