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