The Republican Platform
September 24, 1870
The Republican convention has passed, and the Republicans have given their platform for the upcoming election. With that platform in mind, a commentary is given of the Platform.
This subtle and deceitful paper has been seen by our readers. It sounds as though it came from a body of very profound, sincere, and even pious people - as though no man in the Convention that adopted it ever proposed to disfranchise anybody, or to impair his rights, or hurt him in any way. A more amiable and fair-spoken set of gentle- men have rarely assembled together to take counsel about the state of the country. But how strangely discordant with these smooth resolutions was the jargon of the colored orators in the Convention. The reaffirmation of the generalities of republicanism, as indeed they are of all parties, was to be expected. So we looked for the great credit claimed by the resolu- tions for the present Administration for diminishing the public debt, the credit for which is due to the people for the heavy taxes they pay, and especially people of this State, ground down by a partial taxa- tion upon their chief staple, at once most onerous and odious. A prominent piece of impudence in this Radical platform is the accusations against the Legislature about their alleged neglect of the common school system. The whole Radical party will not have to bear a nine- tieth part of the burden of public schools. Those who will have to support them will have likewise mainly to pay the public debt. The Legislature, representing this solid and reliable part of the community, proceed with all practicable expedition in the necessary steps to establish the system. They could go no faster. The taxes had to be levied and collected. Yet, the proper officers are getting everything ready to put the system into operation as early as practicable. A system of common schools is a great undertaking, and not set on foot with as much facility as Judge Rives can prepare one of his "able" ad- dresses, or as easily as he may be gotten up a negro excursion to Hungary station. Yet these conventionists affect a rare indigna- tion about it, and make a great pother in order to excite the poor blacks to a very high resentment on account of not getting their share of "reading, writing, and arithmetic" before New Year. The deceitful whites who thus endeavor to impeach their own race and increase the hostility of the blacks towards them are mak- ing a record for themselves which they will not like to look at some of these days. A striking feature of the platform is an attempt to flatter the Democrats. Dis- coursing to them in language very similar to that sometimes indulged by a democratic co-laborer against republicanism, they ap- peal to the Democrats to join them in shell- ing the Conservatives out of the "half0 way house," in which these honest people say the Conservatives have taken refuge. This effrontery will do good. It is pregnant with useful suggestion. Affecting to be overflowing with the Republi- can enthusiasm, these office-seekers,backed by their colored hordes whom they are seeking to marshal in their war for the pap and prog of Government, sanctimoniously return thanks to God for the spread of Republicanism in Europe, and they expressly declare their sympathy with the present struggle for republican government in France This does not "gee" so well with the republican trick of sympathy for the Germans. It will establish a corn on the Republican foot and cause a limping and halting m the Radical foreign sympathies. Finally the pure, amiable Rads declare themselves to be for justice to everybody and to all colors (always excepting, of course "Indians not taxed"), and "chal- lenge the honorable rivalries of all men and all parties." "Honorable rivalries!" How like a pack of wolves, licking their chaps just from the sheep-fold, exclaiming, "Gentlemen, let's be honest, let's not rob or kill anybody."
About this article
“The Republican Platform,” Reconstructing Virginia, accessed October 21, 2021, http://reconstructingvirginia.richmond.edu/items/show/1846.