Robert Green Ingersoll, Chicago Speech, 1876, Tilden vs Hayes (not PC, may offend)
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: -- Democrats and Republicans have a common interest in the United States. We have a common interest in the preservation of good order. We have a common interest in the preservation of a common country. And I appeal to all, Democrats and Republicans, to endeavor to make a conscientious choice; to endeavor to select as President and Vice-President of the United States the men and the parties, which, in your judgment, will best preserve this nation, and preserve all that is dear to us either as Republicans or Democrats. The Democratic party comes before you and asks...snip
" The Democratic party admits that it has a record, but it says that any man that will look into it, any man that will tell it, is not a gentleman. I do not know whether, according to the Democratic standard, I am a gentleman or not; but I do say that in a certain sense I am one of the historians of the Democratic party.
I do not know that it is true that a man cannot give this record and be a gentleman, but I admit that a gentleman hates to read this record; a gentleman hates to give this record to the world; but I do it, not because I like to do it, but because I believe the best interests of this country demand that there shall be a history given of the Democratic party.
In the first place, I claim that the Democratic party embraces within its filthy arms the worst elements in American society. I claim that every enemy that this Government has had for twenty years has been and is a Democrat; every man in the Dominion of Canada that hates the great Republic, would like to see Tilden and Hendricks successful. Every titled thief in Great Britain would like to see Tilden and Hendricks the next President and Vice- President of the United States.
I say more; every State that seceded from this Union was a Democratic State. Every man who hated to see bloodhounds cease to be the instrumentalities of a free government -- every one was a Democrat. In short, every enemy that this Government has had for twenty years, every, enemy that liberty and progress has had in the United States for twenty years, every hater of our flag, every despiser of our Nation, every man who has been a disgrace to the great Republic for twenty years, has been a Democrat. I do not say that they are all that way; but nearly all who are that way are Democrats.
The Democratic party is a political tramp with a yellow passport. This political tramp begs food and he carries in his pocket old dirty scraps of paper as a kind of certificate of character. On one of these papers he will show you the ordinance of 1789; on another one of those papers he will have a part of the Fugitive Slave Law; on another one some of the black laws that used to disgrace Illinois; on another Governor Tilden's Letter to Kent; on another a certificate signed by Lyman Trumbull that the Republican party is not fit to associate with -- that certificate will be endorsed by Governor John M. Palmer and my friend Judge Doolittle. He will also have in his pocket an old wood-cut, somewhat torn, representing Abraham Lincoln falling upon the neck of S. Corning Judd, and thanking him for saving the Union as Commander-in-Chief of the Sons of Liberty. This political tramp will also have a letter dated Boston, Mass., saying: "I hereby certify that for fifty years I have regarded the bearer as a thief and robber, but I now look upon him as a reformer. Signed, Charles Francis Adams." Following this tramp will be a bloodhound; and when he asks for food, the bloodhound will crouch for employment on his haunches, and the drool of anticipation will run from his loose and hanging lips. study the expression of that dog.