The Democratic Predicament
“As at present constituted, the Democratic party is not and cannot be a united, homogenous body, and ... it cannot become such a body until some new, spirit-arousing national issue effects a complete rearrangement of party lines.”
In three successive national political campaigns the Republican party has won a signal victory. Such a circumstance is by no means unprecedented. To say nothing of the first three elections under the Constitution, the Republicans of that early time were successful six times consecutively over a gradually decreasing opposition, until the substantially unanimous second election of Monroe. Their successors, the modern Democratic party, carried the country thrice in succession under the leadership of Jackson and Van Buren. Finally, Republican presidents occupied the White House during the whole period from 1861 to 1885, six terms. Nevertheless, the situation during the last eight years, which is to continue for two years longer, at least, is exceptional. Both the Jackson-Van Buren and the Lincoln-Arthur periods of prolonged party supremacy were half interrupted by occasional adverse majorities in one branch or both branches of Congress, whereas the Republicans have held complete control of Congress since 1897, when McKinley began his first term. Moreover, the recent third successive victory of the Republicans was the greatest of that series. On the other hand, the overwhelming triumphs of General Jackson were followed by a comparatively narrow majority for Van Buren, — on the popular vote, 27,000 only in a total poll of a million and a half. One need only refer to the abnormal conditions that prevailed in the elections of 1864 and 1868, and to the disputed result in 1876, to show that the 1861-85 period furnishes no parallel or likeness to the recent and the present situation.
Every national political contest from 1856 to the present time has been waged between two great parties, which have had a continuous existence; yet, strange as is the fact, neither party is in its general character and tendencies what it was before the Civil War. They have, indeed, exchanged places, although most of the survivors of the Frémont and Lincoln campaign still adhere to the party of their early choice, and although the accessions to each party have in large part been young men whose political proclivities and sentiments were like those of the older men with whom they associated themselves. A rabid historical review of the whole period is necessary to justify a statement which seems paradoxical, to show by what steps, without a general change of personnel, the Republican party has become conservative, while the Democratic party has shifted itself to radical ground, and thus to gain a point of view that will enable us to understand the existing political situation.
No student of political history is unaware of the wide difference between the Democratic national platform in 1896 and every preceding platform of the party. From 1828 until 1860 the Democrats were almost constantly in power in the national government. The two occasions when they suffered defeat produced no change in the tone in which they announced the principles upon which they proposed to govern the country. They were at all times the conservative party. The National Republicans and their successors, the Whigs, the American or Know-Nothing party, and the new Republican party, were in turn the liberal, the progressive, at times the radical element in politics. In the earlier period the Whigs favored a free interpretation of the Constitution; an extension of the functions of government, as in the construction of national roads and other internal improvements; a liberal policy in the disposal of the public lands; and a tariff system which they believed would develop new industries in the country. The Democrats interposed constitutional objections to all their measures. Agriculture was conservatively held to be the mainstay of American prosperity, and attempts to extend the sphere of government, and to foster any class of industry, were regarded as artificial interference with the order of nature.
When the slavery question became pressing the Democrats were still the conservatives. Even in the demand that slavery should be admitted to the territories, they really stood for the existing order, for that demand rested upon the principle that the right to property was not extinguished by removing one’s possessions from place to place. Then occurred, under the stress of a new issue, the great radical secession from the Democratic party to the newly formed Republican party. The Whigs, disunited upon the slavery question, went down in overwhelming defeat, and in distributing themselves between the two parties followed each his natural bent. Thus in the final conflict before the Civil War there was a broad and deep line of separation between parties. There was a truly conservative party which could not coalesce completely because there were diverse views as to what conservatism demanded. There was a radical party, united and aggressive.
The radical party came into power. In the conduct of the war which ensued, in financial legislation, in the land policy, in granting aid to railways, in the reconstruction of the insurgent states, in the enfranchisement of the negro, in scores of ways and measures that need not be enumerated, the tendency was distinctly radical. History may pronounce the acts of that period to have been wise or unwise; it will not hesitate in characterizing them as progressive, nor question the boldness and the thoroughness with which they were performed.
But as the Republican policies were successively established, a gradual change came over both parties, and it became distinctly perceptible when the programme of the party had been virtually carried into execution. It may be said that the Republicans became conservative, from the necessity they were under of defending their measures, before the Democrats were conscious of having become radical. There was an interim when, save that the Democrats were united on the question of the negro and the treatment of the South, no great principle was at issue between the parties. Bryce, writing during this period, said, “Neither party has any principles, any distinctive tenets. Both have traditions.” And much more to the same effect. The most striking illustration of the political stagnation of the time of transition is afforded by the Liberal Republican movement of 1872, when the Democrats declared that they accepted the Republican settlement, and when they had no other purpose in the canvass of that year than the defeat of General Grant.
Meanwhile they had already made one essay in radicalism, in 1868, when they advocated the payment of the five-twenty bonds with greenbacks, but not even their own candidate for president was in favor of that policy. Thenceforward they were to be surveying the whole field of politics for an issue upon which to attack the party so long intrenched in power. This is the essential characteristic of radicalism, — to seek to disturb and overthrow the existing order, in one of its parts or in many. Conservatism is not necessarily unprogressive; true conservatism is never so, but is slow and cautious.
During most of the intervening period until the canvass of 1896, the political situation was unlike that at any other time in American political history. The Republican party was upon the whole conservative, although it contained a considerable radical element in its membership. The Democratic party was chiefly radical, yet it not only had a strong contingent of conservatives, but was to a great extent restrained and controlled by them. These facts explain many anomalies in recent politics. When the Greenbackers developed a new issue, it was notorious that the radicals in the Democratic party were with difficulty prevented from making common cause with them; and that there were so many in the Republican ranks who were carried away with the idea of a volume of currency “equal to the demands of business” that plain and unmistakable opposition to it in the party platforms was deemed inexpedient. Hence one of many “straddles” by each party, — one Democratic foot touching the ground on one side of the fence, one Republican foot touching it on the other side. Republican voters in the ranks and in the two Houses of Congress, in a vast majority, were opposed to the greenback movement and to inflation of the currency. On the Democratic side the voters and their congressional representatives were by a large majority for paper money. Yet so cautious were those who drafted and adopted platforms that a stranger to American politics would find it difficult to decide which party yielded more to the Greenbackers, or, indeed, if either party held a decided opinion on the currency question. But no candid person can doubt that the Republican party at this time furnished the most of the conservative votes, and exercised the greater restraint upon the movement.
In 1880 Democratic radicalism took the form of an assault upon the protective tariff, — at least, so the Republicans interpreted, as they had a right to do, the demand for “a tariff for revenue only.” It came to nothing. The conservatives made light of the phrase, and suppressed so far as they were able the discussion of the tariff.
Again for a few years there was no distinctive difference between the two parties upon any important issue, until Mr. Cleveland, by his bold and essentially radical tariff message in December, 1887, summoned the Democrats to the task of carrying out the principle on which, more than on any other, they were united, — to overthrow the protective system. On this question the ordinarily conservative wing of the party was decidedly radical. It is composed largely of intelligent, thoroughly educated, and thinking men, — a class of which any party might well be proud. It may be doubted if those who constitute the rank and file of the Democratic party are at heart opposed to protection, but they joined in the movement. We know how it ended. Those who were conservative on the issue joined with the Republicans to defeat the anti-protection measure, and compelled their Democratic associates to pass a bill so moderate in its provisions that the President would not affix his signature to it.
Meantime the silver question, first heard of in 1877, temporarily disposed of by the so-called “Bland-Allison” Act of 1878, became so troublesome to the politicians of the Republican party that many even of the national leaders were seized with something like a panic. They fancied that the sentiment in favor of the free coinage of silver was growing so rapidly and becoming so deep that unless they were to “do something for silver” the movement would sweep all before it, and would bring into power the Democratic party, which already was coquetting with the silver advocates in the mining states. Republican timidity led to the passage of the Silver Purchase Act of 1890, the least harmful measure the leaders of the party could devise for taking care of the vast oversupply of the white metal. Injurious enough it proved to be in operation, and when a Democratic president, carrying out a principle declared in a Democratic platform, asked Congress to repeal the purchase clauses of the act, it was the Republicans who saved the administration measure from defeat. For in the Senate a considerable majority of the Democrats voted against the passage of the bill; and although a majority of Democrats in the House of Representatives finally voted for the measure, a still larger majority of them voted again and again for free coinage, at various ratios, on proposed amendments offered by radical free silver members.
Radicalism had by this time completely permeated the Democratic party, but the radical element had not yet gained full control of it. The People’s party, or Populists, which originated from the “Farmers’ Alliance,” and which had great success as an independent organization in 1890, was a true radical party. It so far recognized a congenial spirit, not fully developed, in the Democratic party, that in 1892 it “fused” with the Democrats in many states of the West. In five states the Democrats nominated, no electors of president and vice president, but voted for the Populist candidates; and in two states the electoral ticket was made up of candidates divided between the two parties. Conservatism held sway in the Eastern and Northern states. The Democrats of the Northwest were strongly radical, as were also those of the South.
The action of Congress on the silver purchase clauses of the Act of 1890 was the chief cause of the revolutionary movements in both the Republican and the Democratic parties, which culminated in the canvass of 1896. To the aggressive radical Democrats of the West the course of President Cleveland on the silver question was an act of treachery. They had nothing in common with him or with the wing of the party which he represented. Sure of the support of the Southern contingent, they were resolved no longer to be ruled by the minority of the party which had its strongholds in states that gave no electoral votes to Democratic candidates, and sent but a handful of members to the lower House of Congress. By a gigantic effort they wrested the control of the party from the hands of the conservatives, made common cause with the Populists in a comprehensive radical policy, and for the first time since 1860 presented to the country the spectacle of a bold, united opposition party, offering a full programme of measures, every one of which was the direct opposite of those that commended themselves to the party in power. It may sound paradoxical to speak of the Democrats as constituting an opposition party in 1896, since Mr. Cleveland was still President. But Congress was Republican. Moreover, the Democratic convention formally refused to “endorse” Mr. Cleveland, and to those who controlled that body he was as much a political enemy as was Major McKinley.
The votes in Congress on the repealing act of 1893, the act which “struck down silver,” had also great effect upon the Republican party. They exposed the weakness of the pro-silver sentiment among the members of the party everywhere except in the mining states, and inspired the advocates of the gold standard with courage to resist the silver propaganda. They showed plainly to the silver wing of the party in the West that the great body of Republicans would no longer yield timidly to them. Thenceforward the policy of the party was to be a virtual advocacy of the gold standard, modified, it is humiliating to say, — with a view to give silver men still a chance to remain in the ranks, — by a declaration in favor of international bimetallism, which they all knew to be an impossibility. Nevertheless, no one was deceived. There was not an intelligent voter in the country who doubted that if the Democrats were successful at the election of 1896 they would enter upon a general policy of radicalism on the lines of Populist platforms. No one hoped or feared that in the event of Republican success any change would be made in the policy of that party, — in particular that any concession whatever would be made to the pro-silver sentiment, or that any step would be taken adverse to the maintenance of the gold standard. The decided stand taken by the Democrats forced the Republicans to meet the issue fairly, and, although courage came to them slowly, the adoption of the national platform in 1896 marked the end of the attempts to placate the silver advocates in their ranks.
It has already been remarked that each party has maintained a continuous existence, and has retained to a large extent its membership during the entire period of transition. The South has continued to support the Democratic party with something like unanimity. The North, from the Atlantic to the Pacific, is Republican, as it was in 1868. The voters of Irish birth or descent are as firmly attached to the Democratic party as they were before the Civil War. Nevertheless, it would not be true to assert that conservative men and conservative communities have become radical, and radicals conservative, to such an extent as the general statement would imply, nor to intimate that there have not been many and great movements from one party to the other. A large secession from the Republican party took place during the presidency of Mr. Johnson, and another midway in the term of General Grant, before the progressive and radical policy of the party had been fully enacted into law. Other important secessions occurred: in 1884, partly in consequence of the nomination of Mr. Blaine, partly because of the tariff policy of the Republicans; before that time, as a result of the greenback movement; after it, on account of the disinclination of the Republicans to accede to the demand for the free coinage of silver. If it were not for such shiftings of party allegiance, one election would be like all the rest, and one partly would govern the country permanently.
At any important and closely contested election, when new issues are presented for the decision of the voters, or when old ones suddenly become prominent, the opposition is to a certain extent a “cave of Adullam.” The party in power meets arrayed against it not only the life members of the opposing organization and those whom the new issue has estranged, but a greater or less number of persons who, dissatisfied with some platform principle, some political tendency, or some objectionable candidate of the party with which they have usually acted, seize the opportunity to cast their votes against it. Their purpose for the moment is merely to rebuke their associates for some act or omission which displeases them. It often happens, nevertheless, that their party does not heed—it may even not be aware of—the rebuke so administered, and the stranglers become permanent deserters. Occasionally they find the new camp more congenial to their tastes in political matters than that which they left, and they naturalize themselves easily. More frequently the company in which they find themselves is not to their liking, and the tone of the new society is abhorrent to them. In that case they hold themselves aloof to a certain extent; but as occasion requires they enter into close relation with their associates for the sole purpose of curbing, controlling, and guiding them. If those associates persistently refuse to be guided and controlled, they flit uneasily to and fro between the two camps, bemoaning the degeneracy of the times and proclaiming the unworthiness of both parties.
From the tendency of men to break away from old associations when conscience or political conviction demands such a course, — a most praiseworthy tendency, which is the best safeguard against political corruption and dry rot, — it results that there is in each of the great parties a large contingent of men who are misfits. They differ from the great mass of their fellow members in habits of thought and in political aspirations. Naturally they belong in the other camp; but whether it be that the original cause of their desertion has not been removed, or that pride or perversity forbids their return, or that they hope to reform the party with which they have allied themselves, they rarely do return. They remain where they are to the end, or become, as they may be termed with their willing and proud consent, mugwumps.
It is a fact that apparently has not been generally observed that the losses by desertion are unusually greater from the conservative than from the radical party. This does not result wholly from the almost universal preponderance of the conservative element in settled and well-ordered communities, — that is, it is not because the conservatives, being more numerous, lose a larger number. It is easily explained. One who is radical by nature is in favor of a variety of reforms. If his associates do not take up with all of them, he nevertheless votes with his party for the sake of what he can get now, and hopes that the turn of the other reforms will come in due time. The conservative, on the other hand, greatly disappointed in a single direction, as well as the person who favors a single radical measure only, which he sees a chance of obtaining from the other party, thinks there is no harm in going over to the other side on this one occasion, persuading himself that the way of return is always open. If he looks so far into the future, he can also promise himself that, although he may never come back, he can serve a useful purpose in opposing and helping to defeat any injurious measure brought forward by his radical associates. Since he seldom does return, it follows as a natural consequence that there is always a larger proportion of conservatives in the radical party than of radicals in the conservative party.
It is necessary only to study anew the political history of the past forty years, which has already been briefly reviewed, to perceive the truth of these statements as general propositions, and also to discover the exceptions. The Democratic party, in both its conservative and radical wings, contains thousands upon thousands of former Republicans who left their party when one branch or another of the financial question, or the tariff, or “imperialism,” was the issue. The Republican party does not contain one tenth as many members who were formerly Democrats. No doubt, however, a great many men who left the Republican party in greenback times, and upon the issue of free silver, and who joined newly formed radical organizations which were ephemeral, have returned to their old allegiance; and they constitute the exceptions just mentioned. It is interesting to note, nevertheless, that the conservative Democrats, whether bred Democrats or former Republicans, who were forced by strong conviction to oppose the radicalism of 1896, did not leave their party. For the time being they called themselves Gold Democrats, and supported independent candidates. In 1904 they were the reorganizers of the party, engaged at their old task of reforming it—against its will.
If the foregoing statements and the conclusions from them be accepted, it is easy to see why the aspirations for “a strong opposition party,” frequently expressed during the late canvass, are wholly futile in existing conditions. That which goes under the name of the Democratic party consists of two elements wholly distinct from each other and incapable of forming a real union save in extraordinary circumstances, and when acted upon from without. To employ a figure borrowed from chemistry, they are intimately associated like the oxygen and nitrogen of the air, and form a mixture but not a union. The two chemical elements may be and are sometimes combined in a true sense, but never by means of mere association with each other. We might even extend the figure and liken the Southern Democrats to the argon which is never absent from atmospheric air. They are always in and of the party, but in characteristics and in purposes they are unlike either of the other elements, for they can be conservative or radical at will, and even both at the same time; and in political aims they are self-centred and clannish, as argon is chemically inert and refuses to enter into a true combination with any other element.
Doubtless it will have occurred to many readers that there is a fairly close analogy between the situation in this country and in Great Britain. There as here the conservative party has been in power for many years, although in both countries there have been brief intervals in its hold upon the government. There as here the conservative party has been at the head of affairs during a war that resulted in an acquisition of territory from the inhabitants of which it seemed to the ruling party expedient to withhold full self-government; and in both cases the decision to that effect stirred up an anti-imperialist movement within the organization of the minority. In both countries the system of protection by means of a tariff is stronger in the conservative than in the radical party. In both the party out of power contains an element which is not radical nor anti-imperialistic. Lord Rosebery, who never gave more than a half-hearted support to Irish Home Rule, and who is no more a “Little Englander” than is Mr. Balfour himself, is the type of the British Liberal in the wrong camp.
The leaders of the radical party in Great Britain have long been seeking for an issue on which they could challenge successfully the government of the day. In that, too, they are like their fellow radicals of the United States. Possibly the British Liberals have found it, in the education question. The American Democrats have not found it. The radicals alienated the conservatives among them by advocating free silver; the conservatives alienated the radicals by trying to be “safe and sane.” Now, all over the land they are asking themselves what was the cause of the stupendous defeat which they experienced in November, and what they must do to be saved. They are divided on the question whether or not the party should be reorganized. It was reorganized in 1896 and again in 1904, and on both occasions defeat followed. A suggestion that has been made by more than one person of high and honorable standing in the party is that the Southern wing shall now assume a position of authority and prescribe Democratic principles and policies. The difficulty with that proposition is that the unanimity of the Southern white people in supporting the party is due solely to their belief that they can in no other way have their will in deciding the political and social status of the negroes who form so large a part of the population of the South. In fact, their democracy is purely artificial, and a result of local causes. Were the race question out of the way, they would divide, as do the people in other parts of the country, on national questions upon which, in spite of appearances to the contrary, they are not unanimous. It follows that a reorganization of the Democratic party under Southern auspices would result in an effort to elevate to a prominent position as a political issue a question which does not at present greatly interest Northern men, but which, if pressed, would surely excite sectional prejudices. It is therefore on all accounts the true policy of the South not to force that question upon the attention of the country. Upon what other issue, past or present, plainly visible or faintly discoverable, are Southern Democrats more united than are their Northern brethren, upon what issue can they summon the party to align its rank for an attack upon the political enemy?
It may or may not be that it all men who describe themselves as Democrats who had voted for the candidates of the party at the last three elections they would have been successful on one or more of those occasions. For our present purposes it does not matter whether they would or would not. The point to be observed is that, as at present constituted, the Democratic party is not and cannot be a united, homogenous body, and that it cannot become such a body until some new, spirit-arousing national issue effects a complete rearrangement of party lines, — until the radical element in the Republican party is permanently drawn into the Democratic organization, and until the truly conservative take refuge in their natural home, the Republican party. To make the statement in another and concrete form, it is absolutely impossible to draft a platform, frankly and explicitly setting forth a set of political principles, to which Mr. Cleveland, Mr. Bryan, Mr. Gorman, Mr. Morgan, Mr. Olney, Mr. Hearst, Mr. McKelway, and Mr. Cockran could give their cordial approval as an adequate expression of their views. It would be necessary either to limit the platforms to vague truisms to which all men would subscribe, or to contrive the vague, two-sided declarations known as “straddles,” on the tariff, on silver free coinage, on “imperialism,” on trusts, on the Panama Canal, on the income tax, on “government by injunction,” — in short, upon every real issue that has arisen between the two parties in the last dozen years. Indeed, if it was really true that the question of executive usurpation was “paramount” in the late election, if Mr. Roosevelt himself was the issue, as was proclaimed with not a little emphasis, the Democrats have shown that they were not united even upon that.
All this does not signify that the various and heterogeneous elements constituting the Democratic party may not now and then get together, and even succeed in electing their candidate for president. But even should they do so, they will surely be powerless to accomplish any positive, characteristic, partisan legislation. On the only occasion in recent years when they had full possession of the government they were so hopelessly divided that on one great measure, the tariff, they would have failed altogether had they not yielded to the conservative minority of their own members; on the other, the repeal of the silver purchase clauses, they succeeded only by the help of substantially all the Republican members. Moreover, whatever may have been said, on the one side or the other, during the progress of the campaign, no one seriously believes that—if it had been possible to elect Judge Parker and a Democratic Congress—there would have been any real change of national policy as to the Philippines or Panama, or in “curbing the trusts.” For observe what reorganization of the party in a conservative sense signifies. The result would be complete agreement with the Republican party on some issues that have, quite recently, been “paramount;” difference on other issues that could not be perceived without careful weighing of the meaning of cunningly devised phrases; clear disagreement with the great body of the Democratic party itself on most of the questions of the day. The impossibility of harmonizing views so diverse as those held by members of the party was admirably illustrated by the speech-making campaign of Judge parker toward the close of the canvass. He was originally nominated as “safe and sane,” in the hope of enlisting the support of the men who were driven off by the radicalism of Mr. Bryan, and particularly of those large interests which were supposed to have been more or less alienated from the Republican party by Mr. Roosevelt’s attitude toward the large corporations and trusts. In his early speeches there was a distinct tone of conservatism, illustrated by his suggestion that the trusts might be dealt with under the common law. But his mildness was so distasteful to a great body of those to whom he looked for support that he deemed it expedient gradually to intensify his opposition to trusts in general, and to use toward them language which was as violent, if not as picturesque, as anything Mr. Bryan has said. That is not the only example that might be given of his eleventh-hour radicalism, which seems neither to have terrified the conservatives, among whom he is properly to be classed, nor to have mollified the radicals.
That is the situation as it appears to one who has already sufficiently indicated that he does not belong to either wing of the Democratic party, but who has endeavored to recount history and to interpret events fairly and candidly. It would be an impertinence for such a person to give advice to the party to which he has all his life been opposed. To predict what is likely to be the outcome of the situation is not the function of the historian or the observer, but of the prophet. Yet it is to be hoped that the writer will not be thought to be going too far in submitting some observations which must necessarily partake something of the nature of prophecy, something of the nature of advice.
It remains true, and it will always be true, that it is desirable that the two great parties in the country shall be nearly equally matched, — that there shall always be a strong opposition party. Long continuance of one party in power is followed by a train of evils, some of which are experienced when the ruling party is excessively strong even for a short time. The country may suffer from some of these evils as a result of present conditions, for the Republican party has held the power for many years, and is now in a position where it is almost unchecked by the minority. The question is how to rescue the country from possible disaster, by means of an opposition party grown so strong that it can effect a political revolution.
It is quite futile to attempt to create, or to invent, a party. One cannot sketch, plan, and construct a body of that sort as one might plan and build a house. Parties create themselves. Nor is it possible to “organize” a minority so as to convert it into a majority. Efforts in that direction are usually the reliance of small political managers who cannot grasp the ideas that the purpose of political endeavor should extend beyond carrying the next election, and that the only victory worth achieving is that which is won by men who, having like aims and aspirations, constitute a majority of the electors. When great issues are at stake, those who think alike act together by an impulse that cannot be resisted, and organization is needed merely to indicate in what ways the common impulse may be made most effective.
If, then, there are to be two strong parties in this country, each will be a party composed of men holding like principles and cherishing like political aspirations. That cannot be a strong party in which both Mr. Cleveland and Mr. Bryan are leaders of factions, nor can it be strong if either of them is titular leader and the other nominally a follower. It is merely the expression of an opinion which can be neither verified nor refuted, that at present Mr. Bryan reflects the political sentiments of by far the more numerous wing of the party. Assuming that to be the fact, the logical consequence of the existing situation is that those who form that wing should and will take permanent control of the organization. Inasmuch as they would be hampered in the future as they have been in the past by men who call themselves Democrats but who have no sympathy with their forward policy, they should enter upon their new course with such clear and unmistakable statements of their purposes as to compel the withdrawal from the party of those who are with it but not of it.
The Democratic party so constituted might not carry the next election, nor the one after it, but a demonstration of earnestness and sincerity would redeem it from its present self-neutralization, and would offer to the voters of the country a choice between two clearly defined and mutually opposed tendencies in government. Such a party would also surely attract a great many of those who are now Republicans by habit or by inheritance whose instincts are radical rather than conservative. Such a change would have far-reaching consequences. It would render politically homeless that body of sincerely conservative and most highly respected men who by the process would be reduced to impotence in the party; for they could not remain in it with self-respect, and they would not become Republicans. Their situation would be akin to that of the supporters of Bell and Everett in the canvass of 1860. Ultimately they might distribute themselves between the parties, but the most of them would probably be, and to the end remain, independents and mugwumps.
It remains only to suggest that when a strong, united party enters upon a new and vigorous campaign, the indifference of the South to all other national issues, so long as it is left free to deal with the negro, will probably disappear forever.