Publication information

National Tribune
Source type: newspaper
Document type: editorial
Document title: “The Villainy of Anarchism”
Author(s): anonymous
City of publication: Washington, DC
Date of publication: 12 September 1901
Volume number: 20
Issue number: 49
Pagination: 4

“The Villainy of Anarchism.” National Tribune 12 Sept. 1901 v20n49: p. 4.
full text
McKinley assassination (personal response); anarchism (personal response).
Named persons
William McKinley.

The Villainy of Anarchism

     The American people have now thrust upon them in all its horrible immensity the senseless wickedness of Anarchism.
     Heretofore, when some one of these venomous reptiles has “removed” a foreign ruler, there has always been the mitigating thought that there was possibly something in the condition of the people, or the sins of the class which the ruler represented, that might afford a shadow of justification for the wicked act.
     But there can be nowhere found the slightest excuse, palliation or mitigation for the assault upon President McKinley. Never in the history of the country has there been a President so absolutely destitute of enemies of any kind. Never has there been an Administration against which there is so little opposition. Never has there been such an absence of partisan feeling. Never has there been a time when everybody in the country seemed so contented, prosperous and satisfied. Never have we had a President more blameless in his public and private life.
     That any one should attempt to murder such a President, the freely accepted choice of the people, and plunge the whole land into overwhelming grief, shows a wanton and desperate wickedness that passeth the comprehension.
     It forces into the American understanding, as nothing else could do, the absolutely senseless and merciless wickedness of Anarchism. It shows that there are men in the world as venomous and heartless as rattlesnakes, who have no more realization of life and what it means than the most malignant serpent that lurks in hiding solely for the purpose of killing. Their so-called “principles” are merely flimsy pretexts to justify the gratification of their murderous instincts. In no possible way can any good come to any one by these murders, no cause is advanced, no oppression mitigated, no idea upheld. On the other hand, the cause of true liberty is greatly endangered by the repressive measures likely to follow.
     In our zealous adherence to our ideals of liberty we have allowed nests of these vipers to exist in our country. We have allowed them to go on preaching murder and destruction, from the stump and through the press. We have allowed them to more or less openly exult over the cold-blooded assassination of the rulers of other countries and to heroize the brutal assassins. Even when the inoffensive old Empress of Austria was brutally murdered, we did not repress their vicious acclamations.
     Now that the foul teachings of Anarchy have been brought directly home to us by the unspeakable wickedness of the deed at Buffalo, there will be a tremendous revulsion of public feeling, which will hereafter make the country too hot to hold these propagandists of murder. The liberty of speech does not imply that a man shall be allowed to preach murder, any more than he is allowed to preach arson, burglary, highway robbery, or rape. Without any more laws, public opinion will demand the extirpation of these nests of assassins, as it would nests of robbers, burglars or highwaymen. It is one of the occasions when lynch law becomes right, when the aroused public vengeance should have full sway, unfettered by legal impediments, and any proclaimed Anarchist have no further grace than the time to take him to the nearest tree.
     We cannot have our country polluted by the presence of these venomous vermin.