Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

PARTY PLATFORMS.

1888.

DEMOCRATIC, REPUBLICAN, PROHIBITION.

NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC PLATFORM.

ADOPTED AT ST. LOUIS, JUNE 7, 1888. The Democratic party of the United States, in National Con. vention assembled, renews the pledge of its fidelity to Democratic faith and reaffirms the platform adopted by its representatives in the convention of 1884, and indorses the views expressed by President Cleveland in his last annual message to Congress as the correct interpretation of that platform upon the question of tariff reduction; and also indorses the efforts of our Democratic representatives in Congress to secure a reduction of excessive taxation.

Chief among, its principles of party faith are the maintenance of an indissoluble union of free and indestructible States, now about to enter upon its second century of unexampled progress and renown; devotion to a plan of government regulated by a written Constitution, strictly specifying every granted power and expressly reserving to the States or people the entire ungranted residue of power; the encouragement of a jealous popular vigilance directed to all who have been chosen for brief terms to enact and execute the laws, and are charged with the duty of preserving peace, insuring equality and establishing justice.

The Democratic party welcome an exacting scrutiny of the administration of the Éxecutive power, which four years ago was committed to its trust in the election of Grover Cleveland, President of the United States; and it challenges the most searching inquiry concerning its fidelity and devotion to the pledges which then invited the suffrages of the people.

During a most critical period of our financial affairs, resulting from overtaxation, the anomalous condition of our currency and a public debt unmatured, it has, by the adoption of a wise and conservative course, not only averted disaster, but greatly promoted the prosperity of the people.

It has reversed the improvident and unwise policy of the Republican party touching the public domain, and has reclaimed from corporations and syndicates, alien and domestic, and restored to the people nearly one hundred millions of acres of valuable land to be sacredly held as homesteads for our citizens.

While carefully guarding the interest of the taxpayers and conforming strictly to the principles of justice and equity, it

has paid out more for pensions and bounties to the soldiers and sailors of the Republic than was ever paid before during an equal period.

By an intelligent management and a judicious and economi. cal expenditure of the public money it has set on foot tho reconstruction of the American Navy upon a system which forbids the recurrence of scandal and insures successful results.

It has adopted and consistently pursued a firm and prudent foreign policy, preserving peace with all nations while scrupulously maintaining all the rights and interests of our government and people at home and abroad.

The exclusion from our shores of Chinese laborers has been effectually secured under the provisions of a treaty, the operation of which has been postponed by the action of a Republic can majority in the Senate.

Honest reform in the Civil Service has been inaugurated and maintained by President Cleveland, and he has brought the public service to the highest standard of efficiency, not only by rule and precept, but by the example of his own untiring and unselfish administration of public affairs.

In every branch and department of the government under Democratic control, the rights and welfare of all the people have been guarded and defended; every public interest has been protected, and the equality of all our citizens before the law, without regard to race or section, has been steadfastly maintained.

Upon its record thus exhibited and upon the pledge of a continuance to the people of the benefits of good government, the National Democracy invokes a renewal of popular trust by the re-election of a Chief Magistrate who has been faithful, able and prudent.

They invoke an addition to that trust by the transfer also to the Democracy of the entire legislative power.

The Republican party, controlling the Senate and resisting in both Houses of Congress a reformation of unjust and unequal tax laws, which have outlasted the necessities of war and are now undermining the abundance of a long peace, deny to the people equality before the law and the fairness and the justice which are their right.

Thus the cry of American labor for a better share in the rewards of industry is stifled with false pretences; enterprise is fettered and bound down to home markets; capital is discouraged with doubt; and unequal, unjust laws can neither be properly amended nor repealed.

The Democratic party will continue, with all the power confided to it, the struggle to reform these laws in accordance with the pledges of its last platform endorsed at the ballotbox by the suffrages of the people.

Of all the industrious freemen of our land, an immense majority, including every tiller of the soil, gain no advantage from excessive tax laws; but the price of nearly everything they buy is increased by the favoritism of an unequal system of tax legislation.

All unnecessary taxation is unjust taxation.

It is repugnant to the creed of Democracy that by such taxation the cost of the necessaries of life should be unjustifiably increased to all our people.

Judged by Democratic principles, the interests of the people are betrayed, when, by unnecessary taxation, trusts and combinations are permitted and fostered, which, while unduly enriching the few that combine, rob the body of our citizens by depriving them of the benefits of natural competition. Every Democratio rule of governmental action is violated when through unnecessary taxation a vast sum of money, far beyond the needs of an economical administration, is drawn from the people and the channels of trade and accumulated as a demoralizing surplus in the National Treasury.

The money now lying idle in the Federal Treasury resulting from superfluous taxation amounts to more than $125,000,000, and the surplus collected is reaching the sum of more than $60,000,000 annually.

Debauched by the immense temptation the remedy of the Republican party is to meet and exhaust by extravagant appropriations and expenditures, whether constitutional or not, the accumulations of extravagant taxation.

The Democratic remedy is to enforce frugality in public expense and abolish needless taxation.

Our established domestic industries and enterprises should not, and need not, be endangered by a reduction and correction of the burdens of taxation. On the contrary, a fair and careful revision of our tax laws, with due allowance for the difference between the wages of American and foreign labor, must promote and encourage every branch of such industries and enterprises by giving them assurance of an extended market and steady and continuous operation.

In the interest of American labor, which should in no event be neglected, the revision of our tax laws contemplated by the Democratic party would promote the advantage of such labor by cheapening the cost of the necessaries of life in the home of every workingman, and at the same time securing to him steady and remunerative employment.

Upon this great issue of tariff reform, so closely concerning every phase of our national life, and upon every question involved in the problem of good government, the Democratic party submits its principles and professions to the intelligent suffrages of the American people.

NATIONAL REPUBLICAN PLATFORM.

ADOPTED AT CHICAGO, JUNE 21, 1888. The Republicans of the United States, assembled by their delegates in National Convention, pause on the threshold of their proceedings to honor the memory of their first great leader, the immortal champion of liberty and the rights of the people--Abrahanı Lincoln, and to cover also with wreaths of imperishable remembrance and gratitude the heroic names of our later leaders who have more recently been called away

from our councils-Grant, Garfield, Arthur, Logan, Conkling. May their memories be faithfully cherished. We also recall with our greetings, and with prayer for his recovery, the namo of one of our living heroes, whose memory will be treasured in the history both of Republicans and of the Republic-the name of that noble soldier and favorite child of victory, Philip H. Sheridan.

In the spirit of those great leaders, and of our own devotion to human liberty, and with that hostility to all forms of despotism and oppression, which is the fundamental idea of the Republican party, we send fraternal congratulation to our fellow-Americans of Brazil upon their great act of emancipation, which completed the abolition of slavery throughout the two American continents. We earnestly hope that we may soon congratulate our fellow-citizens of Irish birth upon the peaceful recovery of home rule for Ireland.

We reaffirm our unswerving devotion to the National Constitution and to the indissoluble union of the States; to the autonomy reserved to the States under the Constitution; to the personal rights and liberties of citizens in all the States and Territories in the Union, and especially to the supreme and sovereign right of every lawful citizen, rich or poor, pative or foreign born, white or black, to cast one free ballot in public elections, and to have that ballot duly counted. We hold the free and honest popular ballot and the just and equal representation of all the people to be the foundation of our republican government, and demand effective legislation to secure the integrity and purity of elections, which are the fountains of all public authority. We charge that the present Administration and the Democratic majority in Congress owe their existence to the suppression of the ballot by a criminal nullification of the Constitution and laws of the United States.

We are uncomprisingly in favor of the American system of protection; we protest against its destruction as proposed by the President and his party. They serve the interests of Europe; we will support the interests of America. We accept the issue and confidently appeal to the people for their judgment. The protective system must be maintained. Its a ban. donment has always been followed by general disaster to all interests, except those of the usurer and the sheriff. We denounce the Mills Bill as destructive to the general business, the labor and the farming interests of the country, and we heartily injorse the consistent and patriotic action of the Republican Representatives in Congress in opposing its passage.

We condemn the proposition of the Democratic party to place wool on the free list, and we insist that the duties thereon shall be adjusted and maintained so us to furnish full and adequate protection to that industry.

The Republican party would effect all needed reduction of the national revenue by repealing the taxes upon tobacco, which are an annoyance and burden to agriculture, and the tax upon spirits used in the arts and for mechanical purposes, and by such revision of the tariff laws as will tend to check imports of such articles as are produced by our people, the production of which gives employment to our labor, and

1

release from import duties those articles of foreign production (except luxuries) the like of which cannot be produced at home. If there shall still remain a larger revenue than is requisite for the wants of the Government, we favor the entire repeal of internal taxes rather than the surrender of any part of our protective system, at the joint behests of the whisky ring and the agents of foreign manufacturers.

We declare our hostility to the introduction into this country of foreign contract labor and of Chinese labor, alien to our civilization and our Constitution, and we demand the rigid enforcement of the existing laws against it, and favor such immediate legislation as will exclude such labor from our shores.

We declare our opposition to all combinations of capital, organized in trusts or otherwise, to control arbitrarily the condition of trade among our citizens; and we recommend to Congress and the State Legislatures, in their respective jurisdictions, such legislation as will prevent the execution of all schemes to oppress the people by undue charges on their supplies, or by unjust rates for the transportation of their products to market. We approve the legislation by Congress to prevent alike unjust burdens and unfair discriminations between States.

We reaffirm the policy of appropriating the public lands of the United States to be homesteads for American citizens and settlers, not aliens, which the Republican party established in 1862, against the persistent opposition of the Democrats in Congress, and which has brought our great Western domain into such . magnificent development. The restoration of unearned railroad land grants to the public domain for the use of actual settlers, which was begun under the Administration of President Arthur, should be continued. We deny that the Democratic party has ever restored one acre to the people, but declare that by the joint action of the Republicans and Democrats about 50,000,000 of acres of unearned lands origin. ally granted for the construction of railroads have been restored to the public domain, in pursuance of the conditions inserted by the Republican party in the original grants. We charge the Democratic Administration with failure to execute the laws securing to settlers title to their homesteads, and with using appropriations made for that purpose to harass innocent settlers with spies and prosecutions under the false pretense of exposing frauds and vindicating the law.

The government by Congress of the Territories is based upon necessity only, to the end that they may become States in the Union; therefore, whenever the conditions of population, material resources, public intelligence and morality are such as to insure a stable local government therein, the people of such Territories should be permitted, as a right inherent in them, the right to form for themselves constitutions and State governments, and be admitted into the Union. Pending the preparation for Statehood, all officers thereof should be selected from the bona fide residents and citizens of the Territory wherein they are to serve.

South Dakota should of right be immediately admitted as a State in the Union, under the constitution framed and adopted

« ForrigeFortsett »