A true republic by Albert Stickney
This book is not the work of a scholar. It concerns matters which lie outside of my profession, and which I have never studied with thoroughness. To its writing, I have been able to give only such time from day to day as could be taken from professional practice. It is not what I wish I might make it; no doubt it has many faults of which I have no knowledge or suspicion. But it is written for a purpose. Its purpose must be the excuse for its existence.
The people of the United States have a new and great problem to solve. That they will solve it I make no doubt. The immense growth of the party which we have had in this country is something new in history. I do not think its evils have been duly weighed; nor do I think its causes have been carefully studied. It has been too readily assumed that political parties are desirable things in the State. "We speak of the abuses of party government.
Is it certain that party government now has its uses? Party and party rule, as they now exist with us, are, as I believe, great evils — evils which naturally and certainly result from certain features in our political system. In private life, we find in every profession and employment many men who do their work as well as they kno^ how. We have at times such men in public life; but, as a rule, our public men do their work, not as well as the know-how, but only as well as the interests of the party will allow them. Many of those men have good intentions, but they are bouncing. in the chains of the party. The party controls the selection of our public servants; it controls their actions. I believe all this can be changed. There is somewhere a remedy for this state of things.
That remedy can be found. And if the remedy can be found, it will be used. I have un- bounded faith in the honesty and sound sense of the people of the United States. They made this Government because they thought it wise to make it. They will change this Government if they ever think wise to change it. This is the point to be determined. Is it, or not, wise to make some changes in our political machinery — and if so, what changes?
The views here set forth may be mistaken. Whether they are or not will be easily shown. They may at least provoke the truth. To find out precisely the nature of the evils un- der which we suffer, and their remedies, we need only calm thought and discussion. To do yeoman's service in this discussion is the purpose of writing this book.
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