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For, your Whig refers all rights and liberties back to their original source in the individual, and holds that society is established for the protection of those rights and liberties. Whereas, your ultra Democrat believes, or affects to believe, that each person gives up or resigns his free mind, on entering into the social compact, to the decision of caucusses and majorities.
The one side holds, that this very decision by majorities is not established by any merely natural law, but by a constitutional regulation; while the other side contends, that the majority, assembling when and where they please, can assume power over individuals—to govern the few by the many—to keep each one in fear of a multitude, and to make right and wrong by acclamation. That way tends ultra Democracy.
Hence, too, arises the extreme doctrine of instructions: for, while your Whig distinguishes in his national legislator a twofold relation, one to the people he represents, and one to the nation as a whole; holding also, that he is a lawful legislator, not only for those who voted for him, but for those, also, who voted against him, and in brief, for every man, woman, and child in his district; and that, notwithstanding this, he is also a law-maker for the nation at large, and bound to protect and foster it;—your ultra Democrat, deriving all the power of the legislator from the voices that chose him, and not from the Constitution, requires that he shall not dare expand his thought, so as to become a protector of the nation, but shape every opinion by the narrow interest of his Constituents. They make no distinction between the honor of the man who has tacitly pledged himself, by his election, to certain principles, and the duty of the national legislator who is bound by the superior law of conscience and the Constitution, to promote the honor and prosperity of his nation.
From the beginning, the one party has been characterized by a constant endeavor to identify the interests of the people with those of the government; while the other has as clearly opposed every national measure, which should call the creative and protective functions of the government into action.
More remarkable still does this differ
ence between the two parties appear, i popular judgments on the conduct of di Executive ; for, while your ultra Demctn approves of every step of his Execotrrno matter how unconstitutional, while I is supported and encouraged by the opa ion of his party, your Whig looks to tl Constitution, and expects the Executive • keep within the letter and within *J spirit of that instrument. This differcrcr it is evident, proceeds directly from tl different ideas of liberty entertained I the two parties; one regarding the gov or ment as unchangeable except by a So!<*f decision of the nation in convention, tl other treating it as inferior in authority the public opinion of a day. From tfe last, therefore, it meets with little ft* and less respect; and they are rati gratified than otherwise, by the encroat ments of a popular President. They not make that distinction between t private honor of the President, vhi binds him, by the pledge of election. the opinions and measures of his par and that superior relation which he hoi to the nation, without distinction of par as its executive head, under the laws.
The doctrine of the one party, that t whole people, as sole and sovereign $osi of power, established the Constitution 1 a guarantee of individual freedom, aw source of all authority, is the doctrine liberty ; it places each citizen in a free r* tion to his neighbor, and affords a rule public opinion to judge by, in weu;K men and measures. Ultra Democn doctrine, on the contrary, indulges B in a perpetual revolution, cutting off past from the present, and the pres from the future; making its own doer utterly forceless and contemptible, deriving their authority from acclamati instead of placing it where it belongs, un the Constitution of the whole people.
It is the desire of the Whig partT establish an accurate though not illiberal Construction of the laws;: that every public act shall be done der the spirit of the Constitution. T! maxim is, that the laws cannot be much improved, and cannot be too t observed: they would have no man body of men, majorities or minorities, e; a shadow of real powerovcr their neat* htx and they refer all power and autho latsoever back to its original source, e will of the nation as a whole, expressed the Cnstitution. This is the real sovsignty of the people.
These principles, drawn out into various Delusions, create a body of opinion and ficy :—the right or rather the duty of ernal improvement, which obliges the Terament to facilitate internal and exnal commerce, by sufficient roads, harrs. and means of intercommunication; ■ support of credit by such an employnt of the public funds as shall equalize i regulate exchanges—a measure sugi(ed by the pure spirit of nationality, i defended on the ground that it is the It of the nation to regulate and facilitate transactions not of a merely local charer; the protection of every species of ustry by such a discrimination in duties ihall sustain a competition of domestic :h foreign products; the maintenance of d^h rate of wages for every species of or, that the free laborer may feel the *rior advantages of free government, 1 not find himself depressed by the untrained competition of the capital and »>r of foreigners. In a word, legislating n<i part as a part, but for all parts as nbers of the whole, the party of the o-Ti and the Constitution judge every ifure by its bearings upon the common A. viewing all propositions in the spirit a liberal legislation, as far as possible wved from that of a tyrannous and irping many. It seems unnecessary to )f, that such opinions and policy would * from none but the most elevated ws of humanity, such as reject all secial and private arguments, are there any weak enough to think, t a party to which the Union owes its Hence and safety, and from which have *tantly flowed all measures for the iefit of the whole, can cease, or lose its 'y for an instant? No! a consciousness a common purpose, and a steady adence to the form and spirit of a governnt which took its birth from the bosom the nation, renders their dissolution wssible. They began with the Union; y go along with it, and gather strength h it, contending successfully, though 1 without reverses, against the most forlible enemy that can threaten a State, nely, a fake social philosophy, set up bide the true sources and purposes of
government, and confounding the sovereign will of a great nation, expressed in its laws and forms of power, with a sudden decision of a jealous crowd, whose ears tingle with the lies and flatteries of wily politicians.
Since the adoption of the Constitution, no crisis has occurred so important, or which has developed so clearly thereal principles of the opposition, as the war with Mexico. Begun with deliberation and carried on with ardor by the leaders of the party in power, it was checked and denounced by their opposers, because it seemed to be a departure from that just and equitable line in which we had been moving. The collected arguments against the war establish the surprising fact, that we enjoy a form of government whose fundamental maxims differ in no particular from those of the law of nations, or, as it has been styled, the law of conscience— and that to sin against our law is to sin against humanity; that it is impossible to step beyond its limits, without trespassing upon some natural right, either of men or nations; and that we shall seek in vain for better principles than those imbodied in our fundamental laws.
It is not now to be settled by a controversy between Pacificus and Hclvedius, whether "the powers of declaring war and making treaties are, in their nature, executive powers." Those powers are well understood and established in their proper place : had the deliberative reason of the nation been in a badly ascertained opinion of a majority, or in an Executive able to construct at pleasure the opinion of such a false majority, this government could not boast itself a popular government, nor claim to be settled upon any undisputable maxims. The Executive stands, in a true theory of the Republic, as the agent of the naked will, and Congress as the instigating heart and guiding reason, of the nation; a division invented to escape from despotism, and of a nature so profound and real, the disposition to neglect or disregard it, betrays at once an ignorance of the necessities, or a contempt for the character of the government. A tainted school of Federalism formerly wished to confound these powers : time and circumstance have established the absolute necessity of making the separation as distinct and clearin practice as in theory. If the naked will of the Executive moves one step of itself, in national enterprises, either with or without the aid of public opinion, it violates the right of Congress, to whom the people have committed the consulting and predetermining power. Should the Executive employ the army in making harbors or canals, without consent of Congress, the cry of usurpation would have come from those very men, who now contend that the President did right when he sent an army into Mexico, in time of peace: had he sent the same troops to Lake Ontario, to build a harbor there for the aid of commerce, would any have been found so bold as to excuse him? And is the will of the Executive freer in the perilous enterprises of war, than in the harmless works of peace? It will never satisfy or save this people, to commit such questions to a few learned lawyers, to try if they can find a precedent for this or that usurpation in the books: Whig principles, party principles, familiar to the people, must determine them; we must resolve that our State shall not split upon that rock; we will have no usurpers, at least; we will have a President who knows how to keep within bounds. To decide and to act, are things different in nature; and usurpation is merely assuming to decide and act together, where it is only given to us to act. Our Executive must not plan enterprises for the nation; the people have conferred that power upon Congress—upon their deliberative assemblies; the Executive cannot, without usurpation, do more than execute, or refuse to execute, what is proposed by the council of the whole.
Are we wrong, therefore, in saying of the Future Policv Of The Whigs, that this point, of Executive usurpation, is one of the most important issues? What next to this, and perhaps of equal importance, have they to keep in view?
Next to suppression of present evils, is the adoption of plans for future good. The party in opposition have raised up every obstacle before the mad ambition of the war party, to compel them, if possible, to bring hostilities to a close. So far, only, they were successful, as to rouse the better spirit of the nation against the spirit of aggression and conquest. The mere drain and exhaustion of life and treasure, have done as much to end the war as all other causes. The evil of a public debt, was one
which might be cast upon posterity, a which, at worst, was not difficult to bear the loss of valuable lives in battle, was not an argument of much weight with a pe» pie notoriously careless of their lives; tin supply of the treasury by foreign funds prevents any serious drain upon the mom ble capital of the cities; the gains of ta great harvest and the famine are not« exhausted or forgotten; it is hard to saui the people that disasters lie in wait to them; their ears are occupied with pki anthropical discourses and all the path* of successful war; they dare not belie* that their rulers are doing wrong: it if thought too painful and troublesome to b entertained by a prosperous people, w must be made miserable before we tt begin to be wise.
The policy of the party in power appts first in the getting up and management i the war; second, but not less marked, the management and collection of the rei enue. To defend the first, they advsix certain doctrines of "right of conquest, "progress of the species," "Anglo-Saw destinies," and the like, veiling their di signs with these philanthropical pretenec A philanthropical hypothesis seems to c the ace card in the modern game of po tics, and the player has one ready in h sleeve, to whip out upon occasion. If yo argue with a becoming spirit against ki ing and robbing, your ears are deaiVw with a ranting discourse on your destimc as if there were any comfort to be deriw from that. Destiny! my friend—do n say it is my destiny to be a thief? P* haps it may be with you to lead; but t path is one in which it fits not my disp sition to follow you.
If you contend, with a becoming <■ rectness and warmth, for the protection free labor, and of the interests of t country, you are interrupted, and talb down, by a genius with long hair, who p litely assures you that you mean well, b err through simplicity: the philanthrope to whom all human affairs have been i trusted by a special decree of Provide* have resolved that all nations ought w treated as one nation, and no regard had to petty differences of race, direr. manners, morals, industry, or liberty. T occupations of life are to be divided amongst them; England is to make all t wearing apparel, machinery, and movi e conveniences, while America attends Jy to commerce and agriculture. France II make our shoes, Italy our religion id our summer hats, Germany supply It thoughts, and Africa furnish out our mpathies. Thus will this jolly round 11 of earth be no longer several ant-hills, it rather one vast formicary. This is all e purpose we have been able to discover a free trade argument, that occupations ould be restricted to particular nations. hat benefit is to come from the arrangeent it requires the mind of a mystic to reeive.
But if the fancied advantages of free ide are hypothetical and hard to be apeciated, the arguments against its conuy are no less so: While England is raisl a hundred, and this nation twentye millions of dollars through tariffs laid i by free trade theorists, we are entermed by our long-haired philosopher th the following thesis: "That a tariff is ijust, because it taxes one class to en:a another." These two hypotheses, st, that each nation should produce some «:• commodity, or set of commodities, oper to itself; and the other, that a procm e tariff is unjust " because it taxes ie man to enrich another," include the Me free trade argument;—they are at ee, theory, arguments and premises. If it were true, that a tariff affording ejection, enriches one man to the loss of other, then would those free trade pslators who proceed to raise half the venue of England, and the whole of »t of America by tariffs, be proved guilty inflicting a great wrong upon their reactive countries; but as matters now »nd with them, they are charged, not ith the error of imposing tariffs, but with mng imposed them in such a manner *i in such a form as to do with them the tatest possible amount of injury. Thus, bile they cry outagainst discriminating dujs, and argue for the ad valorem, they disiminatc in favor of particular articles, such > tea and coffee, and bread stuffs, in the ay teeth of that favorite maxim of free ade, that " if a tariff is laid it must be for ivenue."' In times of scarcity, an ad valoanduty upon articles of food, yields a betsr revenue, the duty rising with the price, ut uo sooner was there a scarcity of food in ingland, the duty was lowered to a rate ierely nominal. The policy was advocated
as a just and necessary policy, and the ministry were praised for it, but it threw down' and forever annihilated the doctrine, that "revenue alone is to be regarded, in the adjustment of duties;" it proved that if tariffs are used at all, it is necessary to discriminate, lest in raising revenue, we depress and injure the people.
The English ministry were bound by a maxim of free trade, as their economists teach it to our democracy, to have kept on the duties, and to have realized all the revenue possible from the rise of the prices of bread stuffs, and the consequent increase of ad valorem duties.
Though this single instance is an effectual demolition of the maxim of which our free trade speculators make such an efficient use, it may not be a waste of time to add another for the sake of clinching the nail. Revenue, then, is the sole thing to be thought of when we are laying duties: admit it, and your ad valorem—your duty measured by the price—becomes absurd. Suppose a certain class of imported articles —coarse woollen cloths, for example—are in common use by all the people, and are counted among the necessaries of life, as they would be were there no manufactures of them in the country. Through excessive importation the price has fallen and the duty with it; the market is supplied and all the people are using the goods. The state wants revenue : by doubling, or trebling, or quadrupling the duty on these cloths, it will raise additional revenue; the people must have the cloths, and will pay double for them; the additional duty must, therefore, be laid, for " revenue alone is the thing to be considered in laying duties." Thus it appears from both instances, not only that your ad valorem principle is an absurdity, for to raise a proper revenue you must neglect it, but that the "largest revenue principle" is inhumane, and takes advantage of the hunger and nakedness of the poor. So it appears that these two maxims stand in a ridiculous opposition to each other, and are equally contemptible, the "ad valorem" for its having no meaning at all, and the "largest revenue" principle, for its being both weak and wicked.
Once more, let us admit the maxim, that revenue alone is to be regarded in laying duties, why then are they not laid upon exports as well as upon imports? Free trade economists tell us that the consumers of imported articles pay the duties, and not the producers, or the wholesale purchasers. If this be true, what more necessary or proper than duties upon exports also, and so double your revenue? If you laid export duties upon Ohio corn, not the farmer, nor the corn dealer, would pay them—say you—but the consumers in other parts of the world. Is it then your excessive tenderness for consumers in other parts of the world, that keeps you so silent on the policy of export duties? •' O no! we know very well that it is not possible for us to regulate the price of corn in the European markets, and if the price were raised artificially by imposts here, the producers would suffer." What of that? what of that, my sage economist? your duty is to raise the revenue by the most efficient and convenient means, and you are not to go about protecting—odious word !—these Ohio farmers, by laying all your duties on imports, and allowing them to go scot, free, paying not a dollar of revenue! It is an outrage on humanity, when you know that Ohio farmers wear homespun and pay no revenue, to discriminate for them, and lay your duties upon other men. This is taking money out of his pocket who wears English broadcloth, to put it into the Ohio farmer's, who is content with homespun—a discrimination quite intolerable and oppressive: the Democracy should look to it.
But no, we have not seen the picture in all lights yet, for now it grins a fool, and now stares a knave; in a third view it will perhaps show a mixture of both.
"In laying duties," say our economists, "we are to discriminate, not for protection, but for revenue." Instance that an ad valorem duty is laid upon foreign manufactured cloths, and all articles of wear, be they light summer fabrics or heavy and costly broadcloths; nothing of the kind shall escape, for now we are broaching a new war and must raise a great revenue. Discriminate, however, we must, for our object is revenue and nothing else. Here, on our list, is the article of foreign silk fabrics: a vast quantity is yearly imported; they are evidently a necessary of life, and will bear an enormous duty; for the people are attached to their use, and will pay double rather than give them up; and if we find them dis
posed to give up the silks, and substitute linen and cotton because the duty is high, then up with duties on linen and cotMB, and so force the people to buy. All gm on well for a year or so, and we are ratE a large revenue, with duties carried to top of endurance, when suddenly, to amazement and sorrow, the goods cease be bought, and the revenue falls off. C«i tain traitorous capitalists, conspiring agaid the revenue, and thus rendering aid comfort to the enemy, have erected m and manufactured articles of silk, c and linen to undersell the imported country is all at once supplied with manufactures of admirable qualitythe revenue! the revenue! what are m to do? The process is easy: lower y« duties suddenly, ruin all the manufacture! and when they are well out of the wn and their mills converted to other usa raise the duties again as soon as you ple3S and I will insure you as large a reran as ever. You may repeat this process a often as you choose, and realize agres deal of revenue by it. The whole art is i find out the commodities which are mo« necessary to the people, and lay on heir duties; your principle is to discriminate for revenue, and not for protection. Wha you saw that high duties on certain artkta which your discrimination marked for re* enue, operated to protect them, yon wi astonished to find that there teat •*> crimination for revenue which was not one for protection. If you taxed one ba port heavily, you were obliged to tai others which could be substituted for else it was of no avail. Your ad val principle made high prices advantag and, as the goods rose, your profits rose proportion, notwithstanding the falling of buyers; till, on a sudden, the wh< vanishes, and while you were thinking discriminate for revenue only, you pro: ed manufactures, and so far, were of the sin of protecting the indni of your countrymen. You knew of better way to mend this error than ruining those whom your protection enriched, and then starting anew your ad valorem and discriminating du» Unfortunate economists! compelled it were, by the very laws of nature violate your own maxims !—for, taxed the farmer's grain, then that ful and intelligent person would eject