The monstrous, ridiculous proposition to organize a standing army in Illinois, with a swarm of officers to eat out the substance of the people, by enormous taxation, has been so generally condemned by the public that the scheme was suppressed for a time in the legislative committees, but the pap and plunder, the partisan enginery, involved in it, were too precious to be given up by the spoilsmen who are voting away, and devising more schemes to tax and vote away, the public money. We learn that the "red breeches bill" is again under consideration, having been manipulated by hawkeyed and hungry partisans to such an apparrent texture and hue, as is supposed will blind the public to its monstrous and anti-republican features.
As first devised the proposition was too plain. It is now to be revived in phraseology meaning the same thing, but so worded as to deceive the popular ear.
The taxation remains in it, however. Its plunder feature is there. It provides for a crew of military partisans, with salaries and nothing to do; and erects military engine in our midst, of which the governor of the state is to be the head, with the power of a military despot — the people bled to foot the bill.
We are told by the organ that no invasion of any other state is contemplated or desired by the dominant party. That there is no fear that Illinois is to be invaded — then why this new military engine with such monstrous, anti-republican, unconstitutional gubernatorial powers? As we understand the project, a yearly tax of a quarter of a million will be required for this new republican machine, the officering of which is to be done by the governor and not by the people, as our military organizations have been hitherto officered. The people are to be taxed, plundered, to plant in their midst the appliances of European despotism. Are the people of Illinois prepared for this machinery, at this price? Is Illinois to be turned into a military camp, and each freeman's house and door-yard to be subject to the surveillance of hireling troops in the pay of the state government?
Why is it now that the patriotism of the volunteers of Illinois cannot be relied on to contribute her share to the common country's cause and to protect her own soil? Why is it that the governor is to be vested with despotic powers, and have at his back a hirling soldiery? It is an insult to the patriotism, to the manhood, of the state, which will be spat upon by the sturdy masses of the people, whose self-reliance will scorn the implied doubt of their loyalty which such a law embodies, which at the same time taxes them for an enginery of bayonets, to feed a crew of bedizened partisan idlers.
As a partisan, we could ask for no better issue to go before the people of the state than that furnished by this proposed military machine, but as an Illinoisan we cannot but raise our voice against an enactment which, while it proposes to plunder the people, would erect a standing army in their midst, insulting to their intelligence and to their loyalty to their state and country.