The Conservative (Nebraska City, Neb.) 1898-1902, February 23, 1899, Page 2, Image 2

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the convention which framed the fed
eral constitution , declared that any
form of general government honestly
administered would bo a good thing for
the states and the people. And that
this one might endure for some time ,
but that at last , becoming corrupt , it
might be succeeded by a despotism the
only form of government adapted to a
corrupt people.
"Public office is a public trust. " No
man who is dishonest in his personal
and private life ,
who will cheat or
deceive in business or professional affairs ,
should be made a trustee for his fellow-
citizens. The value of truth and the
beautiful facility with which truth
adapts itself to the promotion of the
general welfare at all times and under
all circumstances should be inculcated
in the common schools everywhere every
day in the week. Truth and honesty in
public life are the only antiseptics to
render this republic immune from fatal
corruption and speedy death. The need
of a national conscience sensitive to dis
cover , alert and courageous to extirpate
dishonesty in office , is the supreme want
of the hour.
Whenever the government emergen
cies become pressing and critical , and
the president gets under the cross-fires of
conflicting opinion of his duty , ho never
fails to retreat by throwing down the
reins , and , placing all responsibilities
upon congress or a commission , he sails
out into the blue empyrean of national
politics upon a smooth sea of glittering
generalities. Upon these short and sud
den voyages ho scintillates and shines
with a peculiarly soft and mellowing
* to lat ° r
STATESMANSHIP.wlth Spain .was , tea
a great extent , in
cited by those forms of human speech
which are supposed by some people in this
country to bo oratory , and by most people
ple in other countries to bo turgid vul
garity. Before it was finally declared
by the patriots in congress this sort of
thing gushed in vociferous volume from
the exhaustless fountains of "sound and
fury" which are carried around in the
pulmonary reservoirs of such men as
Mason and Thurston. Not satisfied
with covering the land with shallow
anathema and malignant falsehood upon
the Spanish government and people , the
champion yellow newspapers of the
country sent these senatorial volcanoes
to sea that they might distribute whole
cargoes of the stuff along the coasts of
Cuba for Spanish consumption. At no
time , let it not bo forgotten , during
these Vesuvian eruptions can it bo truth
fully said that as many as one-third of
the sober-minded farmers and business
men of the country favored the war , for
any one , or all , of the reasons which
wore put forth to justify its declara
tion. Rhetorical statesmanship precip
itated the war , and it is now in full
chorus in diverting its victories to a dan
gerous policy of conquest and Asiatic
The appeal comes now from the or
gans of power , in and out of the senate
and house , to the mixed mercenary and
military passions of the people. It
would be incredible , if wo did not know
the crazy instinct of our race for gain ,
and the savagery of men when war pas
sions are aroused , that what appears to
bo inevitable could possibly bo permit
ted in the face of every teaching and
tradition which wo have been accus
tomed to respect and revere since the
foundation of the government.
Th ° "S10 " ° f
SLAUGHTER. sinking a lot of old
Spanish tubs in
Manila bay with the splendid armored
war-ships under Admiral Dewey has
penetrated to the very marrow-bones of
the national vanity , and now comes the
slaughter of men , women and children ,
and the destruction of the coast villages
of the Filipinos , to give additional lus
tre to the army and navy , whose ability
to wield the modern instruments of war
is not questioned. It is given out that
great satisfaction is expressed in the
white marble home of the president over
cablegrams which inform him of the
extent of the killing of the peopleof the
Philippines , and it is not doubted that
the greater the number who are slain
the greater the satisfaction of the presi
dent. As a purely Christian statesman ,
ho probably reasons that the true way
to bring peace is to kill and maim as
many people and destroy as many homes
as possible , and this , indeed , is an ac
cepted principle in the organized mur
der which is called war in the vocabu
lary of truly Christian nations like our
When the repnb -
waging its war for
the delivery of the slave from bondage
and formulated the equality principle in
an amendment to the constitution of
"no distinction on account of race or
color , " in enforcing these mistaken
decrees before the people it forgot the
primary question of race and buried it
in that of color. The real question was
always racial. Color was but an inci
dent and a sign of the inferiority of a
race among men which , all history
shows , was inferior to nearly every
other. The question is again before the
people of the United States in the case
of the Filipinos. Complexion with that
tropical people is not in debate. It is a
grave matter of incorporating into our
national life and placing under our
forms of constitutional law and free gov
ernment a race of men who ore alien
and inferior to our own , and in the plans
of many , to open a school for teaching
millions of semi-savage men the beauties
and methods of self-government by the
power of force.
It would seem to even an ordinary ob
server of our national condition and af
fairs that we have more than we can at
tend to , after more than thirty years of
honest effort to teach an inferior and
alien race , incapable by God's own ordi
nances of amalgamation with our own ,
in the ways of free and orderly govern
ment , within our own boundaries.
Wholly apart from the moral iniquity of
this proposed conquest of the Philip
pines , and without the least reference to
the constitutional questions involved ,
this racial question , which was always
the question , and still remains the ques
tion with the negro in our own country
a perpetual menace and danger to our
national peace and safety would seem
to bo the primary question for consider
ation and judgment.
The alseuce of
T. _ , . . _ _
J. Sterling Mor
ton on a trip to California over the
Atchison , Topeka & Santa Fo railroad ,
as the guest of his son , Mr. Paul Morton ,
the vice-president of that company , will
account for the non-answering of many
personal and other letters addressed him ,
during the last week , at the office of
Mr. Morton will however be again
with THE CONSERVATIVE early in March ,
when more copy from his pen may rea
sonably be expected.
The new school of philosophers who
are deluding mankind with the idea that
"the state" can bo made a fountain of
happiness by a social evolution which
is now in progress whereby the poor can
be made rich without labor , and the
rich made poor by spoliation is not en
tirely new. It is as old as history in
some of its phases , but its main propo
sition is that individualism , honesty , in
dustry and thrift , by the magic of some
power not yet discernible , "tho state"
can abolish competition and support the
children of men , no matter what their
increase may be , by the enactment of
law for this purpose. Mr. Godkin , of
The New York Evening Post , several
years ago , dealt with this subject in one
of a series of essays in a clear and lucid
inquiry as to the cost of this kind of
government , "which is not to be a
money-making , but a spending evolu
tion. Everybody is to live a great deal
better than he has boon in the habit of
living , and to have more fun. " And
Mr. Godkin goes on to say :
"Tho income of this and every other
country in the world * * * is the
product of land and labor. Some of
this income goes to pay wages , some