Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

54[tr-m] Re: Fw: Fwd: The Teddy Fixation

Expand Messages
  • Aaron Bangor
    Apr 2, 2000
      While I find the theme of this article fascinating and one that probably
      should be explored in greater depth (not to mention an example of TR's
      diverse appeal, both as a person and a politician), when Mr. Caldwell
      switches from the journalistic aspects of the article to one of a
      historian, his writing breaks down.

      "By any scale of values that have prevailed since the Second World War,
      Teddy Roosevelt is a wretched example of an American President." What
      scale of values is that? Expand the US's influence around the world? Beat
      back totalitarianism? Make business more responsible to the consumer and
      its employees? That we have more square miles of forests now than when he
      died, not to mention more national parks and the like? There are other
      examples, and of course we, at the end of the 20th century, we have not
      totally carried on TR's convictions, but a "wretched example"? Last I
      checked, having a squeaky voice was not a character flaw and being a
      physical fitness nut is rather chic.

      Next he seeks to indict TR's personal life by stating that he "tormented"
      Elliott through much of his young life and that he must have an unstable
      psyche since he went back to the New York Assembly two days after his wife
      and mother died. While I've only read biographies of TR and so this may
      have been covered up, about the only mean things he ever did to Elliott was
      lock him away for being a drunk and disgracing the family. Perhaps in our
      age the concept of having a reputable name and doing one's duty is passe,
      but I don't know that it makes us question a person's sanity.

      Mr. Caldwell finally does make a valid point about TR's racial
      views. While I doubt TR was a racist per se, in today's sensitized
      climate, his views would not be acceptable and would be a bad example to
      have in the White House to represent all Americans. However, the writer
      overlooks the issue of hyphenated Americanism has interesting parallels in
      today's debate over affirmative action.

      But the writer steps into it again by stating "His Administration's foreign
      policy was passive ... the Panama Canal was its only achievement...." I
      guess I don't need to reiterate TR's foreign policy achievements here
      (Treaty of Portsmouth), but I'm sure that William Tilchin, at the least,
      would quarrel with this statement.

      Finally, the writer states that Bill Clinton is the inheritor of the mantle
      of presiding over peace and prosperity, yet in his closing paragraph he
      states that we're in a time of tumult, not unlike the turn of the last
      century. While I realize these two states of the union are not
      diametrically opposed, they do present somewhat of a clashing view of our

      This is an intriguing topic -- how both political parties are seeking to
      latch onto the legacy of a president from nearly 100 years ago. However,
      beyond the contemporary journalism displayed in this article, I find it
      rather lacking in quality analysis. I would like to see someone with more
      scholarly depth on the subject address it, rather than a journalist with a
      skewed view of history.

      Aaron Bangor

      At 12:13 PM 4/1/00 -0500, you wrote:

      >I was wondering if anyone caught this article in The Atlantic:
      > >
      > >POLITICS & PROSE | Tagging After Teddy
      > >by Christopher Caldwell
      > >
      > >Why Teddy Roosevelt -- "an egomaniacal weirdo" -- is a hero to both
      > >Republicans and Democrats.
      > >http://www.theatlantic.com/unbound/polipro/pp2000-03-22.htm
      >Juno now offers FREE Internet Access!
      >Try it today - there's no risk! For your FREE software, visit:
      >To Post a message, send it to: tr-m@...
      >To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to: tr-m-unsubscribe@...
      >eGroups eLerts!
      >It's easy. It's fun. Best of all, it's free.
      >-- 20 megs of disk space in your group's Document Vault
      >-- http://www.egroups.com/docvault/tr-m/?m=1
    • Show all 3 messages in this topic