Grand Rapids Herald

April 4, 1900

Page Four

The Democratic Bolt

It has been with keen regret we have observed the disposition of certain promient and influential democrats the past week to oppose the renomination of Mayor Perry. And our grief is the more poignant because of a consciousness that their resentment against Mayor Perry is due to a considerable extent to his efforts to give us appointive officials who could be depended upon to do their duty. When Mayor Perry was elected two years ago and took his seat a similar condition of affairs confronted him and truly may it be said he nobly put aside his personal inclinations for the public good, and it is for this he is today condemned by a large, active and aggressive contingent of those who before were his most earnest supporters. Had he followed his personal inclinations as a democrat he would have put none but democrats on guard. After his election, however, feeling the responsibilities of his office and realizing that the city trusted him to do what would be to the city's best interest, he saw that such a policy was out of the question. With Spartan fortitude, therefore, he sternly repressed his own fond desires, and instread of distributing the offices among his democratic friends, for the public good and to insure efficient public service he drew upon the republican cohorts for the material which he honestly and conscientiously believed his own party could not supply. Not because of any shortage in the supply of democratic candidates for every vacancy in the municipal government, but for the welfare of the city Mr. Perry appointed republicans to the best paying jobs in the city hall. And in the same manner, desiring wise councsels in shaping public policies, instead of calling in democratic advisors Mr. Perry surrounded himself with a republican "cabinet," and this "cabinet" has made up his mind for him upon nearly every proposition that has arisen during his administration. And for pursuing this patriotic course, for putting the city's interest above his personal inclination in making appointments and seeking advice, Mr. Perry is condemned.

The wheelhorses of the democracy, those who have hauled the party's water buckets for years and who in former democratic administrations have been treated with consideration and taken into confidence, may feel sad that with Mr. Perry they do not cut enough ice to frappe a small bottle, but what are they going to do about it? They may point to the promises Mr. Perry made, but that Mr. Perry ignored his ante-election promises and appointed republicans instead of democrats is but another evidence of his noble sacrifice of personal inclinations to public duty. Had he followed his own bent he would have fulfilled his pledges to the four democratic men and two democratic women to whom before election he promised the office of private secretary by appointing them all. After election, however, when he looked the field over he realized that while the democracy did not lack in quantity it was woefully deficient in quality, and for the public good he rescinded all his promises and gave the office, with its comfortable salary, cozy quarters and easy work, to a good republican who could be depended upon to serve the public as the public ought to be served. In like manner he appointed republicans instead of democrats to various other nice berths in the city government, and this it is believed, was done, not through any antipathy to democrats, as some might suppose, but because of Mr. Perry's high sense of duty to the municipality.

Many democrats in town have gained the idea that they deserved better treatment at the hands of the administration, that they were entitled to at least a few of the offices in the city hall, and that they ought to have been admitted to a small participation in the councils which shaped the party policy, and they are disappointed that they have been shut out on every proposition. It is with keen regret that we observe this tendency among the brethren, because it indicates a spirit which would deny the infinite superiority of republican office holders and republican advisers over anything the democracy can offer. The republicans possessed of some degree of modesty, might not exactly claim their superiorty, but Mr. Perry has by his policy proclaimed it, and to save argument we will concede Mr. Perry to be right. With Mr. Perry in the executive office the whole duty of the democracy is discharged when it votes for Mr. Perry on election day. The republicans will do whatever is left to be done in the matter of holding office.