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quackery, and tyranny, of whatever kind; in less than an age, the Union would be settled upon eternal foundations, and the men of this age be remembered as the second founders of the Republic.
Men do not respect that which is a growth of accident or fortune, and could they bring themselves to regard the institutions of their fathers as the fruit merely of happy concurrences, they would despise their very liberty, and wish to defy fortune, and let her do her will. Regarding the Union as transitory and fortuitous, we are less grieved with the thought of corruption in the general state: we become accustomed to contemplate its decay, and are less indignant when it is proposed to reduce it to an association for gain. That despair, too, which sometimes affects good men of a feeble temper, may well spring out of this opinion, that we lie at the mercy of chance. To know the obstacle is half to conquer it; to know the danger is almost to escape it, with a spirit of that temper of which freemen are made. Let it, therefore, be fairly seen and defined: different men will see it differently and with different degrees of apprehension; but he cannot be esteemed worthless, or unserviceable, who gives his sole attention to that shape of the public danger which affects him most, and which threatens the most immediate peril.
The Senator has distinctly indicated the present danger of the Republic—" the increasing power of the Executive," its assumption of an authority and an influence beyond the spirit, if not beyond the letter of the Constitution, its aggression upon the liberties of the States and of the nation. It is discovered at last, that in our own, as in the English Constitution, the only effectual control over an Executive backed by a powerful minority, is by the refusal of supplies, or by the affixing of conditions to appropriations.
It is necessary to thelife of all great powers, that they should tend to burst their bonds, and seem continually to threaten tyranny: the power of wrong must be coincident in them with the power of i ight; and few men there arc—there is no man, of a spirit fit to be the chief servant of the nation, who will not sometimes encroach upon liberty; not because he docs not love liberty, or that he means to be tyrannical,
but because it is in human nature to err It is, therefore, always necessary for 1 free people to watch their rulers, and check the career of their ambition. We, the private citizens, must make the nan in place respect and fear our free vote, and our free opinion. On perpetual vigilance, and not on a curiously adjusted system of checks and balances, must we rely for the vindication of our rights.
But first, before attempting to check or limit any power, it is necessary to know, to feel, its exact weight and importance. It is idle to argue against it, or pretend not to see it—to smile at, or disrespect it we must estimate it, measure it, take it full dimension, compare it with others aw with itself, and finally, consider its growth, permanency, and tenacity of life. A dr study of the Constitution, or of histories commentaries, will not give a true idea much less a true feeling, of the centra power. It springs from each one of us as from millions of living roots. We con cede to it, in the economy of the whole, I power original and forever established; t is the most efficient and unobstructed Ei ecutive Power in the world, and able, b; keeping a vast number of persons in thi hope, or in the fearful and conditional en joyment, of office, to exercise a direct per sonal power over one half the people.
When supported by a strong minorit in Congress, it can initiate any law i pleases, and suppress any which it think may be injurious to itself. It is not afrai of impeachment, for it will always contrc a strong minority in the Senate and t.H House. It is not disposed to encroac openly upon the Constitution, but hs always advocates and excuses to defen itself against the direct charge. It is ir stinctively ingenious with the people, an takes care never to seem to injure ti landed interests. It never touches, < seems to touch, the liberty of the indivic ual, or of the State, of which the northei and southern Democracy are so exclusive jealous; but it reaches over the heads < both, and eludes both. Its immense po? er rests unmoved upon the tumultuous a of opposing interests and passions; tl small waves (if we may so speak) of !oc tumults cannot overturn it. The broadi the base the more securely it stands; at should its power ever be extended ovi rth continents, and over the islands, it odd almost inevitably perpetuate itself id rise to an imperial height. The first symptom of the rise of an iperial power is in the ambition of conlesL The ambition of the people is msed, a secret influence everywhere urges lem. It emanates from the Central Pow, and the body of intriguers which sustain id use it. The head wishes to feel itself ie head, and out of an ambitious wanoness, puts the body in motion. The "I pass-ions of the multitude respond to
* ambition of the central faction, and ie whole force of the government is prepitated upon enterprises of war. This does without impairing the liberties of
* States, or of the citizens; but these >wers forget, that as the head is exalted ie body is diminished and debased.
Government is in its very nature aggresre and usurping ; tending toward unlimtd power and unlimited territory. The i«ks which hem it in and restrain it, retire to be kept up with a lively jealousy. Weaken or impoverish your aristocracy, id your king becomes a despot; yield the uwera of the House and of the Senate in K least particulars, and your President J* moved so far toward supreme authority.
The limitation of the Presidential term > four years is no security against the «dy increase of the power, in the hands r a succession of intriguers, usurpers, id well-managed weaklings. The party 9w effectually in power have maintained succession of Presidents, who have each Ided a little to the power of the office, bis party, the original opposers of the uostitution, always insisting upon State ghts and democratic liberty, has elected fc-ries of Presidents who have made every K of the Central Power, and showed the reitest readiness to abuse and extend it. 'emocracy, meanwhile, wisely jealous for i individual rights, but near-sighted, has IS observed, and perhaps cannot perceive »»the stature of the Executive swells
The Will Of The Nation, permanently
Stressed in the Constitution, while it eslished this power, established also cerun checks upon it, even within its proper ■nit*. The Executive cannot declare war, or march an army upon a neighbor's tcritory, without permission from Congress.
It cannot ratify treaties without the consent of two-thirds of the Senators present.
Its patronage may be diminished by Congress, who have power to vest the appointment of inferior officers in the courts of law, or the heads of departments.
It is liable to impeachment; and the power to be taken away by the decision of the Senate.
It is founded on an oath, by which it swears to become the defender of the Constitution.
These defences are such as would be erected against a power naturally inclined to become absolute.
The conflict in future is not to be that old traditional one of State Rights. What do those vast crowds of foreigners, and migratory persons that people the new lands of the West, know or care about the old jealousies of State Rights? They are under the protection of the Central Government, and their first desire and respect is toward the nation; the State with them is secondary ; their sons may understand it, but they never will. Every foreigner who sets foot upon this continent, increases the importance of the Central Government, and diminishes the jealousies of the States.
We repeat, that it is our firm belief, that the danger with us lies not in the fear of a revolt of individual States—our Union having at length become, or fast becoming, a nation—but in a want of perception and foresight, to guard against the excessive influence of the Executive itself. • Under such convictions, what are we to think of the party now in power? That their policy and doctrines will defend us against evils approaching from that quarter?
They know that it is necessary for a nation to be engaged in great enterprises, but they prefer the enterprises of war, and turn the forces of government upon foreign objects.
They cry out against a paper currency, against credit, and indirect taxation ; while they are issuing millions of Treasury Notes, secured only by the credit of the nation, and dare not propose a tax adequate to the payment of the mere interest of the public debt.
They oppose the creation of a Bank for the economical management of the public funds, while they are creating a bank of the worst character, founded on the issue of depreciated paper.
They contend for the Sovereignty of the People, (which no man denies,) while they are engaged in destroying the sovereignty of a neighboring people, and would force a sister Republic to cede, not only her territory, but her citizens, as political slaves.
They talk of progress, and the advance of liberty and enlightenment, nay, even of Christianity; which progress, enlightenment, and liberty, nay, which Christianity, they are eager to force upon their neighbors at the point of the bayonet.
We arc no advocates for political consistency in the abstract; as though it were not sometimes the part of a wise man to change his course, and in view of impending ruin to his country, oppose a policy advocated by a party once his own, but ceasing to be his when they depart from principles upon which he has taken his stand; but when it appears that every act of a party in power is at variance with some principle which themselves claim, are we not to regard their inconsistency as a proof that they employ their principles as a veil to their purposes?
Let us never listen, then, for an instant, to their protestations, but watch their measures. The measures of the party now in power, are the measures of unjust men: they are employing the Executive power of the Union, in a way to give it an unnatural and despotical authority; they mean to give it all the vigor necessary to carry out their designs; they care not for the Constitution, nor for the principles of private and public liberty of which it is the sole existing charter.
Can we refuse to listen to the warning— "Who talks of liberty now?" Aye ! who? It is time then to begin to talk about liberty. State Rights have had their defenders. The States know very well how to detend their own rights. They know the limits of their own sovereignties, and will defend them. But who will defend the rights and sovereignties of the people?
Every member of this Republic is connected by a slender thread with the Central Power. This thread passes through and above the system of the State, scarcely touching it. By this the Central Power
can draw after it every individual citizer as by a line of fate. The millions' lines meet in the hand of the Centra Power. Along them moves taxation, tk call to arms; influence, fine but sure moves along them. The people recipro cate influence with their head: but whl each one of them knows him alone and hi will, he knows them all, and by a superio wisdom can rule one by the knowkd he has of another—by many he can one, and this in a thousand ways. the artifices of the politician, the wb nation is moved through these lines, is the duty of the people to watch, e, man his own, and reciprocate, meeting worse by a better will.
Government is in its very nature sive and usurping. So well persuaded all men of this, it has become a maxu with politicians, that every great authorit in the State should be left open to impead ment, and where impeachment is not a lowed, the government is either despoti or it is nominal—the real power, as in tl English Constitution, being in other hand But it is hardly possible to conceive of 3 Executive Power more crescent and cumi lative in its character than our own; forto say nothing of its being only app&ren ly subject to impeachment—a vote of twi thirds of the Senate being required i conviction of treason, which would scanly be obtained against a President supp- >r ed by a strong party; and unless so suj ported, he would not venture upon viol tions of the Constitution—a succession enterprising usurpers, such as have go erned this country since the election General Jackson, have it in their power create the popularity, and the popul opinion, upon which they rest.
Nay, it is not yet certain, whether power completely efficient for the demf alization of the nation might not be creat within the limits of the Constitution it*1
Government is not a machine; after: the barriers that political science can deri have been erected about a moral pow. disposed to be arbitrary and usurping, will still, within these formal limits, co tinue to be arbitrary and usurping; it w still continue to be necessary That Real
GREAT AND TRIED MEN SHOULD BE ELECTI
The usurpation of the war powi granted by the Constitution to Congr* Jone, is at all times easy for an Exeutive supported by a war-making party, t would be as easy for the present govcrnoent to involve this country in a war with Jreat Britain as with Mexico; the means if exciting such a war are fully within the >ower of the Executive.
"None but a people advanced to a very jgh state of intellectual improvement are apable, in a civilized state,' says Mr. Calioun, "of maintaining a free government; nd amongst those who have had the good ortone, very few indeed have had the good ortune of forming a Constitution capable if endurance. It is a remarkable fact in he history of man, that scarcely ever have ree popular institutions been formed that ave endured."
They have lapsed first into a democratic uarchy, and then into despotism. Their lestroyers begin with engaging the people a unjust wars, by which that tender and irtuous regard for liberty is sapped and lestroyed: having become tyrants, they ire now ready to become slaves, and need suly a master. The despot is always ■eady, under the cloak of the demagogue. He is the man who confines himself theo■etieally within the limits of the Constituaon, until he has succeeded in destroying its pound-work in the hearts of the people— wtil he has succeeded in intoxicating them ■ith the consciousness of freedom, and in fading them on to the commission of national crimes, under the names of patriotism, glory, and enterprise. He is no conscious destroyer, but only a godless skeptic, smooth and fluent in speech, active in talent, and simply cold-blooded and dishonest when he dares be so. His tools are, perhaps, men superior to himself in dignity of character, and in obstinacy of purpose, whose narrow understandings he knows well how to darken with sophistries and flatteries. In his own opinion the demagogue is not a bad man; he means 'inly to use the natural and customary means toward influence and wealth. The Union to him is a kind of firm, a combination of great powers for the purposes of defence, enrichment and aggrandizement; in enriching and aggrandizing himself at the expense of this corporation he seems to commit no sin. The Supernal Powers have denied him the knowledge of the true glory of humanity; he does not care to
guide—he has not the power of guiding the nation, in the path of justice and honor; he is unconscious of these principles—he regards them as fragile moral formularies, for the better management of fools and children. A formalist in his religion, it is very like he delights in long prayers; a formalist in behavior, it is very like he is a man of smooth and polished address. Or if his game be of a ruder sort, he is ready for the fierce extremes—roughness, cruelty, and profanity of conduct. Yet, under all disguises, the demagogue is one and the same; a liar in his heart, a deceiver of the people, an adroit manager of men in place, a giver of gifts, a maker of promises, a busy, smooth, eloquent, cautious, well-trained, place-seeking, wealthloving, power-grasping, ape of virtue.
By one mark we are to know him— namely:—
That he earnestly professet one thing, and assiduously practices another.
He professes to economize for the people, and loads them with expenses.
He professes free trade, and advocates an indiscriminate Tariff.
He professes to be jealous of liberty, and goes on to swell the power of the Executive.
He professes a great tenderness of national honor, and plunges the nation into wars of mere robbery.
In a word, he is consistent in his conduct with none of the principles he professes; and he professes those which he thinks will sound best in most ears.
Under favor, therefore, it seems that Mr. Calhoun has not indicated the true causes of the decline of liberal institutions when he says that they are established, and must fall, by good or evil fortune. It would seem rather that not fortune but influence, is the cause of the rise and decline of free institutions. .Given a people wise enough to know a demagogue from a statesman, there were no danger to be apprehended, that their institutions would ever fall into anarchy. The causes of the rise of free institutions are to be sought in the character, and not in the fortune of the people. The Athenians, a tribe of forty thousand luxurious democrats, governing half a million of slaves, gradually wrested power from the hands of the few, and as gradually lost it when their manners became corrupt. The Romans, a clan of ambitious gentlemen, ruling with difficulty a rude but valiant populace, regarded their state as an engine of conquest, and themselves the predestined governors of the world. They gradually dwindled, and were dissolved and lost in the multitude of their subjects, and the power they had organized passed into the hands of men of other nations, trained in the Roman discipline.
The Greek and Roman republics cherished in their laws none of those sacred principles which can alone give duration to republics. They never dreamed of educating the people—of securing every man bis perfect liberty—of the freedom of political opinion, freedom of religion, international equity.
In a word, the safety of the Commonwealth is in the election of such men as represent its principles in their characters: if these are weak, false, narrow,
sluggish, or knavish, the machine of goverament will always work badly; it is a moral not a mechanical power; its springs are in the hearts and minds of those who move it; their integrity or dishonesty, makes the nation fortunate or unfortunate. their wisdom and moderation saves it; their honor keeps it pure and respectable Let us, therefore, the people, in selecting our Candidate, ask ourselves, with Jefferson, is he capable, is he honest? Is bt a man of grand ability, of tried honesty, d unquestionable courage; open of heart sad hand; of a great reputation ; able to rule, faithful to his trust? Above all, does bt scorn intrigues and private, schemes f 1 he is all this, and no man more so, then ■ he our Candidate; and if we, the citizens, who profess Whig principles, will unit* upon him, laying aside all small fears ad trifling doubts, who doubts our ability U elect him?
SO N N ET.-M IDNIGHT.
Now Melancholy with pale Sorrow sits,