Source: Congregationalist and Christian World
Source type: magazine
Document type: editorial
Document title: “Expel Anarchists”
Date of publication: 14 September 1901
Volume number: 86
Issue number: 37
|“Expel Anarchists.” Congregationalist and Christian World 14 Sept. 1901 v86n37: pp. 380-81.|
|anarchism (personal response); anarchism (dealing with).|
|Humbert I; Ida McKinley; William McKinley; Foster M. Voorhees.|
The iniquity of the attempt to assassinate the
President is not yet fully realized. It is, indeed, seen, that the act was not
committed merely against a person, however exalted and beloved. It is recognized
as an assault on the nation, whose people, by their free choice, made Mr. McKinley
their official head. It is now generally admitted that the miscreant who fired
the shots is not alone responsible for the crime. Those who incited him to the
deed, whether or not they knew he planned it, are criminals. So also are all
those who counsel the murder of rulers and defend as right the killing of persons
whom they do not like or who hold views of government and society of which they
But when the full extent of this crime against the American people is seen, they themselves will plead guilty and repent. They have harbored knowingly men and women who have planned such crimes and who have openly rejoiced in having carried out their plans. They have permitted anarchists to publish arguments advocating the murder of rulers and to circulate them freely. They have allowed, without protest, meetings of the avowed enemies of society to encourage one another to such deeds, and our news-  papers have published widely their incendiary utterances.
It is but little more than a year since a sister nation was plunged into such grief over the death of its ruler as that which threatens us. Our sympathies have been deeply stirred for Mrs. McKinley, even while we have been shuddering over the loss to the nation and to the peace of the world if her husband should die. But the widow of King Humbert mourns a husband whom she and the people of Italy believed as good and wise a man as we believe Mr. McKinley to be. Her expression of sympathy with the President’s wife is especially pathetic in view of the fact that the plot which ended in the assassination of the king was hatched in this country. The assassin was sent from this land, and those who sent him are allowed, unmolested, to celebrate publicly their dastardly crime, and to spread abroad sentiments which may lead to other like crimes. Nor is that nest of professed enemies of mankind the only one. Others exist in Boston, New Bedford, in Chicago and in various parts of the country. These conspirators are not American citizens. They seek the protection of our laws which they aim to destroy and gain their support from those whose government they are studying to overthrow. The American people consent to all this. Are they free from guilt?
A man may be excusable if he allows a rattlesnake to live in his garden so long as he is unacquainted with the nature of the reptile; but when he knows what poison is in its fangs and has seen death inflicted by it, and hears its rattle every time he steps out of his house, he is verily guilty if he delays killing it because he and his own family have thus far escaped its bite. These venomous anarchists have sounded their note of alarm quite too long. They may disown complicity with the would-be murderer of the President. But it is such pernicious and insensate talk as theirs which incited him to the deed. They say they have no dislike to Mr. McKinley, but that the trouble is with the conditions of society. We bear no malice against these misguided men and women, but present conditions of society should not permit them to remain in the country whose protection and hospitality they have so shamefully abused. They should be summarily sent back to the lands they came from, or if that cannot be done they should be allowed no place here except in a safe prison, or in some colony by themselves, where they could experience the coveted privilege of living without government.
The day has gone by, also, when either Great Britain or the United States can justify refusal to join with continental Europe in an effort to unearth and banish from society all who deny the authority of the state. The time has come for federal legislation which will make even an attempt to take the life of a president high treason. The State of New Jersey, especially, ought to root out the brood of Anarchists who make Paterson their home, who glory in the fact that they destroyed King Humbert of Italy, and who, under the present laws of the state, as Governor Voorhees has to admit with humiliation, cannot be touched. It is gratifying to read that he stands pledged to see to it that New Jersey puts laws on its statute-books at the next sitting of its legislature which will alter the situation radically. Illinois was forced to face this issue some years ago, and has a law which, if enforced, would go far toward meeting the situation. But it has not been enforced as it should be, or as it will be now that we have the light of Buffalo’s tragedy on the issue involved. License has been confounded with liberty. The American people are about to reaffirm a distinction which is deep in its significance.