What it Was, But is Not

What it Was, But is Not.

From the Paris (Ill.) Beacon and Blade.

The old Democratic party, under whose banners we rallied in days gone by, and bore with pride our share of the conflict, rejoicing in its victories, and bewailing its defeats, was in truth a gallant organization, with blood and bone in its composition. It was a great party; one to be feared in a canvass, and entitled to the love of its friends and the respect of its foes. In power, the country was safe in its hands; out of power, its influence was still felt, and in spite of he great destructive element which for so many years controlled its administration of affairs, and finally culminated in a bloody war, we believed that it was in the main right, and best calculated to secure the greatest good to the greatest number.

We could have forgotten a thousand errors, save that of luke warm friendship to our country’s flag in times of peril, and tacit abetment of treason.

This high crime sunk the party, a disorganized mass, too low for resurrection; but out of the odds and ends there vegetated into action another organization that seized hold of the old name, and being drawn together by the cohesive power of plunder into something approximating unity of action, they set up in antagonism to Republicanism.

The distinctive differences between Democracy that was, and Democracy that is, may be summed up as follows:

Old Democracy advocated a specie basis.

New Democracy takes its success on greenbacks.

O.D. was patriotic.

N.D. abets traitors and despises loyal blue.

O.D. was expansive and progressive.

N.D. disfranchises students.

O.D. gave the ballot to the negro.

N.D. denies the ballot to crippled soldiers.

O.D. was decent and respectable.

N.D. reads and relishes Brick Pomeroy.

O.D. was feared and respected.

N.D. is laughed at and despised.

The rapid and startling changes daily going on in the principles of the new Democracy, will enable us to extend the above differences ad infinitum.

Alton Weekly Telegraph (Alton, Illinois) Jul 3, 1868

Image of Brick Pomeroy   from Wisconsin Historical Society

The following excerpt is from:
M.M. “Brick” Pomeroy: Forgotten Man of the Nineteenth Century
By Ruth Ann Tucker, 1979
Murphy Library Digitized Sources

 

M. M. “Brick” Pomeroy was a nineteenth-century American journalist whose active career spanned more than three decades, from the late 1850’s through the 1880’s. He was a highly controversial figure associated with many facets of American life, including Democratic politics, the Tweed Ring, the Greenback movement, Spiritualism, and western mining and tunnel building. Though a vile racist, he was a staunch supporter of workers and women and had a close affinity with farmers. He was acquainted with a number of noteworthy contemporaries, including Stephen Douglas, Henry Clay Dean, Benjamin Butler, Horace Greeley, William M. Tweed, and William F. Cody. He was a popular journalist, particularly in the rural Midwest and South, and for a time his La Crosse (Wis.) Democrat attained a larger circulation than any other newspaper in the country.

The Hillsdale Standard (Hillsdale, Michigan) Sep 1, 1868

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