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344 DOUGLASS' MONTHLY. October, 1860. [[line]] [[three columns, with vertical lines between]] [[column 1]] by ignorance and short-sighted expediency, but, nevertheless, a mighty force, which could be made available for a present partial good, and could possibly be educated into a genuine anti-slavery power. It is not necessary, therefore, that we should meet in detail, the charges made against the Republican party, although it would be quite easy to show that 'J. C. H.' has underrated its anti-slavery character. To quote paragraphs from the stump speeches of politicians, often made in view of local circumstances, is by no means a fair way of forming an estimate of the position and animating impulse of a great party. We could quote from the speeches of SEWARD, SUMNER, LINCOLN, AND LOVEJOY, the most radical anti-slavery sentiments, as an offset to the quotations of 'J.C.H.;' but all these quotations, on both sides, would leave us just where we started. The Republican party occupies the same general position on the slavery question as that occupied by the Liberty Party in '44. It proposes to use all its constitutional power to limit, weaken and discourage slavery, with a view to its final extinction. This is the doctrine of SEWARD's 'irrepressible conflict,' and is repeatedly announced in LINCOLN's debates with DOUGLAS. It is the doctrine which animates the masses of the Republican party, as every man who mingles with these masses must know. But the Republicans hold that the constitutional structure of the Government is such that Federal power cannot reach slavery in the States, and that they are, therefore, shut up by constitutional prohibition to the necessity of confining their efforts against slavery, to the work of prohibiting its extension, and of inaugurating the general policy of turning the moral forces of a free labor administration of the Government against the institution. - They hope in this way to surround the slave States with an influence which shall educate them up to freedom, and impel them to abolish slavery. They look to the growth of an anti-slavery party in the slave States, under the fostering egis of an anti-slavery administration which shall enlist the free whites in those States in the work of emancipation. Now, we agree with 'J.C.H.' that the Republican view of the limits of constitutional action against slavery is a great mistake, and that the radical view of that question is more nearly correct. But this is a question of constitutional law, and not of abstract morality-a question of [[italics]] power [[/italics]], and not one of [[italics]] principle [[/italics]]. There is no reason why we should doubt the honesty of the Republicans in their view of this question, any more than there is that we should doubt the honesty of the Radicals, and this question is one that must go through the process of a quarter of a century of discussion before we can hope that its radical solution can obtain. In the meantime, while this discussion is going on, there is much common anti-slavery work which all agree can and ought to be done, and in which we can unite for the present, without diminishing our power to do more radical work in the future. Both parties agree as to the power of Congress to abolish slavery in all Territory under exclusive Federal jurisdiction, and to prevent the admission of any more slave States. They agree as to the duty of suppressing the foreign slave trade. They agree as to the duty of cleansing the [[/column 1]] [[column 2]] Augean stables of the national administration from the foul corruptions consequent upon Democratic, pro-slavery misrule, and the duty of putting the mighty forces of the National Government into the hands of men who shall wield them on the side of freedom. This is the practical work immediately before us. If we unite in this work, how will such union weaken us for more radical work in the future? What harm will it do to the cause of freedom in the Carolinas to secure the triumph of that cause in Kansas? Will not the cause of emancipation stand an infinitely better chance of success in the future with slavery driven out of the Territories, and a God-defying and man-hating administration driven into oblivion, where its memory may rot, and with the Government in the hands of men whose sympathies are all on the side of freedom? With this statement of the practical bearings of the question, let us review the article of our reviewer. He says: 'I have never heard the most radical of the Radicals contend for a moment that a man should go to the "farthest verge of ideal right" in his political activities.' Our old friend has made a fatal concession here. He has tapped the dyke of radical philosophy by this concession, and his logic all leaks out through the aperture. If we are not bound to go to the 'farthest verge of ideal right,' how far short of that point may we stop? An inch, or an ell, or a yard, of a mile? Is not our friend all afloat on the current of expediency, the very moment he unmoors from the farthest verge of ideal right? Does he not give full license to the reign of Republican philosophy by this concession?-If the farthest verge of ideal right is not the rule of action, what other rule have we but this-viz.: where co-operation with others is necessary, we are at liberty to join with them in all honest efforts to do even a partial and incomplete good, even though we may perceive a still greater good lying beyond the range of their vision, for the accomplishment of which they will not unite with us? Our friend has scarcely honored his radical training in making this concession, and with all his suspicious as to our 'driftings' and 'longings,' our rightarianism is as yet sufficiently uncompromising to maintain the proposition that we are bound to make the 'farthest verge of ideal right' our [[italics]] ultimate [[/italics]] aim. But it does not follow from this that every act we put further must, at the moment, terminate on that farthest verge of ideal right. For instance, the ideal right with reference to slavery is its total abolition, and the raising of the slave to the rights of citizenship. This is to be our ultimate aim. But it does not follow that we are bound to accomplish this in a single political campaign, or do nothing. On the contrary, it is quite consistent with that ultimate aim for us to make a campaign for the freedom of the territories and the defeat of the Democratic party. If our forces are in such a state that this is as far as we can carry the campaign at present, then we are doing the very best thing toward securing our ultimate aim, and any other course would be detrimental to that ultimate aim. We, therefore, return to our old figure. The Radical and Republican roads lie in the same direction for several stages, and it is wiseom for us to travel together until we reach the angle of divergence. Our friend says: [[/column 2]] [[column 3]] 'The Conservatives have located the road, laid the track, manned the engine, and appointed the brakes.' Very well; if the road does run in the right direction for even the first stage of the way, is it not better for us to jump on the train and ride over that stage, than it would be to survey a new route and build a new road?- Who cares whose road it is, if it will only help us on the way? When we come to the point of practical divergence, we can jump off with all the passengers whom we can persuade to go with us. The next point made by 'J.C.H.' is an effort to show that Republicans oppose slavery so far as they do act against it from a selfish regard for the interests of the white race. We have no doubt but what there is much selfishness mingled with Republican opposition to slavery. We remember a case of this kind in the early history of Christianity, and Paul disposes of it thus:--'Some, indeed, preach Christ even of envy and strife and also of good will.... What then? Notwithstanding every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is preached, and I therein do rejoice--yea, and will rejoice.'- It is a great mistake to suppose that by voting for a Republican candidate, we vote in favor of the soundness of all his arguments, or endorse all the sentiments uttered by Republican stump speakers or newspaper writers. Bro.'J.C.H.' repudiated this close-communion, hard-shell logic in Church and State years ago, in common with us. We simply say by such vote these candidates are the best men we can hope to elect in the present state of political culture in which we find the American people. They are pledged to as much anti-slavery work as can well be accomplished in four years. Their success will turn back the tide of slavery propagandism and break the reign of pro-slavery terror both in the North and in the South. 'J.C. H.' speaks of the old Liberty Party which went over to VAN BUREN in '48, as if it was a Radical Abolition party. In this he is quite mistaken. The old Liberty Party was not committed to direct action against slavery in the States. Its measures were confined to the work of abolishing slavery in the Federal Territories, and to such general unfriendly legislation as should gradually hem slavery in and weaken its power, an thus lead to its final overthrow. The general principle of action against slavery, which formed the basis of the old Liberty Party, was the same as that upon which the Republican party stands to-day. The difference in the detailed application of that principle is only what was incident to the change from a party of 60,000 to one of 1,500,000 voters. 'J.C.H.' makes a false issue when he says that the Republican believe that 'slavery is politically and constitutionally right in the Carolinas. They hold that the Carolinas have full power to abolish slavery in the Carolinas, and that they ought to use that power, but that the Federal Government has no power to interfere directly. There is a wide difference between this position and the assertion that slavery is right in the Carolinas. 'J.C. H.'says: 'The Radicals aim at the entire destruction of slavery root and branch, as a sin against God and a crime against man.' So do the great mass of Republicans. The one class seek this end by direct legislation; [[/column 3]]
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