Workings of Idle Minds
Doubtless there is no
real need to take heavier weapons than a switch to those whose disengaged
minds urge that the Philippines be re-named “the McKinley Islands”—with
or without the consent of any other nation. For these would-be godfathers
are so visibly “traitors” that they cannot expect to impose on any
one who has a sense of humor. They are trying to work-off damaged
second-hand goods for a monument—as promoters of which they would
claim a first-class reputation.
If they cannot think of any better
way to honor the dead  than
by tearing out leaves from the geography, they should at least be
respectful enough to choose a better page. That of the Philippines
is a sore and shabby one. If they had cared as much about the nature
of the compliment as they do to be able to strut afterward as the
persons who paid a compliment to a great man dead, they could have
done better. The United States, for instance, is a country of the
first-class. None of us are secretly sorry it is on the map; none
of us are wishing some one would “help us let go of it.” To have
it named after him would be a crowning honor to the greatest man
in the world. Why do not these sly belittlers come out and launch
a popular movement to change the name “United States” to “McKinleya?”
If the people approve of the change, it will be made; if not, not.
But these conspirators further insult the dead by proposing to paste
his name upon a country whose people do not approve. This,
of course, is a thing only a Cæsar—and a very stupid Cæsar—would
countenance. Prest. McKinley was a man whose head and heart would
have revolted at this barbarous folly of the Intellectually Unemployed.
Let us, so far as possible, try to
remember President McKinley and the Philippines at different times
of day. Let us remember him in the evening—a great popular President.
His page is written. Let us remember them in the morning—as part
of the day’s work. For their page is not written yet; and no man
knows how it shall look when we are done with all the writing and
erasing and blotting and interlining we must do.
Of course, no one who knows or respects
history or human nature ever puts forward these absurd propositions
to wipe out centuried and geographical names, and to re-christen
a nation; and certainly no one of reasonable tact would think of
it as an honor to any man to name after him a Pig in a Poke.