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The Whigs of the United States have a leavy responsibility resting on them in the ipproaching Presidential election. We told that it does not admit of a reasonable loubt that they can elect Zachart Taylor
0 the Presidency if they will. It is qually clear to us, that if he be not elected,
. will be because Whigs—some Whigs— D not possess that measure of disinterest
1 patriotism to rise above mere party and ?rsonal, or sectional views and consideraans. The trial of men's virtue never imes but when they are called on to untain their principles at some sacrifice,
under some discouragement. Many Iiigs are now in this category, and it relins to be seen how they will come out the trial. It is the tendency of party ionization to contract the horizon of ty to the country; at least, this is the •ct on many minds. Party—the sucs of party—the exaltation of party— orae the absorbing objects of thought i desire. An ideal of what the party rht to be, what it ought to have and en
and under what particular auspices its sess and glory should be achieved, ■s possession of the imagination, and (•times quite shuts out other and higher .iderations. It is forgotten, for the • that party is properly only a means
to an end, and is really valuable—nay, is only justifiable—when it is employed as an instrumentality in behalf of the country, and of the whole country. When party becomes selfish—when it becomes ambitious—when it desires to rule for the sake of ruling, or for the profit of ruling, or because it wishes to set up its own idols in the high places of political worship, it must soon lose cast and character in the estimation of all good and wise men. A combination of men to take possession of power for purposes of their own, less comprehensive and catholic than the common good of the whole nation, is something very different from a great and patriotic party. It is a conspiracy, and not a political party.
Those who have composed the Whig party of this country have professed to unite for the purpose of promoting and maintaining certain great and distinctive principles, as being essential to the preservation of our form of government, and the advancement of the real interests and the true prosperity of the nation. When an election is at hand, like that which is now approaching, the proper question for every Whig to ask himself is, whether these principles are likely to be preserved and,— vindicated by our success as a party in t*»'
election. If they will, the way of duty, as well as of party obligation, is plain. There may be many things not quite up to our expectations or desires. We may have seen many things in the management of the affairs of the party organization not at all to our liking. The wrong persons may, in our judgment, have taken the lead, to the discomfiture of wiser and honester men, and to the manifest disadvantage and discredit of the party. The candidate may not be the man of our individual choice; and we may think that those who have been chiefly instrumental in presenting him to us, and disappointing us of our preferences, have designed or hoped to promote some personal, selfish or sectional object or scheme of their own by his elevation. We may even entertain doubts whether the candidate we are to support agrees with us in all our notions about the particular means to be used—the particular measures to be adopted—for advancing the common weal. And, finally, some of us may indulge a shrewd suspicion that once in office his allegiance to country will be suffered in many things to outweigh his allegiance to party. But after all, what concerns us to know is, whether, if our candidate shall be elected, the distinctive principles which belong to us as a party will be likely to be maintained, and the affairs of government conducted with reference to them as a general basis of administration. If this is our faith and confidence upon a view of the whole ground, then we are guilty of a double desertion if we hold back from the support and effort necessary to the success of our candidate; we desert and betray at once both our party and our country.
Intelligent Whigs do not need to be informed what their principles are; but a summary statement of them cannot do the best of us any harm. The great doctrine whick gave us our party designation was that of opposition to Executive usurpations. We hold it to be essential to the success of our free form of government that the President should be kept strictly within the limits of his proper Constitutional authority. Events have shown what fatal mischiefs do and will follow if that high functionary, with the vast patronage which attaches to his office, is permitted v^ overstep the Constitutional boundary
within which his duties lie. He may make himself at once despotic and irresponsible. We have actually seen' a President, weak in everything except in the power of his office, involve the country in war, without and against its own will and judgment, for the purpose of conquest and the acquisition of foreign territory; and all this in the face of the Constitution, which expressly confides the power of declaring war to Congress. Thus, for two years and more, a nation, loving justice and loving peace, is chained to the car of a President, havings petty ambition to figure as the head of a people wise and powerful, carrying death and desolation to the heart, and over the hearths and homes, of an unhappy and imbecile neighbor, for objects of territorial plunder. This is one example to illustrate the strides which Executive arrogance will take if allowed to escape from the Constitution, and to appeal for the sanction of his acts solely to the will of an unreasoting ochlocracy. Whigs set themselves. first of all, at open war against anv and ail assumptions and encroachments of Executive power, under any and all pretence*. From the period of General Jackson's accession to the Presidential office, under the machinations of the Democratic party, encroachment has followed encroachment is this office, with the full sanction and support of that party, until the Republic i* on the point of being converted into th? very worst and most unendurable of all forms of tyranny—the government of an irresponsible and proscriptive party, tL* dominant element of which is found in tin lowest and worst classes of society, cobering by the principle of plunder, andgraag a fearful energy to their power by trating it in the hands of a chief, elective by their suffrages, sera for a limited time, and bound and pledgee to make their pleasure, and the gratiSc of their will and wantonness, the pr end and aim of his administration, such a government, Congress is: but a convenient, or inconvenient, medium interposed between the nation i the ruling chief, through which his<" are made known by a formal regist and through which also his necessary «J plies are furnished. We Whigs was* ■> such government as this. We desire I sec the Congress restored to its ortg*+