Dangers to a Government by the People
"The safety of the Republic lies in the vigilant and active patriotism of the American people.
There is a danger in the ignorance of voters. As a rule, the man who does not read and write intelligently cannot vote intelligently. Americans understand the necessity of popular instruction, and spare no expense spreading it. They cannot be too zealous in the matter. They need to have laws in every State which will punish, as guilty the crime against the country, the parent who neglects to send his children to school.
There is a danger-and a most serious one- in corrupt morals. A people without good morals is incapable of self-government. At the basis of the proper exercise of the suffrage lie unselfishness and the spirit of sacrifice. A corrupt man is selfish; an appeal to duty finds no response in his conscience; he is incapable of the high-mindedness and generous acts which are the elements of patriotism; he is ready to sell the country for pelf or pleasure. Patriotism takes alarm at the spread of intemperance, lasciviousness, dishonesty, perjury; for country’s sake it should arm against those dire evils all the country’s forces, its legislatures, its courts, and above all else, public opinion. Materialism and the denial of a living, supreme God annihilate conscience, and break down the barriers to sensuality; they sow broadcast the seeds of moral death; they are fatal to liberty and the social order. A people without a belief in God and a future life of the soul will not remain a free people. The age of the democracy must, for its own protection, be an age of religion."
Source: The Catholic Instructor, Published by The Office of Catholic Publications NY-1910– page 122