The Dangers of a "Liberal Tendency"


To the Editors of the CRIMSON:

I find it impossible to agree with your editorial in the CRIMSON in which you disapprove of our President's meritorious conduct in refusing to release Eugene V. Debs from Federal prison. Apparently it is a manifestation of the modern so-called "liberal" tendency in our modern undergraduates which finds outlet in a general plea for the "under dog" no matter why he is "under."

Let us examine your reasoning. 1. You assume that the occasion which called forth the punishment has ceased and therefore the punishment should cease. All very logical but why not apply it to all criminals and have a general jail delivery? You would give preference to the man who attacks society in its very vitals when the nation is engaged in war; and yet, I assume, you would not advocate releasing all our jail birds simply punishment ceased, to wit--their criminal act. And yet these criminals are angels when compared with the man who attacks society as did Eugene V. Debs.

2. Your theory of punishment as a deterrent is unsound. If it were the true theory we should hand all criminals as the most effective deterrent possible. The true theory is, we believe, that society feels it has been wronged--the social consciousness revolts--and demands restitution. A modern example of this is the lynching parties of our Southern States. Certainly the Anglo-Saxon "hue and cry" was the result of a society demanding retribution rather than one seeking to deter others.

Certainly Eugene V. Debs has no legs to stand on under this theory.


3. I should certainly query as to whether those are logical inferences which you draw from the slight increase in the Socialistic vote polled at the November election. In proportion to the number of votes cast wasn't it really a diminution? The vote was really a severe disappointment to that party and I venture that had it not been for the incarceration of their illustrious nominee the Socialists would have secured more votes. G. N. W. MONAUGHTON 2L.

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