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MORALS.
233
No one is deprived of this right, and no one, consequently, is free from the responsibility of using it, and using it wisely. All may vote, and many may exert influence upon other voters. This, then, is the situation of every American citizen—he has the power to exert a greater or loss influence upon the choice of those men who govern the country: and upon this choice depends the happiness, the peace, the prosperity, of nearly fourteen millions of peo­ple ! Such is the vast interest at stake, and such the high responsibility which is laid upon the soul of every citizen of this tree country. No one can shrink from the duties which follow from this state of things. He who uses his vote or his influence selfishly, basely betrays his country; lie who uses them inconsiderately, puts at hazard the interests of his country: he who neglects or refuses to use them, deserts his country, and, like a sentinel, flies from his post in the hour of need.
Let us then draw a few inferences, and make a few observations as to the political duties of each American citizen.
1. It is the duty of every American citizen to vote for public officers. The theory of our government involves the doctrine that the peo­ple are capable of governing themselves. And 20*
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