What Should we Do?
That the administration has not been faithful to its pledges; that it has been vacillating and unstable; that it has at length adopted a political plan for the suppression of the southern revolt which is unwise, arbitrary and unjustifiable; that the only effect of this course is to engender bitterness and division in the north, and stimulate rather than discourage rebellion at the south; that the interests of the country require the revocation of the radical measures into which the authorities have drifted — we sincerely and firmly believe. — St. Louis Rep.
Then why not join with us in condemning the further prosecution of the war under such a policy? Will furnishing men and money in unlimited quantities to the administration, have any tendency to change its policy? We believe the Republican agrees with us that the republican leaders, who control the president and dictate the policies to be adopted in conducting the war, are not in favor of restoring the Union as it was, but of making a new one, with the abolition of slavery as its corner stone. What has this question to do with the right of secession? What effect had the conservative victories in New York, Illinois, and other loyal states, in influencing the policy of the administration? Instead of moderating, did they not render it more violent and radical? And if the administration has wrought so much mischief in two years, what may it not do in two more? Should democrats heartily support the war, when they feel assured the administration is waging it so as to work the permanent and utter ruin of the nation? We are not laying down a policy, but "only asking questions."
A year ago the war was waged for "the restoration of the Union, under the established constitution and laws." The Register's bugle rang in the air, cheering patriots to rally for the suppression of an infamous rebellion, and for the preservation of the same glorious Union we inherited from our fathers. Then, the people were united, as one man, in the support of what were constitutional and just measures in prosecuting the war. Then, our armies were victorious; our skies were bright, and everything augured well for our success.
Now, all is changed. "The administration has not been faithful to its pledges;" "the interest of the country require the revocation of radical measures;" state rights have been invaded; "warfare has been made upon constitutional rights, and the domestic institutions of the states;" and we are still called upon to support and sustain the administration in all its measures. We cannot do so. We rejoice to-day, as much as ever, over Union victories; or will do so when any transpire; we admire the courage of our brave volunteers, who are fighting in earnest for the restoration of our Union, but we cannot speak in the same hopeful strains as before of our prospects of success.
We would not put a straw in the way of the government in replenishing its armies; but the democracy no longer rally as one man to enlist in a war prosecuted for purposes they can only condemn, and under auspices which leave no room to hope for final success. We are not in favor of "stopping the war where it is, and of patching up some kind of peace;" but we hope, when the administration finds that it can get no more soldiers to fight for the enfranchisement of negroes, it will reverse its policy, dismiss its evil advisers, and once more prosecute the war for the restoration of the Union, the re-establishment of the constitution and the enforcement of the laws. The old Union is not an "absurdity of which we are sick;" as our fathers made it, we hope to see it restored and maintained; we have never admitted the contingency of a disunion peace. We think that a war to free negroes can never restore the Union; we want it prosecuted for the originally avwed purpose, or if the administration will not so prosecute it, let the olive branch be tendered in lieu of the sword. Does the Republican think that the war as at present conducted will ever restore the Union?