Hesperian student / (Lincoln [Neb.]) 1872-1885, January 20, 1883, Page 3, Image 3

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opposition to the reforms of Kleisthenes? Richard
son tells of a man who, about midnight, heard some
one climbing up to his chamber window. ' He cock-
ied two revolvers and stood ready to receive his caller.
Presently the robber's head appeared above the cas
ing. " You get 1" shouted the proprietor. "You
bet I" yelled the thief, and so ended the conversa
tion. "To save time is to lengthen life," slang
. often saves time, and hence is often useful; when,
however, we see any one who uses it on all occasions
we are tempted to make an adaptation of one of
John Hay's observations, and say that "slang is the
mental small change of a bankrupt intellect."
Again the regents have met and been obliged to
adjourn for want of a quorum. If any one of the
three honorable gentlemen who were unavoidably ab
sent for the second time would take enough interest
in the University to resign his position, and let some
one be appointed by the governor to succeed him,
our urgent necessities might be attended to without
the presence of the other two. Of course no blame
can attach to a man whose personal health or busi
ness compels him to be absent from a meeting of the
board, but if his absence, however necessary, makes
it impossible for that body to take any action in any
matter for two successive meetings, then the inter
ests of the institution and consequently of the State
require that he give way to some one whose surround
ing circumstances will permit his attendance. The
University has pressing needs that call for immediate
action, and it is unfortunate that but three members
of the present board are more useful than ornamental.
Later : Since the above was written the Student
has learned that Regent Powers has resigned to enter
upon his duties as State Attorney General, and the
vacancy waits to be filled by the governor's appoint
ment, that Regent Gannett is improving in health,
and that Regent Fifield has nearly decided to return
before long from Baltimore. If this be the case, per
haps a quorum will be able to come together before
the June meeting. By that time warm weather will
have set in and the chapel will be comfortable enough,
the library books that need re-binding will be beyond
hope of recovery, and we will no doubt have learned
to dispense with a chancellor. Thus the necessity
for so many new and needless expenditures will have
passed away, there will be no legislature in session to
which to appeal for a more liberal appropriation, and
we will once more be careless and happy. There is
nothing like becoming accustomed to these things.
The recent passage, by such remarkable majorities,
of Senator Pendleton's Civil Service Reform Bill is a
noteworthy example of popular sentiment in this
c ountry as expressed at the polls.
ie pc
cians would have claimed, prior to the November
election, that such a bill could be passed by Con
gress at this time. There is something more than
demagoguery in this demand for a reform of the civil
service. It is true that the masses of the intelligent
voters are not agreed as to any particular scheme of
reform, not unanimous in the wish to adopt any pro
posed plan of accomplishing t, but for some time
the conviction has been forcing itself upon them that
American politics was rapidly losing its standard of
character, its motive of promoting the general wel
fare, and was becoming instead a disgraceful strug
gle for place and patronage.
This opinion was not one formed hastily or will
ingly by the American people; on the contrary they
fought against the cidence of their own senses from
pure loyalty and patriotism, but the events which
came into prominence in the adinistrations of Hayes
and Garfield, and the tragic close of the latter,
obliged the popular mind to consider the question
seriously and honestly. The assessment of govern
ment appointees for political funds is a practice of
much earlier origin than 1882, but there is little
doubt that the persistence manifested by the secretary
of the Republican Congressional Committee last
summer in continuing and even aggravating the abuse
was. the immediate cause for the rebuke of that party
at the polls in November. The best Americans do
not look upon the question of who shall hold or con
trol the federal offices as the center of the govern
mental system, about which the minor matters of
national policy and advancement shall revolve. They
do not believe that the highest ambition of the true
statesman should be to perpetuate his political career by
the successful distribution of patronage among his
party friends, instead of the accomplishment of na
tional benefits. Thay call for a higher order of states
manship and a closer attention to matters of more
general interest and advantage. The most sagacious
leaders of both parties do not attempt to deny or dis
regard the meaning of the rebuke. It is not an ex
pression of confidence in the party out of power, but
a warning to the dominant one. Senator Pendleton's
bill is the first attempt at satisfying the popular de
mand. The new law will not purify the civil service
at once or entirely, it may even be superseded by a
better method of doing so; but its almost immediate
passage after Congress reconvened is a step in the right
direction, and one which the people will approve.
The party which will show its willingness at this
juncture to make the disposal of the "spoils" subor
dinate to questions of national interest need have no
fear of death at the hands of the national vote. The
men who make themselves necessary to the welfare of
the country will continue to be chosen to shape and