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Hobart herald. (Geneva, N.Y.) 1879-1942, November 01, 1892, Image 15

Image and text provided by Hobart and William Smith Colleges

Persistent link: http://nyshistoricnewspapers.org/lccn/np00050002/1892-11-01/ed-1/seq-15/

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’I'HE STUDENT IN POUTlCS. 109 any other man. Mncli o f this spirit is clue to the influence of men qualified to be leaders and to understand political questions, but who say, 111 don’t care for politics, it makes no difference to me who rules, ’ ’ and who perhaps do not take the trouble even to cast their votes. It is often said ‘ ‘ politics are so corrupt and disgusting that I can not endure to have anything to do with them.\ This excuse might be allowed i f you would refuse to swallow food because your throat is sore, to bury a corpse because the effluvia is nauseating, to fight a fire which is likely to burn your house because the heat and smoke are uncomfortable. Again some are afraid of the malign attacks of their adversaries or of the temptations of public life. These excuses are as cowardly as the former. I f one’s reputation is good for anything he can make no better use of it than to offer it upon the altar of his country. That man whose purity of char­ acter cannot be exposed for the public welfare is likely to do but little good for himself or the community in which he lives. Even if his character is put in jeopardy i t is incomparably small in the balance against the health of the nation. The excuses commonly advanced for inaction but g o to confirm and add weight to the opinion that our situation is desperate, and if that is indeed true there is no hope for us unless our honest and competent citizens w ill arouse themselves a s one man to action. But some may say “ all students can not become law makers and magistrates ; our attainmeuts and energies are needed to serve our country in other callings. We can not all become professional politicians.” We do not want them to become professional politicians. Professional politicians could not be if our society were not permeated with ignorance and corrup­ tion, but there is no good reason why any college bred man with an ordinary degree of intelligence and common sense should not have a clear idea of the political issues and party principles of the day. Any .such man’s mere vote and opinion has great influence and he lias no right to withhold the one or to conceal the other. Then again a man’s ability to be useful in any calling depends largely upon the welfare of the state aud the prosperity of himself and his fellow citizens. Therefore if he is devoted to his profession, he should all the more b e devoted to the state, and its interests should on no account be neglected because with it is associated everything relating to our present life. A n o t h e r fa lla c y v e r y m islead in g an d m o re d a n g e r o u s becau s e of its

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