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Theodore Roosevelt: On the Presidency

January 8, 2020

Theodore Roosevelt, Republican President from 1901 to 1909, had an insider’s view of the Oval Office. He did not view it as a private sanctuary from which to issue edicts and appoint unqualified people to positions of power and influence, solely because they might enhance his own self-image of power and wealth.

Among Roosevelt’s many thoughtful insights:

“The President is merely the most important among a large number of public servants. He should be supported or opposed exactly to the degree which is warranted by his good conduct or bad conduct, his efficiency or inefficiency in rendering loyal, able, and disinterested service to the Nation as a whole.

“Therefore it is absolutely necessary that there should be full liberty to tell the truth about his acts, and this means that it is exactly necessary to blame him when he does wrong as to praise him when he does right. Any other attitude in an American citizen is both base and servile.

“To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. Nothing but the truth should be spoken about him or any one else. But it is even more important to tell the truth, pleasant or unpleasant, about him than about any one else.”

–Theodore Roosevelt, Kansas City Star (7 May 1918)–

One Comment leave one →
  1. camincha benvenutto permalink
    January 8, 2020 1:07 pm

    David: thank you. this is interesting. Eye opener. Have ??s to discuss when U hv a moment. All the best. Camincha

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