The Need of National Legislation Against Anarchism
Without reflecting in the least on
President McKinley’s immediate predecessors, it will be conceded
that the loss of no other man who has occupied the executive chair
would have been felt so much in a personal sense by the mass of
our citizens. His gentleness, his wisdom, his patriotism, his splendid
domestic fidelity, his unvarying cheerfulness had made him the friend
of every one with whom he came in contact. The hundreds of thousands
who had heard him speak at one time or another were charmed by his
magnetic personality. McKinley had but to show himself anywhere
to carry away the hearts of all beholders. Even the stress of politics,
fatal to so many, left no evil wishers behind. It is of record that
Mr. McKinley had almost as many friends among the active Democrats
as among Republicans, and with Republicans he was a popular idol.
His concern for the workingman’s welfare was made manifest on every
occasion. All his efforts were directed towards securing the highest
pay and shortest hours for the toilers, and the laboring people,
realizing this, and in appreciation of the magnificent results he
had achieved for them, almost worshipped him. Altogether, he was
a man who in theory and in practice stood for the best interests
of all the people as he understood it, and for everything that was
praiseworthy and progressive in our national life.
In this tragedy at Buffalo there were
none of the conditions that made the assassination of Lincoln at
least understandable. There was not even the pretext of a reason,
such as encompassed the shooting of Garfield. Not the wildest stretch
of imagination could conceive any betterment for the masses in Mr.
McKinley’s taking off. He simply fell a victim to the unreasoning
propa-  ganda of murder.
The assassination was inspired by the pernicious teachings of the
men and women who are the avowed enemies of all government, and
who seek, through the bloody instrumentality of assassination to
accomplish their anarchistic purposes.
It remains to be seen whether this
crime, striking so near to the nation’s heart, shall at last give
some effect to the efforts so often made to secure legislation against
its perpetrators and advocates; for, after all, the man who fired
the shot at the President was the least of the criminals. The men
and women who egged him on by their teaching and preaching were
far more guilty than he. Without them he would never have been inspired
with his mad design. President McKinley would be alive to-day had
these others, who have not even been molested, but permitted to
continue their teachings, been dealt with in the first instance
as their criminality deserves.