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Archive for the ‘Theodore Roosevelt’ Category

My Love Affair With Teddy Roosevelt

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Is over.

Having grown up on Long Island, it’s difficult to not to know who Theodore Roosevelt was. He was the only president from Long Island, having his residence at Sagamore Hill, and being buried at Youngs Memorial Cemetery, both in Oyster Bay.

So great was this youngest president that not only does he have a monument in Washington DC, but his visage is featured on Mount Rushmore. Theodore Roosevelt embodied the triumph of the individual over anything, by shear will and determination. As much as he came from a privileged background, he had a life where he overcame shortcomings, adversity and tragedy. Anyone who has read his “Man in the arenaspeech has heard this synthesized down to it’s most empirical and elemental form.
As a young man, Teddy was my hero. He always stood up for what was right, did the right thing, and had the balls to back it up. He was also a person that could be at ease with a ditch digger or a King, and was one of the smartest and best read of the presidents, being in the small company of Jefferson, Lincoln and Washington, hence Rushmore. He was an incredible human being and I wish I could have met him, as we would have gotten along well I think on most levels. But.
The presidency of Barry O has let me reconsider Theodore in the light of progressivism. As much as TR redefined the US in the 20th century, I think BHO wished to do so in the 21st. Moreover, I think TR was misguided if not wrong about being a progressive. I agree with his championing universal suffrage and race relations, but I disagree with his stance on the government’s role in people’s lives and taxes. TR was the man who laid down the progressive and socialist fuse for his distant cousin FDR to light. For a man that championed the individual, he fomented collectivism. What irony. If I had to suppose why this is, I’d have to guess that may be TR felt guilty on some level about coming from privilege (in which time there was quite a bit more disparity between rich and poor. Our notion of middle class didn’t exist then as it does now) or may be at the other end, he was an elitist or social darwinist that thought we should care for those less fortunate through government largesse, as a shepherd tends to his flock. May be both. In addition, may be he got off at the power he envisioned the president and the government could wield in this arena. I’ve read The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt and Theodore Rex and I still look for answers. May be it’s a foibles of being a genius. Let me know if you come up.
This reconsideration of TR has led me to accept him for the man he was, but he never can be my hero again. May be that’s ok. Hero worship is such wasted energy and unrealistic anyway and as much as I feel disappointed on some level, he still was one of the greatest people to be president. In fact Barry O isn’t worthy to polish his shoes and in spite of their progressive kinship, they are not matched well at all. How that mountebank became president annoys the hell out of me, but that is another story.
Thank you for reading this blog.

Written by James Lagnese

August 22, 2009 at 3:17 pm

Bow Out

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A lot has been made out of Obama’s obeisance and obsequiousness to the Saudi King. In our history, the presents that have presided in the beginning of the centuries have helped define America’s role in the world. Thomas Jefferson replaced the bow with the handshake and Theodore Roosevelt saw himself as at least a first among equals if not a superior. In our century we have a president that bows before rulers of kingdoms that we have little or no respect for except their ability to pump oil out of the ground, and it’s a skill they learned from us. Either Obama has no respect of the office of president, or he is such a person that will do anything to placate friends and enemies. Obama has more in common with that sherry and cheddar surrender monkey Neville Chamberlain every day. If you disagree and think the latest pirate escapade and SEAL rescue proves me wrong, think again. Go Navy.
Obama’s bow may be a harbinger of things to come. May be this signals the US bowing out as a world superpower. Time will tell. Obama is not a deliberate man and he telegraphs his intentions. This makes him an easy mark for the likes of China, Russia, Iran etc. Whatever the case, Obama’s administration will mark the direction this country takes in this century, and it is not a good one.
Thank you for reading this blog.

Written by James Lagnese

April 8, 2009 at 5:56 am

Happy Birthday Theodore Roosevelt

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Happy Birthday to the 26th President of the United States. Why it isn’t a national holiday I have no idea. Nobel Prize recipient, CMH recipient, Governor, Vice President, President, Lt. Colonel in the Spanish-American War, likeness on Mount Rushmore. A man that walked the walk, talked the talk and was well read and educated as well. Very few like him graced the White House and none since. 

Written by James Lagnese

October 27, 2008 at 6:23 am

Happy Birthday Theodore Roosevelt

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Happy Birthday to the 26th President of the United States. Why it isn’t a national holiday I have no idea. Nobel Prize recipient, CMH recipient, Governor, Vice President, President, Lt. Colonel in the Spanish-American War, likeness on Mount Rushmore. A man that walked the walk, talked the talk and was well read and educated as well. Very few like him graced the White House and none since. 

Written by James Lagnese

October 27, 2008 at 6:23 am

McCain, Obama, Heroes, Antiheroes and plain idiots

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Earlier in the week, John McCain characterized himself more like Theodore Roosevelt as opposed to a characterization by Barak Obama that a John McCain presidency would be like a third Bush presidency. Theodore Roosevelt was considered a progressive in his day, and by current conservative and even republican standards, he would have been more to the left with issues that the party holds dear. Theodore Roosevelt believed in the government helping the underclasses and he aggressively pursued business monopolies. I grew up on Long Island and toured Sagamore Hill, the residence of Theodore Roosevelt, more than a couple times. I consider him one of the greatest men to hold the office of the presidency, and he was a hero of mine growing up. Still, I find I have to reconcile a couple positions he took as president, as they wouldn’t necessarily be mine. Even with with our differences (I am a believer in free trade and no/low taxes), I still feel he was a great man. He could talk the talk and walk the walk. He was a moral man that believed in justice, and believed in rugged individualism. He brought America to the fore as a preeminent nation in the world. I can see how McCain would consider himself more like Teddy, but I think he falls short in some ways. He probably not as smart as Theodore Roosevelt, and not as diverse in his knowledge and background. McCain does not have prior executive experience, and he doesn’t seem to have the political prowess Roosevelt had, which only could be matched by Bill Clinton, May be. Teddy was as at ease talking with a ditch digger as he was with the Queen of England. Lastly, McCain’s position of immigration, at least prior to the last few months, would not fly with Teddy. May be McCain should read Roosevelt’s Hyphenated Americanism speech. Still, if McCain aspires to be like Theodore Roosevelt, I think that is fine and he could do much worse and is a lot better off than his political adversary. I don’t know who Barak Obama fancies himself like, but my guess is a black Jack Kennedy. He does have the youth and charisma down, but Jack would be a right wing populist by today’s standards and had he lived, the Vietnam War would have changed his legacy considerably. That being said, Barak is far left of Jack, as is Barak’s wife, who I’d bet would have more to do with his administration than Hillary did with Bill’s. If I had to guess, I bet they like people such as Fidel Castro, Karl Marx, and Chairman Mao. The good thing is that no matter how far left Barak is, it is unlikely that he could go through a presidency and enact all the socialist agendas he would like, but the idea of his presidency is disturbing to someone like myself that is an objectivist, libertarian in political bent, and a free trader. The underlying question that no one is asking, who is Barak Obama? Comedian’s find it difficult to throw barbs on him, partly because he’s black, partly because they like him. The complaint put forth is that he offers nothing for them to go after. If that doesn’t cause alarm, I don’t know what should. Not only is getting a free pass by the media, but he’s hiding who he is. So who is Barak Obama? It’ll take more space than I have now, and I will address this later, and hopefully with humor. Now on to plain idiots… Nancy Pelosi (Nancy Lugosi or Bella Pelosi?) wins this week’s prize as Idiot for her comment that George W. Bush is a total failure. I will preface my next comment with the statement that I have been disappointed by Bush, and not in a small way, but… Her comment is from someone that has a lower approval rating than the president’s approval rating, in fact it is in the single digits. So, my question for this cagna brutta, what is lower than a total failure? She would know. 

Written by James Lagnese

July 17, 2008 at 7:06 pm