The Chariton Leader, Chariton, Iowa February 8, 1906
'CURRENT COMMENT' Timely Topics Discussed and Opinions Freely Submitted - - - - - - - - - To censure Mayor ALEXANDER on his downfall would be sheer folly, if not the act of a coward.The day for that has gone by.Neither would it be proper to censure those alone who caused his election for they simply were over confident in his strength of character, never thinking that he would return to his former habits.But the censure should be placed upon the entire population for permitting conditions which preyed upon his weaknesses as well as the weaknesses of others.The maelstrom closed in about him and it was irresistible.Not a strong arm reached in to rescue and surely under these circumstances the mantle of charity would be a more befitting covering than harsh words at this time.Cap't. ALEXANDER's natural goodness of heart led him into many follies.Too often he befriended men who failed in their compensations and whose gratitude was as ashes in the furnace.Unfortunately for him he had the faculty of gathering about him a companionship which drug him to r! uin.Like the old man of the sea -- he had not the power to shake them off.Then when his insatiable appetite returned they clandestinely carried liquid fire to him with which to burn up his soul, under the guise of friendship, but really for the stipends he gave them.Down deep in his heart he cursed them and would drive them from hence -- but oh, that awful appetite, and again he appealed and they plied him with rum.Not a fraternal order in town came to the rescue to say "Begone, ye workers of iniquity, we will take the guardianship of this brother and see that just punishment is meted out to you for your wicked ways."
Thirteen temples have here been erected to the worship of the living God and yet unmindful of their duties to their fellow men.Costly pews, carpeted aisles, polished pulpits, trained choirs and a score or more other things have made them obvious to the real needs of society, and while they lift their voices, on bended knees, in petitions to the Most High or chant the eternal truths in song, a mayor is being tempted by human ghouls and degraded to the serpent's trail.But the peace officers -- why did not they do their duty?Why should they?Is the oath of a peace officer any more sacred -- or to be kept any more inviolate -- than the silent consent of any just private citizen whose first duty is to see that the rights of his race is upheld?Besides, when the benevolent societies -- the church people and the populace in general close their eyes at violations they form the sentiment of society and peace officers generally do just what society demands and in this case it ! has been non interference.
We are all cowards together.No peace officer can make headway against public sentiment -- or that which is even worse -- a death-like inactivity.The fellow who put the cup to the mayor's lip is but little worse, if any, than the one who winked at it -- and preachers and laymen, peace officer and moralist, newspaper editor and publicist are in poor positions to set up the plea of self righteousness.