Sunday, January 6, 2019

Toughness and compassion..............

...............................................also known as leadership:

     But with the nation's economic travail continuing throughout McKinley's second term, the governor faced major civil disruptions in the form of labor strikes and threats of mob rule.  In April 1894 the United Mine Workers called on coal miners to walk off their jobs in what one Ohio publication called "one of the greatest strikes, in point of numbers, in the history of any country."  Some 200,000 miners went on strike in Ohio alone, along with many others in Pennsylvania, Indiana, Illinois, and elsewhere.  Civic tensions rand high, and the action devastated the regional economy as the strikes shut down railroads and factories fueled by coal.  Normal commerce ceased.  At the request of local sheriffs, McKinley sent out militia troops—some 3,000 in all—to restore and maintain order during the job action.  Later in the year he deployed troops to protect train service during a railroad strike.  When labor representatives suggested the governor's actions could harm him politically, he replied, "I do not care if my political career is not twenty-four hours long, these outrages must stop if takes every soldier in Ohio."
     As soon as the strikes were settled and order was restored, he turned his attention to getting funds and provisions distributed to areas where miners were suffering serious financial deprivation due to the strike.  The Cincinnati Enquirer wrote, "Praise for the prompt action of Governor McKinley is on every tongue among the distressed. . . . Every detail of the relief work is under the general supervision of the governor."  Reflecting both his natural inclinations and his political acumen, McKinley combined toughness in the face of disruption with compassion for those caught up in the struggle.

-Robert W. Merry,  President McKinley:  Architect of the American Century

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