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Re: [tr-m] Re: TR and Gay Marriage?

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  • Jim Wiedman
    Robert, We moderators have had some significant disagreement on this as well; it is not an easy issue. I found your post below particularly thought provoking.
    Message 1 of 8 , Jun 19 10:50 PM
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      Robert,

      We moderators have had some significant disagreement on this as well; it is not an easy issue. I found your post below particularly thought provoking.

      My concern in your post, is that you are taking TR in a dangerous direction. "What would TR do?" (WWTRD)  turns him into a religious figure. It is most certain that examining his life, his writings, and his speeches provide material for emulation, but to resurrect TR into 2012 and ask him to comment on current political and social issues is not what this list is about.

      Likewise, I find it both impressive, and amusing to see the number of politicians from dramatically different political perspectives channeling TR. They are often creating TR in their own image and assuming that he would agree with their methods if he were alive today. 

      The hermetic seal that is on TR is not one that I created, but one that was created by his untimely death. Like it or not, TR is not alive today to comment on the presidential race of 2012, what state or federal marriage laws should be, or how much soda New Yorkers should be allowed to drink. Were he alive today, he would have had many additional life experiences that most certainly would have impacted his outlook -- in fact, one of the things I admire most about TR is that he was willing to look at evidence and change his opinions as needed. 

      This list was originally created to discuss TR's life -- not the life any of us wish he was living now. Every attempt to decide what TR would do, think, or say about present events  distracts from the list's purpose and moves us into speculation at best, and proxy political/religious debates at worst. When the members of this list first decided to move from one that was open to one that was moderated, it was because we were losing members over present day political arguments. Members felt, justifiably, that they were promised a "place" to discuss TR, and instead their mailboxes were filled with discussions about Bill Clinton. 

      I do agree that people should be able to discuss TR in the present day if they wish. Setting up a new list on Yahoo (or any number of other services) is easy and free. I would be happy to see a message announcing such a list. Alternatively, if a majority of the members of this list would like to allow this kind of discussion here, I have no problem with that (just drop a note to tr-m-owner@yahoogroups.com to let all the moderators know). 

      Until I hear otherwise, I'll continue to reject messages that seem to stray into speculation.

      Finally, I appreciate your post because I think it is exactly the kind of discussion that is appropriate here. Rather than what would TR think about an issue, you asked what role should TR play in 2012 America? That is a question that I hope will spur significant additional discussion.

      It is very late. I am very tired. I hope the tone of this message reflects my appreciation of the topic and not my lack of sleep.

      Jim

      On Wed, Jun 20, 2012 at 1:49 AM, Jim Wiedman <jim@...> wrote:
      Robert,

      We moderators have had some significant disagreement on this as well; it is not an easy issue. I found your post below particularly thought provoking.

      My concern in your post, is that you are taking TR in a dangerous direction. "What would TR do?" (WWTRD)  turns him into a religious figure. It is most certain that examining his life, his writings, and his speeches provide material for emulation, but to resurrect TR into 2012 and ask him to comment on current political and social issues is not what this list is about.

      Likewise, I find it both impressive, and amusing to see the number of politicians from dramatically different political perspectives channeling TR. They are often creating TR in their own image and assuming that he would agree with their methods if he were alive today. 

      The hermetic seal that is on TR is not one that I created, but one that was created by his untimely death. Like it or not, TR is not alive today to comment on the presidential race of 2012, what state or federal marriage laws should be, or how much soda New Yorkers should be allowed to drink. Were he alive today, he would have had many additional life experiences that most certainly would have impacted his outlook -- in fact, one of the things I admire most about TR is that he was willing to look at evidence and change his opinions as needed. 

      This list was originally created to discuss TR's life -- not the life any of us wish he was living now. Every attempt to decide what TR would do, think, or say about present events  distracts from the list's purpose and moves us into speculation at best, and proxy political/religious debates at worst. When the members of this list first decided to move from one that was open to one that was moderated, it was because we were losing members over present day political arguments. Members felt, justifiably, that they were promised a "place" to discuss TR, and instead their mailboxes were filled with discussions about Bill Clinton. 

      I do agree that people should be able to discuss TR in the present day if they wish. Setting up a new list on Yahoo (or any number of other services) is easy and free. I would be happy to see a message announcing such a list. Alternatively, if a majority of the members of this list would like to allow this kind of discussion here, I have no problem with that (just drop a note to tr-m-owner@yahoogroups.com to let all the moderators know). 

      Until I hear otherwise, I'll continue to reject messages that seem to stray into speculation.

      Finally, I appreciate your post because I think it is exactly the kind of discussion that is appropriate here. Rather than what would TR think about an issue, you asked what role should TR play in 2012 America? That is a question that I hope will spur significant additional discussion.

      It is very late. I am very tired. I hope the tone of this message reflects my appreciation of the topic and not my lack of sleep.

      Jim


      On Tue, Jun 19, 2012 at 11:42 PM, <kuniegel@...> wrote:
      TR Fans;

      I am just a little like TR in one respect I never fear to give an unpopular
      opinion if I believe their is some missed merit that popular opinion over
      looks. Popular opinion is correct in that we should not put words in
      Theodore Roosevelt's mouth that he did not speak. But this is the catch. Do
      we put him in a hermetically sealed box and just confine him to the years he
      lived. It is my opinion that if this were a correct attitude TR had no right
      looking at history to gain wisdom for his day. We certainly should not be
      definite about what we think his position may be but I believe we have an
      obligation to his memory to try and figure out what we think he would have
      thought about today's events as a mental exercise. Was he not the most
      opinioned president we ever had in office? If he was, are we respecting his
      memory by taking the safe road of fearing to speculate about what we think
      he may have thought. At the end of the day it is our opinion not his when we
      go beyound what he spoke about but in the process we will be talking a lot
      about what TR did say which is better than keeping him hermetically sealed
      on a book shelf, or so it seems to me.

      This may not be a popular opinion but it is honest and I can not see the
      harm in exploration in this area if it is labeled speculation verses hard
      fact. TR's wisdom was grounded in large part upon history where he
      extrapolated outcomes based upon past experiences. It is my opinion that he
      meticulously documented his life so that we who followed his time could side
      step the pit falls that he discovered and as a nation we are not giving him
      the credit that he deserves  for blazing a trail to follow. By placing
      limits upon what we believe he said leads to silence upon many subjects that
      he did talk about, because many people are basically timid and wish to stay
      inside the box of  politically correct.

      I respect that the moderator does not wish his server to go down this road,
      which makes it absolutely correct for this list server. But if another list
      server moderator finds the practice acceptable those that wish to go down
      this road should not think it is wrong in and of it's self.

      Robert J. Kuniegel





      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "Mark Arend" <mwarend@...>
      To: <tr-m@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Thursday, June 14, 2012 9:07 AM
      Subject: Re: [tr-m] Re: TR and Gay Marriage?


      >
      > Twenty five or thirty years ago I attended a talk by Margaret Truman and
      > during a Q&A session at the end someone asked her what her father would
      > have said about an issue of current controversy. She said that she had
      > never spoken for her father while he was alive and wouldn't presume to
      > do so after he was gone.
      >
      > --MWA
      >
      > On 6/9/2012 9:54 PM, Linda E. Milano wrote:
      >>
      >> Someone once wrote to Ted, Jr. asking him what he thought his father's
      >> take would be on a particular subject. Ted's answer was that since his
      >> father never experienced what the man was asking, he had no idea what
      >> his father would think about it. If his own son, who knew him better
      >> than just about anyone else, declined to give an opinion, it's kind of
      >> tough to do so today.
      >>
      >> Other than that, TR did have certain quirks. He though telephones were
      >> great business tools, but didn't see the need to have one in the house.
      >>
      >> There are a few things we know about TR. At the time, he felt that
      >> couples should get married and have at least four children, mainly
      >> because this was a big country and needed to be populated. He felt
      >> that people who could afford to have children and also afford to
      >> educate them had a responsibility. Today, we have problems with
      >> overpopulation, so things have changed. On the other hand, he was a
      >> great believer in equal rights. He supported women's rights, and the
      >> rights of African-Americans. The issue of gay rights never came up.
      >>
      >> Best,
      >>
      >> Linda Milano
      >>
      >> *From:* tr-m@yahoogroups.com [mailto:tr-m@yahoogroups.com] *On Behalf
      >> Of *nmattausch
      >> *Sent:* Saturday, June 09, 2012 2:15 PM
      >> *To:* tr-m@yahoogroups.com
      >> *Subject:* [tr-m] Re: TR and Gay Marriage?
      >>
      >>
      >> Innocent question, expertly moderated.
      >>
      >> Food fight avoided.
      >>
      >> Bravo!
      >>
      >> --- In tr-m@yahoogroups.com <mailto:tr-m%40yahoogroups.com>, Jim
      >> Wiedman <jim@... <mailto:jim@...>> wrote:
      >> >
      >> > No one really knows what TR (or any other historical figure) would
      >> think
      >> > about anything coming up in 2012. It is fun to imagine TR and how he
      >> would
      >> > respond to issues today, but I find opinions on these questions are
      >> > suspiciously close to the responders' own views. For that reason we
      >> have
      >> > discouraged discussions about current events because they quickly move
      >> off
      >> > topic and frequently become food fights.
      >> >
      >> > Jim
      >> >
      >> > On Thursday, May 31, 2012, jonbrodo17 wrote:
      >> >
      >> > > does anyone know what TR's stance on gay marriage would be?
      >> considering
      >> > > the current political climate, I have a lot of friends that ask me
      >> about
      >> > > former presidents and their opinions. I would think TR would be
      >> against it
      >> > > because he seemed to be conservative in his home/family life, but
      >> would his
      >> > > progressive political stances outweigh his personal belifs? what do
      >> you
      >> > > guys think?
      >>
      >>
      >>
      >> No virus found in this message.
      >> Checked by AVG - www.avg.com <http://www.avg.com>
      >> Version: 2012.0.2180 / Virus Database: 2433/5063 - Release Date: 06/11/12
      >>
      >
      > --
      >
      > ======================================
      >
      > Mark Arend
      > Oshkosh, WI
      >
      > Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love
      > breathing.
      > --Harper Lee
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > ------------------------------------
      >
      > To Post a message, send it to:   tr-m@...
      > To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to:
      > tr-m-unsubscribe@...! Groups Links
      >
      >
      >
      >



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