A thousand times rather would I be
one of those men in Ada county jail
than Theodore Roosevelt in
the White House at Washington.
-Eugene Victor Debs
Hellraisers Journal, Wednesday April 24, 1907
From the Appeal to Reason: Eugene Debs on Theodore Roosevelt
Eugene Debs, who, along with Bill Haywood and Charles Moyer, has been adjudged an “Undesirable Citizen” by President Theodore Roosevelt, had a few words to say upon the subject in this week’s edition of the Appeal to Reason:
When Roosevelt stepped out of the White House and called Moyer, Haywood and Pettibone murderers, men he had never seen and did not know; men who had never been tried, never convicted and whom every law of the land presumed innocent until proven guilty, he fell a million miles beneath where Lincoln stood, and there he grovels today with his political crimes, one after another, finding him out and pointing at him their accusing fingers.
No president of the United States has ever descended to such depths as has Roosevelt to serve his law-defying and crime-inciting masters.
The act is simply scandalous and without a parallel in American history.
What right has Theodore Roosevelt to prejudge American citizens, pronounce their guilt and hand them over to the hangman? In a pettifogging lawyer such an act would be infamous; in the president of the nation it becomes monstrous and staggers belief.
All that Roosevelt knows about Moyer, Haywood and Pettibone he knows from his friends, their kidnapers.
The millions of working men and women, embracing practically ever labor union in America, count for nothing with him. He is not now standing for their votes. He is fulfilling his obligation to the gentlemen (!) who put up the coin that elected him; paying off the mortgage they hold upon his administration.
Theodore Roosevelt is swift to brand other men who even venture to disagree with him as liars. He, according to himself, is immaculate and infallible.
The greatest liar is he who sees only liars in others.
When Theodore Roosevelt, president of the United States, denounced Charles Moyer, William Haywood and George Pettibone as murderers, he uttered a lie as black and damnable, a calumny as foul and atrocious as ever issued from a human throat. The men he thus traduced and vilified, sitting in their prison cells for having dutifully served their fellow-workers and having spurned the bribes of their masters, transcend immeasurably the man in the White House, who, with the cruel malevolence of a barbarian, has pronounced their doom.
A thousand times rather would I be one of those men in Ada county jail than Theodore Roosevelt in the White House at Washington.
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