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Mr Dear Sir :—You have often asked to send you certain political views, which re elicited in our agreeable conversaIs, partly by your own and partly by my jgestions, which, you said, you would nmunicate to such of your friends as 1 not matured their opinions; in order, you said, to induce them to go to the ction with greater preparation and iniigence, and to furnish them with some •per means of persuasion over the lukerm and the neutrals. What I have gleaned from you I here urn. to you ; and, because it seemed to an easier and a more agreeable shape, ;he form of a letter. When I address i In terms of advice, and say that so I so is true, and that this or that should done or remembered, I only echo your n advice, rather to show you how well I e profited by it, than to attempt imtinently to appropriate it. [ know of but one man to whom victory iefeat are alike disgraceful; and that e who fails, through indolence, through ceit, or cowardice, to engage in the flict. Victory shames him, because he [ claim no part in its honors or its rerds; defeat disgraces him, because he ed to render his due aid, when that was :ded. In a government like ours, where power emanates from the individual,
and right and freedom arc maintained only by the vigilance of each citizen ; to declineengaging in the great conflicts of party, argues either an unmanly timidity and sluggishness, or an unpardonable ignorance, or it may be, a conceit of superiority and refinement, that render the citizen a fitter subject for despotism, than for a free republic: and when men of honor and virtue arc set before us for our suffrages, and the cause which they represent is the cause of peace, of good government, of freedom, and of the common good, great indeed must be the obstacle that can prevent us.
And now what are the reasons offered by your friends, against engaging in the election? They say they cannot enter into the contest with enthusiasm—they cannot pluck up a spirit of opposition, because they cannot have the leader whom they like. The election then, it seems, is for a particular man, and not for the honor and power of the people! We go to the polls, not for a principle, but for a man! Not to niter the policy of the government, and to check its progress towards despotism, but only to elect some one whom we favor more than another!
To this, perhaps, your friends will answer, that I mistake them—that they are not the children and simpletons we take them to be, but that they have no spirit to engage in electing any candidate who will not pledge himself to carry out all and every measure of the Party.
Now, as I have already said, it is possible, that before this meets their eyes, the coming election may have been decided, and all reasoning upon the matter may seem quite idle, being behind the time; but it is not to this election only, but to all elections, that these objections apply. If they will not now vote, because they are not pleased with their candidate, so, will they not in future, for the same reason. They will not vote, in future, in case he, or any other with whom they are dissatisfied, should a second time become the nominee of a convention; unless by that time he, or another, shall have quitted his present high position, and shall have given pledges to perform that impossible thing— I mean to carry out perforce the will of a party constituency.
But, at this word " impossible," I think I see an expression of incredulity, passing over the faces of your friends. Impossible? they exclaim, is anything impossible to a President? Has he not the press, the army, the navy, the post office, the revenue, nay, Congress itself, at his command? Can he not recommend and carry through, or oppose and crush, any measure that displeases him? Has he not full two hundred thousand votes at his absolute bidding, to swell the natural Locofoco minority into an actual majority; or, if he be a Whig, to make the natural majority overwhelming and irresistible? What cannot he do, that he intends to do, and with a strong will and a wise mind, resolves to do? What measure of public benefit, or of private right can pass through Congress against his will? Not one. Talk you then of impossibility?
This charge, then, I answer, my good sirs, has been made against you, that your boasted ' liberty men,' your free soil men, your constitutional men, and your antidespotical men, your reformers generally; are just as ready, just as eager, as their opposites, to elect a despot? Nay, more —you will not only vote for and elect a despot—a man pledged to use a despotical power—but you even will not vote for another; you will not rest satisfied, until you ^T«! forced a pledge from your candidate
—a promise—an oath of honor, that he will, for your sakes, be a despot—will sway the whole unlawful power of the government to enforce your measures. Instead d requiring from him an oath of honor, that he will not interfere and abuse the power of the government, you insist that he aSa/i interfere, that he shall swear to interfere or you will not cast a vote for him! Here is a fine piece of statesmanship! The end that of all others the Whig party wish *.• accomplish, namely, that our Presides! forbear to exercise an unconstitutional authority, that end you are defeating by forcing him to give pledges.
General Taylor would not give pledge He would not give his word of hooor V carry out the measures of the party; be cause he thought it a vicious and uaco« stitutional precedent to do so. He ww&i not bind himself to employ the *rt' power or the executive patronage.! carry out any schemes of either party or of south, west, or north, beca«* he held it to be an unconstitntioE. and injurious exercise of power, shoniJ he be elected, to do so. Was he to U President, he would be the Execute* the law, of Congress and the Constitute and not the Executive of a party or »f»' tion. And this is the man for whom J1-whose voices have been loudest in the r\ raised against the growing power of i.\ Executive—this is the man for whomj^ refuse to cast your votes! Consist*©; my fellow-»ti6/'ecr*, is a jewel—but it &H not sparkle on your breasts.
I see, my dear sir, that notwithstaidiall my expostulations, your friends c: tinue to insist that a president nmrk pledge himself to carry out every mes--*" of his party. They are unreasoning' lowers, who think that holding this or '** opinion, in favor of a bank or tariff, n*." > improvement, or the distribution of the f" ceeds of public lands, constitutes a W . they are not aware that no one of t"-1 opinions is essentia] to the Whig err- 2that a man may entertain serious £■ about the policy of bonuses, state! prohibitory duties, and other raaAU-^ yet be a very good Whig.
What then is your doctrine? tb*J » exclaim. Are not tin r.
principles of our party—an' tkStfMrt •" ten in our catechism?
0 no, these things are not written in our catechism. Let it be supposed, that by the application of a tariff to foreign manufactures, for a period of five or ten years, our own wares had become cheaper, through competition and improvements in mines and manufactures, than those imported wares of England, there would be no need of a tariff then; and the Whigs would cease to ask a tariff for protection upon any species of manufacture. Would the Whigs then be left without a doctrine or a principle, because they had ceased to ask a tariff?
Or suppose, that the money wasted in the war had been applied to the river and harbor improvements, and to the construction of roads, and the Whigs, seeing that money enough, and perhaps more than enough, had been spent on these improvements, should thereupon advocate retrenchments; would they then be left without a principle?
Or, imagine if it be possible, that the ambition of England had driven us into a war; would the Whigs, in advocating a just war, be left without a principle?
It is not a protective tariff that the Whigs look for, but that the vast surplus ot food produced by our farmers shall find i consumer near at hand, that he may :>e sure of a return for his labor, and iot allow his profits to be wasted by the ransportation of his wheat, and corn, and •otton, beyond the sea; that the farmer Lepend no longer upon Irish famines; that he cotton grower live no longer in terror f the Indian and Australian planter, defending on their bad success; that labor very where meet its due reward; in a ord, that the nation, the state, the town, ae village, and the farm, be protected y every means in the power of governicnt, against the monopoly of England, id of all other countries, who have relived that the farmer of America shall it have his brother a handicraftsman in «i same village with him, but shall buy the English handicraftsman, paying his ;ks and losses, his agencies, his discounts, s insurance, his transportation and his ofifcs, in order that English manufactur; may accumulate vast fortunes, and the ;els anQl Cobdens become rich, while 3 Am erican farmer remains poor; and rile his brother, the starving weaver, or
ironworker, is obliged to throw up his business and emigrate to the West, to meet there with new hardships, and with greater poverty than that which he left behind him. It is Whig policy to keep men together, and by mutual aid to increase their wealth. If a protective tariff is necessary just at this time to effect this end, the Whigs will move for a tariff, and not otherwise. The Whigs wish to have the nation govern itself, and not be governed by the manufacturers of England. It is not to enrich New England and Pennsylvania, but to protect the manufacturers from an unfair competition, and the farmer and cotton growers from the evils of a surplus and no buyers; to enable every State to double its wealth and population, by placing the manufacturer and the farmer side by side—the consumer by the side of the producer, the grower of produce by the side of the fashioner of produce—and no longer to allow the profits of each to be snatched from them by a company of cunning monopolists on the other side of the ocean.
To carry out this point of Whig policy, or rather, to protect the nation against the injurious power of the British capitalists, whose purpose it now is to separate the consumer from the producer, to keep the broad ocean between the planter and the handicraftsman, though the laws of nature bid them stay by each other, and aid each other—to carry out this point of national policy, we have our choice between two methods, namely, the compulsory or despotic, and the liberal or republican method.
By the first method, we must lay aside all regard to the future, and elect a pledged President. Having elected him, we must look up to him as our master and guardian; when, before election, he was only our tool and agent.
By the second method, we elect an Executive President, pledged only by his oath, to support the Constitution, and by word of honor, to forbear the unjust exercise of power.
By the first method, we countenance our adversaries in those usurpations for which we so loudly condemn them. For, if they elect a President, committed, and bound by word of honor, to wrest the laws to the accomplishment of the will of his constitu