Execute all anarchists – Washington Post 1908

Below is a staff editorial published by the Washington Post in 1908 calling for the execution of all anarchists. The coiled serpent in my heart is prodded…

“Nothing more outrageous of human feeling could have been concocted than the circumstances surrounding the assassination of Father Heinrichs, at Denver, on Sunday. The man of God was in the very act of administering the sacrament, of holding out the hope of eternal life to his murderer, when he was stricken down at the altar by one who boasts that he believes neither in God nor man! The murder was as infamous as that of President McKinley, whose last act was to extend a friendly hand to the murderer. In each case the assassin was an anarchist, one of those monstrous and miscreated beings who, whether sane or insane, are equally deadly.

These hideous creatures are not native to American soil. They do not spring from American parents. They are the degenerate offscouring of centuries of repression, ignorance, and vice in other lands. Why should the United States be cursed with them? There is nothing here for them. Their hand is against law and order, and here they find that law and order are the cornerstones of the State. Do they imagine that the liberty of this country is the license, the anarchy, that their warped imaginations picture as ideal? They will find no anarchy here, except such as lies like a serpent coiled in their own hearts.

It has been shown once more, in shocking fashion, that anarchists, though few, are terrible enemies of the government and the race. They must be suppressed at any cost. No law excluding them can be too rigidly enforced; no law punishing them can be too swiftly called into action. Their weapon is death. That is the weapon that should be used against them. They can understand it. The law should be so framed that an anarchist need not commit such a murder as that at Denver in order to call down upon himself the rebuke of society. Anarchists should be kept out of the United States on penalty of death. The presence of an avowed anarchist is intolerable. The law should provide that any anarchist smuggling himself into this country–a proved, murderous anarchist–should suffer death. In no other way, apparently, can they be prevented from entering this country and playing their deadly trade. Since an avowal of anarchy has been found to be equivalent to an intention to commit murder, needing only opportunity to ripen in into action, an anarchist is, in fact, a murderer, even before he has done the deed, and he should be executed accordingly.”


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