Source: Leslie’s Weekly
Source type: magazine
Document type: editorial column
Document title: “The Plain Truth”
Date of publication: 28 September 1901
Volume number: 93
Issue number: 2403
|“The Plain Truth.” Leslie’s Weekly 28 Sept. 1901 v93n2403: p. 278.|
|Theodore Roosevelt (political character); resolutions (Common Council, Cork, Ireland); William McKinley (relations with Ireland); William McKinley (personal history); Theodore Roosevelt (personal history).|
|William McKinley; Thomas Brackett Reed; Theodore Roosevelt; John Scott.|
|The identity of Alderman Cave (below) cannot be determined.|
The Plain Truth [excerpt]
President Roosevelt has often been charged, in the course of his remarkable public career, with a tendency to immoderation in speech and impulsiveness in conduct. But his severest critics can have no fault to find with him in the trying and delicate situation in which he has recently been placed. From the moment that he was first apprised of the foul deed at Buffalo, Mr. Roosevelt has conducted himself in a manly, dignified, and characteristically straightforward way. His discretion has been equaled only by his kindness and sympathy. No one has ever had reason to doubt Mr. Roosevelt’s absolute sincerity or the high quality and genuineness of his moral and intellectual attributes. Neither can any deny to him now that quality of self-control so essential to one who aspired to be a national leader and who has become so now by force of circumstance.
A strange note of discord, and the only one in the universal sympathy expressed for President McKinley, while he lay upon a bed of pain, came from Ireland. The common council of the city of Cork listened to a resolution of sympathy for the President, proposed by Sir John Scott. It had to be withdrawn because a labor member, Alderman Cave, opposed it, on the ground that President McKinley had been a friend of Great Britain but not of Ireland. Thousands of Irish-Americans, who held distinguished public offices under President McKinley, testify to the friendship the late President always manifested for the oppressed of all races. He was, indeed, a friend of Great Britain, but he was the friend of every enlightened nation. It is doubtful if any other Republican President ever received as many votes from the Irish-American element of the country as did President McKinley. The churlish opposition of the Cork alderman, therefore, deserves the general contempt with which it was received.
Fate is peculiar. It knows better than we do what is best for us. It fixes our destiny without our knowledge, and often against our will. William McKinley’s most vigorous battle was his contest for the speakership with Thomas B. Reed, in 1890, which Reed won. According to custom, Mr. Reed made his distinguished opponent chairman of the Ways and Means committee, and thus it was that the protective-tariff measure drafted by that committee, largely through the influence of Mr. McKinley, came to be popularly known as “the McKinley bill.” This made McKinley the champion of the working masses, the candidate of his party for President, and finally gave him a triumphant election and re-election for the office of chief magistrate. At the Republican National Convention at Philadelphia, a little over a year ago, the party leaders of New York insisted that Governor Roosevelt must accept the tender of the Vice-Presidency. He resolutely declined, insisting that he was entitled to re-election to the Governorship. The party leaders of New York, aided by those of Pennsylvania and several other States, forced the nomination of Roosevelt, and then compelled his reluctant acceptance. Scarcely six months have elapsed since his inauguration, and he is now the President of the United States, with nearly a full term to serve. This is destiny, and who shall say that the Fates are always unkind?