Source: American Homes
Source type: magazine
Document type: editorial
Document title: none
Author(s): Hite-Smith, Charles
Date of publication: October 1901
Volume number: 13
Issue number: 4
|Hite-Smith, Charles. [untitled]. American Homes Oct. 1901 v13n4: pp. 235-36.|
|McKinley assassination (personal response); patriotism (fostering); anarchism (dealing with).|
|Authorship of the editorial (below) is not credited in the magazine; however, the first two paragraphs imply the publication’s editor, Charles Hite-Smith, is the author.|
THERE is no duty an editor has to face which is so difficult of proper expression
or so nerve trying as that of trying to give words to grief-stricken thought.
Almost every shade of opinion as to the dastardly character of the crime of the assassination of the President has found expression in the daily press, all in tones of such grief as must necessarily follow such a crime, and there remains to the editor the need for calmer, more philosophical comment, which in a measure takes from him the spur of righteous and indignant anger, so that there can be none of that fervid glow which fills such first expressions as to touch the heart or fire the brain. Ours is the more difficult task of looking for cause and remedy after passion has somewhat cooled and judgment sits with reason. It is hard, very hard.
In seeking a cause we need not dwell upon the admirable character, the loving loyalty, the personal kindliness of Mr. McKinley. These well-known characteristics of the dead President would have been a shield against the shafts of a mere personal enmity; they were characteristics unknown or unheeded by the mind corroded with the decay of anarchism or brushed aside as immaterial, for the scoundrelly creed heeds not the man but aims for the officer.
Such deeds are the result of a disease, which, once in the brain, eats and gnaws out all but the insane desire to kill. They are not cured, they are not retarded, by corporal punishment of any kind, and the only remedy is in repression.
It has always been my pride that in the American home is laid the foundation for that love of liberty and fair play; of giving to each his just due, which are traits of American character and which have nowhere in public station found fuller, freer or better expression than in the life and services of William McKinley, an American of Americans.
Love of country must inevitably involve a respect if not regard and affection for the representative of the will, majesty and laws of the people. Where there is absolutism, it can be seen where the desperation of political despair may sieze [sic] upon the brains of the oppressed and drive them to mad acts, and it must be that those who bring such minds and methods with them to this land which they have presumably sought for relief from tyrany [sic] and freedom from compulsory service. How much of this is heredity, how much is absorption from abominable teaching, only exhaustive analysis will tell, but the influence on young minds, on those by nature prone to the dark side of things, on those on whose brows discontent is written, is a danger the whole body politic has a right to guard itself against.
The most important step, albeit the slowest perhaps, is the home training of the immature mind, and this should not devolve upon the wife alone. True, she does and in the nature of things must continue to be in hourly  and all but continuous touch with each child, and may instil [sic] into its mind such ideas as she may herself command of the greatness of our country—great because morally right—of the purity of our leaders and the very certain part each citizen must add to the good name and uprightness of the nation.
The father’s talk, reading and example must be of the same elevating character, and this may be under the roughest coat of “unpolite” language yet come from a loyal heart, for patriotism may not be measured by clothes or bank notes.
With such parentage and early training there will be no American anarchists, and it is our duty to each other, to sister nations, and to these misguided fiends as as [sic] well, that we both refuse admittance to new ones and see that those we have are put where they cannot so readily deprive us of our best, most trusted and beloved officers.