Illinois Staats-Zeitung -- June 10, 1871Editorial.
That a large majority of the German citizens of Chicago are against a Sunday holiday enforced by the police because they see in it a violation of their constitutional freedom of conscience is nothing new to anybody. A large majority of the Germans - but by no means all. There is a considerable number of highly respectable German citizens, mostly Methodists and Lutherans, who prefer the stricter American conception. If one estimates this number at 2,000, one is likely to put it rather too low than too high. After subtracting this minority the German conception of Sunday freedom would dispose of about 6,000 German votes.
How many votes of Irishmen, Bohemians, and Scandinavians could be won is hard to say. As to the native Americans, in a straight vote on the question, at least 95 of 100, no matter if they be Democrats, Republicans, or "Liberals" would certainly vote for the traditional, strict Sunday holiday.
It is therefore necessary in order to get at the Sunday legislation (primarily municipal) that we count not only with our wishes, but with the facts and with realistic numbers. No matter if a crowd shout ever so loud that an end must be 2made of the despicable prudery, that we Germans "must act on our own hook," that we must "take up the glove," - that will not transform six into twelve, much less seventeen. To found a new party is one thing, but to gain for this new party a majority of the votes in the city is quite another thing. The city has about 35,000 voters. How many of these would join a party the single platform of which would be the abolition of the closing laws? Hardly even 10,000. But even if there were 12,000, and if the other 23,000 votes would distribute themselves equally between Republicans and Democrats, which is auite out of the question - even the we would have at best a plurality of 500, that the first gust of wind would disperse.
What then is to be done, if one does not feel satisfied in just adopting threatening solutions but really wants to get somewhere? Shall we organize a violent uprising? Kill the police? Storm the city hall? Play Paris Commune? Bah: No person in his right mind thinks of anything like that. There remains therefore, only the lawful way. That is to say we must try to elect a majority of the City Council, and a mayor and police commissioner who sympathize with the German conception. This can be done if the Germans, instead of founding a completely impotent new party, make their weight felt at the time of the nominations inside of the two existing parties. There are hardly half a dozen wards where all German Democrats and Republicans together could 3gain a majority. But there are many wards where they are strong enough in each party to force the nomination of men who will promise not to favor the Sunday law.
For the rest the German Republicans and the German Democrats can then remain true to their other political convictions. Are both the Republican and the Democratic candidate pledged to the Liberal point of view in this question? Then it will really not matter - as far as the Sunday law is concerned - who of the two gets elected.
I B 2, I C, I F 1, I F 4
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