The Conservative (Nebraska City, Neb.) 1898-1902, July 28, 1898, Page 4, Image 4

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    the Conservative *
TIbe Conservative.
A "Weekly Journal devoted to the Dis
cussion of Political , Economic and Socio
logical Questions.
Ono dollar and a half per yuar , in advance. ' ,
postpaid , to any part of the United States or
Canada. Remittances made payable to The
Morton Printing Company.
Address Tin : CONSKUVATIVK , Nebraska
City , Nul ) .
Advertising Rates made known upon appli
Nfliriikn City , Tlinmlaif , July SS , 1SVS.
We have witnessed within recent
years a revival of patriotism , which has
in "Christiaii-Citi'/en-
found expression - / -
shiji" leagues , schoolhouse flags and the
great movements for civil service , ballot
: aml municipal reform. This revival , in
: so far as it Jius assumed a lack of pa-
ttriotic sentiment among us and sought
( to supply its place by a noisy din in
, cant phrases , and in so far as it has
( cheapened our flag , has been harmful ,
lit has made such terms as "old glory"
aind "Americanism" cant
mere expres
sions .of n narrow provincialism. On
fhe contrary , in so far as it has assumed
that patriotic sentiment among us is as un
iversal and sacred as love of parents , and
has sought to enlighten this sentiment
and lead it into wise and definite polit
ical action , this movement has already
produced results of incalciilable value.
The civil war left our people "party-
mart , " with political power "condensed
and packed for delivery. " For many
years normal political action was impos
sible. Party leadership fell completely
into interested , often corrupt , hands.
The distinction between allegiance to
party and loyalty to country was all but
lost. Government by public opinion
was supplanted by government by pri
vate interests. Not always and every
where was public opinion submerged by
the rising tide of private interests , but
as a general proposition the thirty year ?
following the war witnessed the capture
by commercialism of municipal govern
ment , its frequent control of state auth
ority , and its occasional manipulation
of congressional action. The measure
of its control of the several agencies of
gOTormnent municipal , state and na
tional was in an inverse ratio to their
. command of public interest and atten
tion. Because these were mainly cen
tered on the affairs within the national
authority , commercialism acquired prac
tically undisputed sway in the munici
pality and state.
The awakening finally came. Whei
private interests had possessed them
selves of public authority and imperiled
free institutions , the revival of patriot-
sin began. A now generation of voters ,
who could neither claim a personal share
n the triumphs of the war nor bo bound
by the dying prejudices of an historic
epoch , had come upon the scone. These
.nen , anxious to meet the obligations of
their own time , refused to live in the
: wist and submit to mere mercenary
luthority. How effectively they , with
some support from their ciders , have ad
dressed themselves to the discharge of
their duties as citizens is witnessed by
ho progress made in recent years in
jivil .service , ballot and municipal re
form. The opening of the present year
witnessed these great reforms well ben -
n , a growing desire to recover repre
sentative government , an increasing
participation by private citizens in public
vffairs a situation rich in promise.
A few brief months have changed all
this. We have turned away from the
jreat problems of home administration
to perform a police service beyond our
jurisdiction and on behalf of an alien
people who have no claims upon us.
Most of us believe that war might have
been averted , that it is without justifica
tion in international law , and that the
president would have obtained all we
ought to have asked if loft a free hand
by congress , Indeed , the final conces
sions by Spain constituted a great diplo
matic victory for the administration.
"While no power on earth can give Cuba as
good a government as that of Canada , wo
could have compelled Spain to keep a
direct promise to us to create similar
conditions there. But war is now upon
us , and what might have boon is no
longer a practical question , Those who
would have "war-at-any price , " those
who had "extras" to sell , those who
were so keenly alive to the exigencies
of an approaching congressional election ,
and those who were led to support war
by sentiments of humanity have irrevo
cably committed us to the expulsion of
the Spanish from the western world.
Whatever wo may think of the necessity
of this course , it has become our duty ,
as well as our united purpose , to press
the war to a successful conclusion. Be
yond this the demands of patriotism do
not go.
The really vital matter upon the seri
ous consideration of which wo cannot
too soon enter , is whether "a war begun
in the cause of humanity shall bo turned
into a war for empire. " That wo are to
have a larger international influence has
boon for some time apparent. Whether
this influence shall make for the peace
of the world or for selfish conquest
whether our part in the leadership of
the race shall be by force of ideas or of
arms are the vital questions of the hoiir.
Chief Justice Holmes of the supreme
court of Massachusetts , in an address to
students some three years ago , urgec'
that "war is the business of youth and
early middle-ago ; " that "in this snug
oversafe corner of the world" wo need
its discipline to make us "ready for
flanger , " and that its losses would bo a
'price well paid for the- brooding of a
ace fit for headship and command. "
The Outlook , which has from the outset
justified and favored war on grounds of
Humanity , now contends that in times
of peace "tho atmosphere grows heavy
mrl the spirit drowsy. The energies of
men , failing to find high adventure o ?
splendid combat to excite and to employ
them , either flag or are diverted into-
narrow channels and directed to mean
ambitions. The shock of war awakens
the nation from its lethargy , summons
it to heroic self-sacrifice , teaches it that
there is something nobler in life than to >
make money and accumulate wealth , fur
nishes it a better standard for the meas
urement of values than either gold or
silver , and sots its pulses beating with
new if not altogether higher life. ' ' This
writer also finds in the war a remedy
"for the last semblance of division between -
tween north and south , " and for the
"chasm whioh some alarmists thought
they saw opening between- east and
west , " the cause of the retirement of re
cent political issues and the improve
ment of "tho relations of classes to each
other in this country , " and a cure for
provincialism and for our former lack of
perception that "the world is greater-
than the United States. " What is this ;
but a glorification of war for war's sake ?
If the occassional "letting of a little *
blood" is so good a thing in itself for all
of us , what shall wo say of the vendetta ,
or of the case of the individual who ,
feeling his spirit grow drowsy in the
heavy atmosphere of peace , slays a
neighbor whom he has privately con
demned as unworthy longer to live ?
Patriotism requires us to prosecute the
war to which we arc committed to a
successful and speedy issue , but it does
not demand that we shall accept a view
of public policy that would engage in
war for war's sake , that would require
the nation from time to time to kill and
destroy in order to maintain the physical
courage of its people and testify to their
indifference to material gain and of their
love for the things of the spirit.
The danger of the hour lies in the
growing disposition to turn a war pro
fessedly begun for humanity into "a.
war for empire. " Mr. Moorofielcl Story ,
at the mass mooting in Fanouil Hall ,
protested "that an attempt to win for
Cubans the right to govern themselves
shall not bo made an excuse for extend
ing oiir sway over alien people without
their consent. " Ho adds : "Nothing
can wipe from our flag the disgrace if it
floats over any but a free people. " Wo
can safely acquire no possessions whose
people may not bo incorporated into the
free citizenship of the United States.
Mr. Justice Bradley , in the "Civil