The wave of police strikes over the country is a direct challenge by the labor agitators to the supremacy of the state. Other strikes, although greatly interfering with the convenience and prosperity of the public at large have in almost no case aimed directly against the government. But the police are agents of the governments of their respective cities and are therefore bound by oath to protect the life and property of the citizens of those communities. Their pay does not come from the profits of a group of private individuals but comes out of the taxes of the people they are hired to protect. The striking policemen hostile to the proper constituted authorities are hostile to the safety of the citizens of the state.
All law abiding citizens want an efficient police force. All thoughtful people realize that a police force cannot be efficient if underpaid and overworked. If this were the issue at hand, the public would agree absolutely with the demands of the policemen, who assert with reason that they are underpaid and overworked. But these policemen were not alone satisfied in bettering their condition. They have opposed local police force rules by affiliating with the American Federation of Labor. In so doing the strikers did not realize the great responsibility of their position nor did they regard the laws of their department governing the issue in question.
If a group of public officials are allowed to force the state governments to permit them to become subject to the decrees of an outside body like the American Federation of Labor, the United States will soon become a nation controlled by labor unions instead of by an independent electorate. The last step would be a unionized army and navy.
The situation confronting the country is very serious. In no other way can the common sense of the American people show its power to better advantage than in turning the full force of public opinion against such attempts by one element to dominate. If the outcome of this struggle is the passage of a law making a strike of public officials illegal, a great victory for representative government will have been won.