The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 21, July 1917 - April, 1918 Page: 82
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The Southwestern Historical Quarterly
But it is unhappily equally true that if there were many times
more; the course of public events would not be materially altered,
for there is a great preponderance of ignorance, prejudice, and
rashness, not only in the body of the people, but in the councils
of the Nation, sinking more and more palpably to a very low level,
by the rapidly deteriorating operation of universal suffrage. I
am as sensible as any American can be, that this painful result
does not spring from the original principle of their institutions,
which was sound, but I believe that some of the most profound
thinkers in America, have traced it to the revolutionary change
from a representative to a pure democracy; a form of things that
experience has shewn to be unstable, incompatible with peace, true
freedom, and the elevation of the character of man; ever leading
on the contrary, to the curse of military despotism as an escape
from grovelling, and usually blood stained mob tyranny, knave
Persons of high principle and independent conduct find their
way less and less into public life in the United States, and it
would be a libel to say that the public character of the present
Government and Legislature afford fair average means of esti-
mating the amount of public spirit, wisdom, and purity, in the
Country. The real standard is much higher than that, but the
voice of moderation and wisdom is silenced or borne down by the
force of circumstances. These ultra democratic institutions, and
the egregious flattery lavished on the people, have also had the
effect of stamping a character of excessive exciteability and vanity
upon the masses, making them ready instruments in the hands of
adroit and reckless demogogues, always striving to over reach each
other in practices upon the passions of the multitude. Some of
the persons for example in high office to day, are supposed to have
been sincerely opposed to the Annexation of Texas, but they never-
theless, in the phraseology of the Country, went in freely for it,
as soon as it was clamoured up to be popular, for the sake of what
must rather be called tripping up--than defeating, not merely
their political opponents, but their avowed friends and leaders,
and by this time there are persons of note in the Legislature, of
the same party as themselves, striving as hard to out bid and out
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 21, July 1917 - April, 1918, periodical, 1918; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101073/m1/88/: accessed July 28, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.