Tuesday, March 28, 2017

The Bearer of the Big Stick

Character, in the long run, is the decisive factor
in the life of an individual and of nations alike.
- Theodore Roosevelt

Sometimes you find valuable things in the damnedest places.  Sunday afternoon, I was puttering around in the back room of the basement looking for a box of old photographs.  I did not find the box.  However, I instead stumbled upon a box whose contents included The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt by Edmund Morris, which is the first book in the "TR" trilogy Morris wrote.  Truth be told, I cannot remember whether it is a book I bought for myself or one that someone gifted to me.  Either way, I was damn happy to have discovered it. 

It is stunning to consider just how relevant Roosevelt remains more than a century after his retirement from public life and almost a century after his death.  That is until you remember that intellect and integrity are transportable qualities.  Neither remains tied to a fixed point in time.  Instead, either has applicability and value now as it did then. It was Roosevelt after all who cautioned that, "Behind the ostensible government sits enthroned an invisible government owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people. To destroy this invisible government, to befoul the unholy alliance between corporate business and corrupt politics is the first task of the statesmanship of today."  The more things change, the more they remain the same. 

In more ways than one...


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