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ture" was proposed as a name for Congress, and at once rejected. We have the kindred errors of the "national Capitol," meaning the edifice in which the Congress meets annually, and also "capital " instead of the " seat of government of the United States," the words of the Constitution; and of "Congressmen," as distinguished from Senators in Congress. The Constitution knows only the equality and co-equality of " members of Congress," or Senators and Representatives.
The aristocratic title "Honorable" applied to Congressmen is as unconstitutional as the title "your Honor " applied to judges of courts, and that of "Excellency" applied to governors of States. The Constitution abhors titles. See prohibition in Article I., sections 9 and 10.
As it is common to use language not found in the Constitution, we hear and read of the " national Supreme Court," instead of the Supreme Court of the United States; also "national banks;" and Senator Blair did his best to establish a " national" system of education! The "National Soldiers' Home" is a modern misnomer. But perhaps the misnomer of misnomers is found in the use of the words " National State Guards," which is applied to State troops for local or home rule defence, and " National Insane Asylum "!
What is the crowning nationalism?
Arlington, the former home of George Washington Parke Custis, the adopted son of George Washington, was converted into a cemetery for the burial of United States soldiers, and named "National Cemetery." The battle-field of Chickamauga has become a " National Military Park," and belongs to the United States by the consent of Georgia.
Even the magnificent domain which ought to be known as Yellowstone Park is called the "National Park." And alike over the sad graves of soldiers, and over the wonderful parkland in the heart of this confederation of equal and coequal sovereign States, waves the "national flag " as the symbol of the " nation "!
Long after this protest was written, the Supreme Court of the United States said that in speaking of the United States the plural should be used; and "it is entirely proper to speak of these United States." What else could be said? It is worthy of remark that in receiving Ambassador Eustis at the Elysee, Paris, President Carnot spoke of the "United States nation "! Europe has been badly taught by the centralists.
What is a President of the United States? Simply an executive agent and servant of the States for a term of four years. He is not called by his countrymen to the presidential chair, but by the States, through their appointed electors.
George Mason, of Gunston Hall, Va., argued in the convention that the President should hold his official trust for seven years, and thereafter be ineligible. Jefferson said: "I wish that at the end of four years the convention had made the President forever ineligible for a second term." Had Mr. Jefferson been elected by the States, through their electors, instead of by the House of Representatives, it is fair to say that one term would have completely satisfied him. The controversy with Burr stirred him to seek a vindication by the States, through the electoral college. So he served a second term.
One term would help to make a faithful President. We have, instead, save in a few instances, huckstering politicians. Mr. Lowndes of South Carolina well said that the "Presidency is an honor which is neither to be sought nor declined."
What is a present remedy for a growing presidential evil?
Article II., section 2, says that "the Congress may by law vest the appointment of such inferior officers as they think proper in the President alone, in the courts of law, or in the heads of departments." The President has too much patronage. Departmental officers must meet with his approbation, from clerk to janitor. The framers of the Constitution mean by "the courts of law" the supreme and inferior courts of the United States. Try the judges. They are not elective, and ought not to be partisan. Great patronage is the dower of kings. Presidents should be free from its inviting corruption.
What is really the popular branch of the Federal government?
A late writer makes the following remarks: "The only officers of the general government chosen by the suffrage of the whole people are the President and Vice-President. This was not the intention of the framers of the Federal Constitution. The Constitution leaves the members of the electoral college free to elect any properly qualified citizen to the Presidency and Vice-Presidency; but, as every one knows, they really vote under inviolable instructions. It is true that a popular majority does not always secure the success of a presidential ticket; but the electoral college is constituted upon a far more popular basis than the Senate. The electoral vote of a great State, like New York, for instance, cannot be offset by that of Nevada, though in the Senate New York and Nevada have precisely the same numerical strength. In any case, it may be said that the President has been chosen by a general election. He does not represent merely one State or one congressional district. The executive branch is, therefore, the most popular branch of the general government.
"It is well, sometimes, to be reminded of this fact, especially when the President's public policy is persistently opposed by a congressional majority —a condition which has occurred repeatedly in the history of this country."
What is the oath of a President of the United States?
"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully, execute the office of President of the United States, and will, to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States." No mention of a "nation" or "national government." To "preserve, protect, and defend" is to use only constitutional names and language in every public utterance and document, and emphasize them by appropriate acts, as well as to execute the laws within his jurisdiction. Yet one of our ablest