Well, as some of you may know, I am a huge follower of Teddy Roosevelt. Not only is he fascinating but his political ideas (most of them) are still relevant today. One can wonder where we would be if we still had visionary leaders like him. But anyway, I stumbled across a group known as the Theodore Roosevelt Association (TR hated the nickname ‘Teddy’). While my finances at the moment can’t justify the cost of joining, I can’t wait until the day comes when I can belong to this group.
Let me wax a little nostalgically about Teddy Roosevelt. The man was an energetic dynamo, “all act” as one of his contemporaries described him. Reading the excellent The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt by Edmund Morris has really gotten me thinking about our current political state. During his time, Theodore Roosevelt made a name for himself by championing impossible reform causes, even taken on his own party bosses. In fact, if it were not for his spectacular oratory skills and his intangible presence in front of a crowd or during a committee meeting, they would have sunk him before his career ever got off the ground.
He always dove head first into things without taking time to survey his surroundings, and he took his fair share of lumps. But his indomitable spirit and his quick mind enabled him to escape almost any scenario. He took on corrupt party bosses in New York state, reformed the New York police department (which involved immediately outmaneuvering and defeating a corrupt police chief and a violent cop), and relentlessly hounded the powers that be to clean up their act.
Because of this many people thought Roosevelt was certifiably insane. They acknowledged the power of his charisma but many people were suspicious of his ambition and relentless drive forward. But in the end he became one of our greatest Presidents. Let’s make May “Teddy Roosevelt” month, for no other reason than the fact that I just finished readingThe Rise of Theodore Roosevelt. Virtually any book on the man is fascinating and I think all Americans would do well to know a little bit more about this complex but incorruptible man.