President’s Day: Theodore Roosevelt

0-theodore-rooseveltMy favorite president. He did many a thing in his life, mistakes included. But two things always struck me as great indicators of his character.

The devotion the men that fought in Cuba had for him and his own devotion to his men long after San Juan Hill. Even as President, he would make time to see old  comrades whenever he was in their neighborhood. Rough Riders coming to Washington would demand and obtain access to the White House so they could see the Colonel. Teddy never forgot them.

The other thing was his word was his bond. Once he was at the White House in a meeting with some important functionary or visiting dignitary when one of his kids interrupted the gathering and reminded the President that he had promised come out and play with the rest of the little gang that roamed the grounds. Teddy acknowledged that he had indeed promised it, apologized to his visitor and left to fulfill his word to the children to the astonishment of everybody present.

If you are up for  along reading, get all three of Edmund Morris’ books on the life of Teddy. You will enjoy it and find out what a great man he was.

PS: The Mini series Rough Riders is very much worth a watch. Directed by John Milius.

12 Replies to “President’s Day: Theodore Roosevelt”

  1. Hmmm… Did you realize that after his two presidential terms, he ran again? This was legal at the time, but his reasons are interesting. The reason he ran again is that he thought that W.H.Taft was too constitutional. What party did Teddy run from in that election? The Progressive party. These are some of the reasons that I dont like him, in fact, he is right up there on my list with Lincoln.




    0



    0
    1. As far as politics is concerned I agree with you. However, I think he was very much a man to be admired outside of politics. The realization that I wouldn’t have voted for him hit me the last time I was reading one of his biographies.

      To me it’s interesting to compare him to most progressives of today, very few, if any, of whom I can find anything to admire.




      0



      0
  2. My favorite quote from TR:
    “In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.”




    0



    0
  3. TR my favorite too………in fact my youngest son’s first & middle name: Theodore Roosevelt………….one of my favorite quotes: “Let us speak courteously, deal fairly, and keep ourselves armed and ready.”




    0



    0
  4. I lost my respect for Glenn Beck when he ran with that line of crap. Teddy could have run again for President after his second term since he inherited the first term after the assassination of McKinley. He promised however he would not do it and he kept his word.
    It was only after Taft proved to be such a miserable failure as President even going to the extreme of trying to get the US submitted under an international Tribunal Court and not fighting the reversal of the monopolies that Teddy once more tried for the Presidency. The Progressive party was nothing more than Republicans (Bet Glenn did not mention that) who refused to stand with more of the Blue Blood Republicans that Taft represented. They were belittled, ignored and eventually chased out the party. That brand of progressive have more in common with the actual Tea Party than the Obama administration….actually Taft had more in common with this administration if you come to think of it.
    That some of that Progressive Party had what we NOW call socialist tendencies? yes. But back then it was something new & untested. Any attempt to compare the versus now is just bullshit and lazy intellectualism.




    0



    0
  5. Bully! Not sure about his politics (braincell tends to shut down when someone starts going into a person’s political leanings. Its a defensive mechanism, I think), but I do have to respect the man for standing up for his beliefs, speaking them out, and not knuckling under when they didn’t prove to be popular. I can respect that in any man or woman, whether I happen to agree with those particular beliefs.




    0



    0
  6. The problem with trying to discuss T.R. with anyone of this generation or last is that not much emphasis is put on him in schools, and scholarly access is limited. I admit I haven’t read much of him, the most memorable thing I knew he did was being an avid sportsman.

    That’s the problem too, as Miguel points out. Applying modern day standards without adjusting for the situation of the time is cherry picking. As one of my AP teachers have said, always look at the context, see what happened there, and if you have to connect to a later, earlier, or modern event/person/era, try to understand the differences and comment on those differences.

    It’s one thing to say ‘oh he was a Progressive’ and then build a stone wall around that fact, but once you start adding the context,, and then looking for similarities within that context, you will see the ‘buts’ open up and allowing you either greater academic freedom to support yourself, or find your argument in tatters and you need to rethink yourself.

    And I think the nyquil is taking effect.




    0



    0
    1. Bingo on the context. The equivalent movement to the modern day progressive movement back then was the Pacifist Movement. It’s greatest contribution was the League of Nations and that went rather well, didn’t it?




      0



      0
    2. Given the modern school system, his lack of presence is only a badge of honor in my eyes.

      Theodore Roosevelt may have been a bit big-government, but that’s likely because he did pretty much everything “big.” He ran as the “Bull Moose,” his answer to any form of sickness or illness was “Hard living,” but he was still a gentle man who found it entirely un-sporting to shoot a bear cub who was unable to run away or defend itself.

      Theodore Roosevelt was asthmatic, and the treatments he prescribed for himself are the same ones my parents ended up prescribing for me, with effectively the same results: nobody can tell I have asthma unless I tell them, and I haven’t had an asthma attack in years.

      Theodore Roosevelt hated the nickname “Teddy,” so if you ever have the chance to run into him in person, don’t EVER call him that.




      0



      0
      1. I think even then, his measure of ‘big’ was to also coincide with America transitioning from sparsly populated frontier lands to what I can call a ‘nation’. It’s bouncing from a rather destructive civil war, entering the last of the great industrial ages in the late Victorian and Imperial era, and exemplified what was to be the cowboy culture to me (to be honest).




        0



        0

Feel free to express your opinions. Trolling, overly cussing and Internet Commandos will not be tolerated .