The New President
Theodore Roosevelt has taken the
oath of office and is now president of the United States. He comes
to that office under most sad and unfortunate circumstances; unfortunate
even for himself. He has reached the highest goal of American ambition
by an assassin’s bullet, and that of itself makes the position a
harder one for him than if he had been the choice of the people.
He follows a man who has been most successful in the government,
and any false step that he takes will be more noticeable on that
There is no need to deny the fact
that the American people are afraid of Roosevelt as a president.
They do not relish the change from the calm and conservative McKinley
to the erratic and impetuous Roosevelt. They believed that the country
was safe from avoidable complications and strife with President
McKinley in the chair, and they are not so sure of it with Mr. Roosevelt
There is much that is admirable about
Theodore Roosevelt. His boasted strenuity and his determination
“to do things” are strong points in his favor in ordinary life;
but it is more than questionable whether these traits do not detract
from his suitability as a chief executive. The man who is calm and
deliberate is a better man to have at the head of affairs than he
who is aggressive and impetuous. In a fight Roosevelt is strong;
he has seemed at times to love strife for strife’s sake, and it
is this trait that today makes the American people look forward
through the next three years with something akin to fear. McKinley
was a man of peace. He shrinked from antagonisms and differences.
With him in the president’s chair all honorable means would have
been exhausted before hope of peace was abandoned.
Still, the responsibilities of the
place may tame even the impetuous Roosevelt. He tells us that he
will follow in McKinley’s footsteps for the maintenance of peace
and prosperity. That is what the country wants at present. It hopes
that the new president will remember his words on this occasion,
and that he will be guided by them when his natural impulses are
to hit back harder than he has received.
There is one point in which Roosevelt’s
aggressiveness may stand the country in good stead at the present
time. That is in the handling of the anarchist question. The country
is in the mood where it demands no more temporizing with these outcasts.
It wants them taught an effectual lesson. It wants their claws clipped
in such a manner that hereafter official life [will?] be safe from
their dastardly designs. Roosevelt, it is believed, will not shrink
from that task.
Meantime the country will hope for
the best from the new president. He is intrusted [sic] with a responsibility
that has gone to few men so young as he is; that he may merit that
responsibility is the wish of all men, regardless of party, who
have the interest of their country at heart.