Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Source type: newspaper
Document type: editorial
Document title: “The Logic of Lunacy”
City of publication: St. Louis, Missouri
Date of publication: 8 September 1901
Volume number: 54
Issue number: 18
|“The Logic of Lunacy.” St. Louis Post-Dispatch 8 Sept. 1901 v54n18: part 2, p. 6.|
|presidential assassinations (comparison); anarchism (personal response).|
|Leon Czolgosz; James A. Garfield; Emma Goldman; Charles J. Guiteau; William McKinley.|
The Logic of Lunacy
The man who attempted President
McKinley’s life seems to have been a person crazed by intemperate declamation.
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 effective fashion.