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POLITICAL  PARTIES.                            567
existing parties, and would soon become corrupt itself. Can
they accomplish their work by entering into the other parties,
according to their political convictions, and insisting on hav-
ing a share in all those primary arrangements for office,
caucuses, conventions, and the like, of which they complain
so much now ? The probability is that they would be met
and worsted by new intrigues, without gaining anything for
the cause of political honesty. I see no way in which they
could act so well as by acting within the existing parties, and
yet determining to cast their votes, each individual for himself,
for no one who is a political intriguer or untrustworthy man.
They act in this case without any forced combination, by the
power of a vote which is silent, but well understood. Sup-
pose this to begin in one of the parties, and that this party
loses the election on account of such independent action.
Can the party fail thenceforth to make a selection of better
men ? and if this is to be its principle, will not the other be
compelled to be more careful in choosing its candidates ? If
thus there is understood to be a quiet body ia both parties
which will rebuke all improper selections for office, this one
thing will go far towards creating a moral revolution in state
and in country. Staying away from the polls on account of
the badness of parties is an unworthy course; but going there
and rebuking your party for its improper candidates is some-
thing honorable for every good citizen to do.
In regard to the nomination of candidates for office, I
should be glad to see the plan of offering one's self to one's
fellow-citizens tried on such scale and for such a length of
time as to take away all novelty and destroy old prejudice.
This, in the case of inferior officers chosen by the people,
would not call for speeches of candidates; but, when impor-
tant elections were made, it would compel the voters to be-
come more familiar with the great questions that divide par-
ties than they are now ; and candidates might with advantage
be called before the voters to advocate their respective opin-