Saturday, January 5, 2019
Inevitably McKinley's unyielding high-tariff advocacy, coupled with his often elaborate earnestness, stirred some free-trade adherents to ridicule. Journalist Ida Tarbell would write that McKinley had "an advantage . . . which few of his colleagues enjoyed, — that of believing with childlike faith that all he claimed for protection was true." But among the Major's Republican colleagues in Congress, and increasingly among protectionist leaders and voters around the country, his sober genuineness on the issue generated respect and admiration. Clearly protectionism represented his ticket to national attention.
-Robert W. Merry, President McKinley: Architect of the American Century