Misery and Poverty Must Have Caused Tragedy
This Is the Opinion of Socialist Eugene V. Debs.
Says Anarchist Did Not
Shoot McKinley Because He Was McKinley, but for the Purpose
of Furnishing Solace to His Own Aching Heart.
ROOSEVELT WOULD NOT BE ASSASSINATED
(Special to the Herald.)
TERRE HAUTE, IND.,
Sept. 7.—EUGENE V. DEBS, the socialist, was profoundly grieved when
he learned of the attempt to assassinate President McKinley. “I
cannot imagine anything so deplorable,” said Mr. Debs. “I cannot
conceive the motive for an attack on a man so universally admired
as President McKinley. Misery and poverty must have caused it. The
deed was not that of a madman. The method he pursued shows that
the method was coolly and deliberately planned. It is one of the
periodical outbreaks of a festering society. One cannot imagine
the mental status of a man so mean, so cowardly, so brutal as to
join in the throng of humanity that was pressing forward to greet
the president and have the murder of the one whose hand he sought
to grasp in his heart. Under pretense of greeting him as an admirer
he shot down the president to give to the world the definition of
his own misery. He did not shoot Mr. McKinley because he was McKinley,
it was because he represented the great American people as their
executive and he thought by ending the president’s life he would
give solace to his own aching heart. It is just a chapter in life’s
story. The poor miner is born to his cabin in the throes of death.
His wife falls at his side with the same grief as that felt by Mrs.
McKinley, one of the noblest and best woman [sic] that ever lived.
The miner dies and the world knows nothing of it. The sorrow does
not go beyond the circle of his own household and friends. The world
would feel President McKinley’s loss. Yet the sorrow of his own
family could not be more profound than that of the poor miner’s.
“This is an echo of Lattimer and Homestead.
Men are being driven into desperate straits and they cannot fail
to make an outcry to offend the higher realms of society. Ground
to a merciless poverty there cannot fail to be an uprising. That
spirit of love for justice cannot be suppressed. The lower walks
of life must and will cry out. Then men who fought for a principlie
[sic] are shot down because they dare to assert their rights, the
mutterings of those oppressed will break into an outcry and destructive
action. The oppressed must have redress and it is just such deplorable
outbreaks as this attack on the president that cowardly seekers
after vengeance find solace in. As long as the world lasts there
will be this disgruntled, festering, degrading class of peace disturbers
who believe justice can be obtained only by such acts as that of
“Vice President Roosevelt would not
be assassinated. Strange to say anarchy does not assert itself against
a military man, it is always the man from civic walks that is attacked.
True McKinley had a civil war record but that is forgotten since
the Spanish-American war is added to history. Grant went without
bodyguards and was not molested. He was worshipped as a military
hero. Roosevelt could do the same thing without being molested.
“As long as this lasts, however, there
will be mutterings from those who are oppressed, or think they are
oppressed and such murderous attacks as the one on President McKinley
would be made by demons who could find revenge only in blood.”