The Lion’s Den [excerpt]
WE are the World-Beaters! We crow louder, have less manners—individual
or national—than any other people now extant; we squander more than
would feed and furnish another nation; we brag harder, invent more,
hurry faster, live less, have more divorces and fewer children,
more business and less art, more sky-scrapers and fewer homes, more
murders and less Justice, more laws and fewer enforcements, more
crimes and fewer convictions, more suicides—race suicides, abortions,
fads, contempt of courts, rotten politics, orphan asylums, soldiers’
homes, churches, women’s clubs, railroads, trusts, reforms, freaks,
philanthropies and other indices of Acute Civilization, than any
other land the sun blinks upon. We are IT. We admit as much ourselves.
And having the worst newspapers in the world and the yellowest magazines
and the damnedest undammed flood of the worst books—we have plenty
of corroborative evidence.
Our Long Suit
Particularly we are Heavy on Murder.
We are the only folks on earth that still “bring the children” to
enjoy burning someone at the stake, and pick up pieces of the roasted
human flesh as “souvenirs.” We have roasted, in this land of the
Free and Home of the Brave, more “fellow critters” than the Inquisition
ever did. Ain’t we The People!
We Lead the World
Likewise, we maintain our Proud
Preeminence for what historians call “Assassination”—that is, not
the vulgar murder of spare individuals, but the anarchistic slaughter
of them in authority, just because they ARE in authority. No monarchy
on earth has matched our record of assassination in the half century
since we adopted ALL our bad habits. Once in a while a Czar of the
Russias is exploded, or a dictator of Central America; but these
peaceful and law-abiding countries are a poor second to the Great
Republic, when it comes to official and every-day murder.
Let’s flap our wings and crow some
more! Let’s Pity the Poor Effete Nations a little yet! Let’s light
the kerosene on a few more “niggers” to illume our self-satisfaction!
And let us unanimously pass this resolution:
Resolved: that while we deprecate
the ill taste of such as habitually shoot our chief magistrates
or other officers of the law, we are “The People.”
Forty Per Cent
In the last fifty years there have
been ten presidents of the United States. Three of them have been
“killed dead” in office—or nearly one-third. Another was assassinated
after his term—but was too tough to stay dead. Proud Record, no?
Don’t put it off on the cheap devils
that pulled the trigger. It’s comfortable, but not true. The blood
of Lincoln, Garfield, McKinley, Roosevelt—isn’t that a proud list?—lies
not so much on the head of Booth and Guiteau and Czolgos and Schrank
as on the head of this Republic—and on you and me and every one
of us. These four crazy assassins were “inspired” by something.
Chiefly by the contempt of law which has come to its climax in this
Republic. Ever think who is mostly responsible? Who laughs at the
law and daily flouts it?
But there are still elements of strength
in the Republic. It speaks well for us that the assassin of our
ex-president was not made the Headliner of a Bonfire; but by due
process of law was tucked away to an insane asylum. Our courts are
humane—but they are about the only thing left us that’s dependable—so
far as they are. They need revising—but not by the Mob.