The courier. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1894-1903, October 12, 1901, Image 1

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publication if advisable.
Of the People.
Mr. McKinley came of Scotch-Irish
stock. His ancestry was not feudally
above labor. His grandfathers fol
lowed the plow. His short, strong
figure had nothing of the willowy,
graceful aristocrat about it. He did
not cultivate simplicity, because he
was simplicity itself. His dignity
was of the inherent, human kind that
separates a man from vulgarity and
insures him freedom from intrusion
and from all impertinence in the
midst of a crowd, whatever his occu
pation. He was essentially a public
man and his gift of arousing the
esprit du corps of the American peo
ple and including in the corps mil
lions of men who voted for Mr. Bryan,
was not the least part of the value of
bis services to America. But if Mr.
" McKinley had been a farmer or if he
had continued the practice of law and
had never held a public office, he
would still have been a typical Amer
ican: shrewd, kindly, canny, honest,
loyal and loving to his fellowmen.
Mr. Roosevelt's bon-homie is partly
cultivated. He has the good heart,
the humanity, the shrewdness, the
patriotism, and a large part of the
judgment possessed by McKinley.
The latter grew every day he was
president. He was a better president
and a wiser man on Tuesday than on
Monday. There are some boys who
do not learn in either the academy
or in business. They are as ignorant
of the real secrets of life when they
die as of scholastic lore when they
are graduated. But President Mc
Kinley was of the kind that learned
from all things and from all men.
Like Shakspere, no man crossed his
horizon without paying him toll of
knowledge and experience. McKin
ley was the author of a most strin
gent tariff bill. When he was first
elected his fame rested on the bill of
which he was the author and which
he had induced congress to pass, a
feat that showed even then his tre
mendous power of getting enough
men to agree with him to accomplish
a national measure. When McKinley
was elected he was one of the fore
most believers in America for the
Americans. When he died he was no
less an American, but he had learned
as president America's relations with
all the other countries and the fu
tility and unwisdom of attempting to
sell everything and buy nothing.
From the most sincere and convinced
protectionist, McKinley was educated
by the presidency into ardent ad
vocacy of the principles of reciprocity.
His last speech was full of the most
profound truth for Americans. In
itself it should be adopted by his
countrymen and especially by the
men of his party as a primer ot
American polity. It is so wi:e, so
true, and so sound.
We are no longer infants. Our in
dustries are giants. It is absurd to
nurse them and it weakens both their
power of standing alone and our own
dignity. Besides, a protective policy
as stringent as ours creates a retalia
tory policy in other nations and no
really great nation can long enforce it.
A more self-conscious man than
McKinley would have hesitated to
publicly confess that he had learned
something which made the object of
the bill connected with his name un
worthy of attainment.
As the knowledge of the statesman
who has just died grows upon the
people, it is likely that his opinions,
his enlightened opinions will have a
larger anc larger influence upon them.
His advice was sound. He occupied
a higher eminence than any of us.
He could see farther and his vision was
clear and uninterrupted by shadow of
himself. The narrow and necessarily
temporary policy of shutting out the
nations of the earth from our mar
kets for the benefit of a few manufac
turers can not long endure. A bank
er might as well attempt to live in
Lincoln and buy nothing of the local
merchants. What is true in prin
ciple and practice of individuals and
in a small town is true of the nation
at large. Truth always has the at
tribute of universality of application.
President McKinley's humble walk,
his nearness to the people and his
demonstrated good judgment have
given him a place next to Lincoln.
The republican presidents since Lin
coln have been good men and true,
and as a whole they have done well
by the country; but since Lincoln
there has been no oracle. General
Grant was a great soldier, and en
thusiasm for military glory elevated
him to the presidency. Mr. Garfield
was a trading politician and the pres
idency had just begun to make him
great when he was shot. We need a
modern oracle. Washington can not
help us with the best wisdom of the
eighteenth century. After all that
heroic figure in American history was
but mortal. He could not foresee the
problems of today. Neither cculd
Lincoln. Busy with reconstruction,
he did not foresee the inevitable
growth of America.
With the prescient and shrewd
qualities of Washington and Lincoln,
McKinley belongs to the twentieth
The race and the nation are not
what they were in the eighteenth and
nineteenth centuries. The movement
of the last few years has been espec
ially rapid. McKinley has moved
with and been a part of the current.
Better than any other American he
understood just the stage of develop
ment America has reached. If the
republican party accept his advice he
will not have died in vain. If he had
lived Congress would undoubtedly,
before his administration was over,
have modified the high tariff. With
out his inspiration and the compell
ing power of his presence, it is not so
certain that the tariff, which needs
reforming more than Tammany, will
be lowered. The party will make
great oratorical use of McKinley's life
and speeches, but it is doubtful if his
incorporeal word will be sufficient to
induce the politicians to lower a tar
iff which has become a war-cry and a
The tendency to let a dead man
se&ve only on public occasions when
poetry and sentiment are useful, is
not confined to politicians. Men fre
quently quote their mothers and refer
feelingly to the intluence a good wo
man has had upon them, but when it
comes to driving a sharp bargain and
taking an unfair advantage, their
mothers! Oh! where are they?
While the memory of McKinley is
still sharply outlined in everyone's
mind, while he is still modern and
reverenced as the most clear-sighted
statesman for a long time in charge
of American affairs, let us ponder up
on his conclusions, unselfish and
sound, conclusions that swept awaj
the work and accomplishment of his
first triumph in public life. Not by
tears, not by granite monuments,
however lofty, can we testify our be
lief in him, our grief for him. The
conduct of the war, our present in
ternational dignity, the state of the
country, the strength, harmony and
cohesiveness of the republican party
as well as the unity of north and
south and of all America, not one of
these but all prove conclusively Mc
Kinley's pre-eminence as a president.
The most brilliant period of national
accomplishment since Lincoln's ad
ministration was ended by the bullet
of an anarchist. It was not an ad
ministration in which large things
were promised but in which they
were actually consummated without
revolution, much commotion or the
sort of fits into which Americans and
Frencli throw themselves when ab
rupt national changes take place.
What the nation owes to McKinley
Is not yet recognized nor will be un
til fifty years from now when the
secrets of the lack of modern powder
and arms when the war began, and
other matters of national housekeep
ing, may be revealed. In the mean
time his last words to this people arc
fraught with large meaning and for
tune to America, if his prophecy and
warning be accepted.
President Roosevelt.
After the death of the Emperor
Frederic the attention of the world
was directed to his successor, Will
iam. He was young and very ambi
tious. He had ideas in-regard to the
nation and to the army; and he was
opposed to the policy and supervision
of Chancellor Bismarck. So anxious
was he to brand his reign with his
own mark that he obliterated un
important signs of his predecessor's
rule, dismissed Bismarck and reign
ed as nearly as the reichstag would
let him, by himself.
It is a higher type of man that has
succeeded to the presidency of the
United States. As restlessly ener
getic as William, as ambitious, as
fond of military history and accom
plishment, as fond of hunting, and
more devoted to literature and to
scholarly pursuits, President Roose
velt's ambition is tempered perhaps
by no more intense patriotism, but
by a patriotic democracy that Will
iam nor no ruler who believes in the
divine right of kings, knows any
thing about. President Roosevelt's
conscience is severe. Instead or at
tempting to stamp the administra
tion with his own individuality he
has asked every member of McKin
ley's cabinet to remain at his post.
The restless ambition which made
Emperor William in too great haste
to get rid of reminders of other rulers
does not control the young American
president. He is not so impulsive
that he speaks before he thinks.
With all the fire and impetuosity of
William and of a young man, the
President's words and acts are de
liberate, well-considered. His con
duct at the time of the assassination
of McKinley and since his assumption
of the office has allayed anxiety and
established confidence.
From the moment he was elected
vice president Mr. Roosevelt accepted
the comparative obscurity of the po
sition. Accustomed to challenging
attention, to applause and to a vic
tor's legitimate spoils from his youth
up, he resigned himself gracefully to
the comparatively obscure duties and
limited intluence to which usage re
stricts the vice president.
The comic cartoonists twitted him;
but he spent his leisure writing
biographies and essays on various top
ics for the magazines, and no one
found out whether or not he enjoyed-