it comes in contact with the interests of the liquor dealers of the streets.
You talk to me about this statute not being capable of execution.
There is no statute capable of execution which comes athwart the selfishness of the liquor trade of the city.
Gambling is illegal; the brothel is illegal.
They could neither of them be sustained without that substratum and corner-stone, the nineteen hundred and fifty open places for the sale of intoxicating drinks; and do you suppose that either of those laws, held superstitiously, conventionally, religiously sacred as they are in the heart of every Massachusetts
man, is executed, or can be executed to-day, when the liquor dealers of this city to a certain extent cover these places with the shelter of their common interest?
No; I am not standing here to-night to plead merely that the Maine Liquor Law
cannot be executed; I am saying that ten millions of dollars, standing behind what are in fact the criminal classes of the city (and I use the word “criminal” in its broad, legal sense,--everything which evades the laws, bylaws, State laws, all laws),--I say ten millions of dollars, two thousand places for the sale of drink, standing behind the criminal classes, sustaining them, massing them together by the attraction of a common interest, always have, always will, always must, control the municipal government of the peninsula.
If you want any law executed faithfully, efficiently, it must be done by the old democratic authority,--the sovereignty of the State
Why does the city ask for peculiar privileges for her police?
You meet a policeman in the street, and he has powers over you a hundred fold greater than the constable of a country town.
Why does the city want it?
Because she acknowledges that the government wages an unequal war with the criminal classes.
Remember, that in ten years, forty-five men out of every hundred on this peninsula are arrested for crime.