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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 49

Political Parties

page 55

Political Parties.

The agitation, I must confess, is embarrassing to both political parties; much more so, however, to political aspirants who fear pitfalls, and are anxious lest they bury all their hopes in graves of their own digging. One party is rushing along on its path of injustice, because popular clamor impels that way; the other, half willing, half unwilling, does not dare say a word in opposition, for it, no more than the other party, has statesmen for leaders, while politicians abound. We are accused of an alliance with one of these parties. The party that forms an alliance, open or covert, with any religious body in these United States, proclaims its own folly, and signs its own death-warrant. The leaders of the Catholic body are neither fools to trust any political party, nor knaves to seek privileges and favors over the religious denominations of the country by such unworthy and dishonorable means. No prominent politician believes the absurd imputation. It is a sop thrown to Cerberus, to bigotry. We seek equal rights for all, favors for none. Until correct principles obtain recognition, this question, affecting the interests of millions of citizens, will remain a cause of controversy and disturbance. Thirty years of patient submission have brought us scarcely a kind word; and the condition of Helotism into which we have been falling is regarded by many as fitting and proper, and by others as right and just. There is a sound maxim in the American mind, that any class suffering from disabilities and a violation of rights should resort to established methods for a rectification of these wrongs, and that a class that does not care enough to seek a remedy for its sufferings may be left to nurse its grumblings in private, without thought or attention from their fellow-countrymen.

While, therefore, we do not feel disposed to waste gratitude on the Democratic party for favors never received, page 56 and owe no more to the Republican party, we have only contempt for the hangers-on of both parties, who would have us hold in abeyance the assertion of our rights, lest this office-seeker or another should be embarrassed. Catholics are learning to break away from both parties, watch events, and treasure in their memories the brave words and deeds of politicians who, taking advantage of a momentary outbreak of bigotry and religious hate, write a record which a few years hence they would give their right hand to blot out.