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Then again, July 14th, the same organ insisted, ·
"Let not Congress adjourn without passing the One-Term Amendment to the Constitution. There has never been so favorable an opportunity. All parties are in favor of it. . . . . General Grant is in favor of it. The party which supports General Grant demands it; and above all else public morality calls for it."
Considering that these pledges were made by an organ of the party, and in his very presence, they may be accepted as proceeding from him. His name must be added to the list with Andrew Jackson, William Henry Harrison, Henry Clay, and Benjamin F. Wade, all of whom are enrolled against the reëligibility of a President.
But his example as President is more than his testimony in showing the necessity of this limitation. Andrew Jackson did not hesitate to say that it was required in order to place the President "beyond the reach of any improper influences," and "uncommitted to any other course than the strict line of constitutional duty."1 William Henry Harrison followed in declaring that with the adoption of this principle "the incumbent would devote all his time to the public interest, and there would be no cause to misrule the country."2 Henry Clay was satisfied, after much observation and reflection, "that too much of the time, the thoughts, and the exertions of the incumbent are occupied during his first term in securing his reëlection."3 Benjamin F. Wade, after denouncing
1 Annual Message, 21st Cong. 2d Sess., December 7, 1830.
2 Speech at the Dayton Convention, September 10, 1840: Niles's Register, Vol. LIX. p. 70.
3 Speech at Taylorsville, Hanover County, Va., June 27, 1840: Works, Vol. VI. p. 421.
the reëligibility of the President, said: "There are defects in the Constitution, and this is among the most. glaring." 1
And now our President by his example, besides his testimony, vindicates all these authorities. He makes us see how all that has been predicted of Presidents seeking reelection is fulfilled: how this desire dominates official conduct; how naturally the resources of the Government are employed to serve a personal purpose; how the national interests are subordinate to individual advancement; how all questions, foreign or domestic, whether of treaties or laws, are handled with a view to electoral votes; how the appointing power lends itself to a selfish will, acting now by the temptation of office and then by the menace of removal; and, since every office-holder and every office-seeker has a brevet commission in the predominant political party, how the President, desiring reelection, becomes the active head of three coöperating armies, the army of office-holders, eighty thousand strong, the larger army of office-seekers, and the army of the political party, the whole constituting a consolidated power which no candidate can possess without peril to his country. Of these vast coöperating armies the President is commander-in-chief and generalissimo. Through these he holds in submission. even Representatives and Senators, and makes the country his vassal with a condition not unlike that of martial law, where the disobedient are shot, while the various rings help secure the prize. That this is not too strong appears from testimony before a Senate Committee, where a Presidential lieutenant boldly denounced
1 Speech in the Senate, February 20, 1866: Congressional Globe, 39th Cong. 1st Sess., p. 932.
an eminent New York citizen, who was a prominent candidate for Governor, as "obnoxious to General Grant," -and then, with an effrontery like the Presidential pretension, announced that "President Grant was the representative and head of the Republican Party, and all good Republicans should support him in all his measures and appointments, and any one who did not do it should be crushed out."1 Such things teach how wise were those statesmen who would not subject the President to the temptation or even the suspicion of using his vast powers in promoting personal ends.
Unquestionably the One-Man Power has increased latterly beyond example, - owing partly to the greater facilities of intercourse, especially by telegraph, so that the whole country is easily reached, - partly to improvements in organization, by which distant places are brought into unity, and partly through the protracted prevalence of the military spirit created by the war. There was a time in English history when the House of Commons, on the motion of the famous lawyer Mr. Dunning, adopted the resolution, "That the influence of the Crown has increased, is increasing, and ought to be diminished."2 The same declaration is needed with regard to the President; and the very words of the Parliamentary patriot may be repeated. In his memorable speech, Mr. Dunning, after saying that he did not rest "upon proof idle to require," declared that the question "must be decided by the consciences of those who as a jury were called upon to determine what was or
1 New York Custom-House Investigation, - Testimony of Gen. G. W. Palmer: Senate Reports, 42d Cong. 2d Sess., No. 227, Vol. III., pp. 581, 582.
2 Hansard, Parliamentary History, Vol. XXI. col. 247, 267,- April 6, 1780.
was not within their own knowledge."
It was on
ground of notoriety cognizable to all that he acted. And precisely on this ground, but also with specific proofs, do I insist that the influence of the President has increased, is increasing, and ought to be diminished. But in this excellent work, well worthy the best efforts of all, nothing is more important than the limitation to
There is a demand for reform in the civil service, and the President formally adopts this demand; but he neglects the first step, which depends only on himself. From this we may judge his little earnestness in the cause. Beyond all question Civil-Service Reform must begin by a limitation of the President to one term, so that the temptation to use the appointing power for personal ends may disappear from our system, and this great disturbing force cease to exist. If the President is sincere for reform, it will be easy for him to set the example by declaring again his adhesion to the OneTerm principle. But even if he fails, we must do our duty.
Therefore, in opposing the prolonged power of the present incumbent, I begin by insisting, that, for the good of the country, and without reference to any personal failure, no President should be a candidate for reëlection; and it is our duty now to set an example worthy of republican institutions. In the name of the One-Term principle, once recognized by him, and which needs no other evidence of its necessity than his own Presidency, I protest against his attempt to obtain another lease of power. But this protest is on the
1 Hansard, Parliamentary History, Vol. XXI., col. 247.
HIS UNFITNESS FOR THE PRESIDENTIAL OFFICE.
I PROTEST against him as radically unfit for the Presidential office, being essentially military in nature, without experience in civil life, without aptitude for civil duties, and without knowledge of republican institutions, all of which is perfectly apparent, unless we are ready to assume that the matters and things set forth to-day are of no account, and then, in further support of the candidate, boldly declare that nepotism in a President is nothing, that gift-taking with repayment in official patronage is nothing, that violation of the Constitution and of International and Municipal Law is nothing, that indignity to the African race is nothing, that quarrel with political associates is nothing, and that all his Presidential pretensions in their motley aggregation, being a new Cæsarism or personal government, are nothing. But if these are all nothing, then is the Republican Party nothing, nor is there any safeguard for Republican Institutions.
APOLOGIES FOR THE PRESIDENT.
Two apologies I hear. The first is that he means well, and errs from want of knowledge. This is not much. It was said of Louis the Quarreller, that he meant well; nor is there a slate head-stone in any village burial-ground that does not record as much of the humble lodger beneath. Something more is needed for a President. Nor can we afford to perpetuate power in a ruler who errs so much from ignorance. Charity for the past I concede, but no investiture for the future.
The other apology is, that his Presidency has been