The Free lance. (State College, Pa.) 1887-1904, June 01, 1894, Image 8

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    election day, nor does it end there. lie should
be found at the primaries where he should use
every endeavor in his power to have men nomi
netted who are best suited for the office ; men
whose object is to serve the will of the people
and not personal gain. On election day he
ehou'd bo at the polls where he should see that
honor and justice are maintained.
What is the condition of our country to-day?
Are our elecdons free from fraud ? Is the indi
vidual voter acquainted with his duties ? Does
he know that • he right of franchise demands
that he exereLe that right with a knowledge
that when he is s-, doing he knows for whom he
•is voting ; that he believes that the principles
which he is upholding by his ballot if adopted,
will be for the safety and prosperity of the
nation ? Iles he good reason to believe that the
man for whom he is voting will serve the will of
the people and will not use his position for the
promotion-of his own selfish ends ? Is the voter
allotted to go to the polls and cast his vote in
accordance with the dictates of his own con
science ? Where the Australian ballot system
either in the original or in some modified
form—has been adopted this last question may
be answered in the affirmative. But where the
old form of ballot still exists the voter is com
pelled to run such a guantlet of political sharks
and ward heelers that when he' arrives at the
polls he is in no beter condition to exercise the
right of citizenship thanthe lately arrived immi
grant. New York city, Gravesend,'Troy and
the South afford such striking examples of •
gross imposition practiced on the poorly 'educa
ted and ignorant 'classes by the political ring
sters ai d bosses that the truth of this statement
cannot be disputed.
That thi- slite of' affairs e.xists, and that it is
repeated every year is iv fact that cannot be
denied. Says Prof. Bruce : "New York, Phil
adelphia, Baltimare,Chicaga and San Francisco
haVe done their, best to poison the Legiellittires
of the-States in wM.O4 they respectively lie by
filling these bodies with members of a low type
as well as being themselves the centers of enor
mous accumulation of capital. They have
brought the strongest corrupting force into con
tact with the weakest and most corruptible ma
terial, and there has followed in Pennsylvania,
New York and Califurnia such a witch's, Sab
bath of jobbery, bribery, thievery and prostitu
tion of legislative power to private interest as
the world has seldom seen."
This criticism, coming as it does from a
foreign shore, may appear to be exaggerated'
yet our Congressional records show that of the
total bills passed 10°I„ are in the interest of
private parties.
In the early times, days of our nation when
the country was not so thickly populated, the
mere facts of election and the short terms of
office were considered sufficient safeguards
against political knavery ; but even before
Washington left the presidential chair, political
corruption had manifested itself to such an • ex
tent that Washington in his last message to
Congress made the following statement.
"I have heretofore proposed to the consid•
oration of Congress the expediency of estab
lishing a national university and also a mili-
tary academy. The desirableness of both these
institutions has so constantly increased with
every new view I have taken of the subject,that
I cannot omit the opportunity of once for all re
calling your attention to them." Speaking of
the university he continues: "Amongst the
motives to such an institution, the assimilation
of the principles, opinions and manners of our
countrymen by the common education of a por
tion of our youth from every quarter, well de
serves attention. The more homogeneous our
citizens can be made in these particulars, the
greater will be our prospect of permanent union,
and a primary object of such a national institution •
should & the education of our youth in the science
of government. In a republic, what species of
knowledge can be equally important, and what.