The Logic of Lunacy
The man who attempted
President McKinley’s life seems to have been a person crazed by
In this respect the case is very similar
to the tragedy of 1881, when President Garfield fell a victim to
a man whose naturally weak mind had been inflamed by the fierce
controversy between the two factions of the Republican party.
Guiteau was a disappointed office
seeker, but his disappointment would probably not have provoked
him to the awful crime, had not his disordered and feeble intellect
been set on fire by the furious rhetoric of faction.
The man Czolgosz claims to be a student
of the theories of Emma Goldman, if the insane ravings of that notorious
person can be dignified with the word theory. Boiled down it is
the gospel of hate, hate preached as a deity. It is not surprising
that men whose brains are already addled should be sent clear crazy
by such stuff.
Guiteau swaggered with pride, swelled
with a sense of his great importance. He declared at the trial that
his name would “go thundering down the ages” as a hero and patriot.
Czolgosz seems to have some such idea in his head. He says that
it was his duty to kill the President because he doesn’t believe
in our form of government. This, of course, is the logic of lunacy.
It is the argument of anarchy with which his mind has been filled.
These creatures are the stuff of which
assassins are made. Feeble, futile, inflammable, they are an ever
present danger. No prudence can anticipate their outbreaks. They
are human mad dogs, and nobody can tell whom they will next attack.
They make one of the most difficult problems with which civilized
governments have to deal.
The attack upon President McKinley
and the recent conspiracies hatched by anarchists in this country
compel even our own free government to deal with the problem in