DISREPUTABLE WEAPONS OF POLITICAL WARFARE.
A few men in this city have adopted a very disreputable their own political ends and injuring their enemies. Whenever a person happens to differ with them upon any matter that involves their political or even pecuniary interests, they immediately point him out, and raise a cry of “traitor,” or “Secessionist” against him. At a time when our loyal people feel so exasperated at traitors, and are so easily moved to anger against anything squinting towards treason, it needs but a hint to awaken suspicions against anybody; and thus very dishonest tricksters have been able to injure seriously good men, who are far more reliable and faithful to their country and their obligations as citizens than they who slander them.
We cannot find fault with the people when they manifest their hostility to traitors and treason. Neither should be tolerated; and the honest expression of a determination not to do so, is to be respected. California is loyal to the core, and no speck of rottenness should be allowed to appear on the surface. But we must express our abhorrence of those bad men who, under the garb of patriotism – of love of country – try to use the honest indignation of the masses to subserve their private and ignoble ends. If they have individual quarrels to carry on, let them do it without attempting with contemptible cowardice to enlist the Union sentiment against their personal foes. If they have political contests to go through, let them not dare to rank their opponents in mere local struggles for office as conspirators and traitors against the Constitution and the country. This has been done enough already. “Wolf! wolf!” has been cried by these dishonest shepherds so often, when there was no occasion, that if an hour of real danger should come the people would distrust the true cry of alarm, and mischief might ensue. For a man to wrongfully accuse his neighbor of disloyalty to the Government at this crisis, should be held a grave crime against society and morality. For such an offense, he should be punished by universal condemnation.