"Teddy" Roosevelt is considered by many scholars and historians to be our first modern president. He was a supporter of desegregation and women's suffrage. He also deserves a special place in heaven for preserving vast areas of public land by signing the Antiquities Act in 1906. This grew into our national parks system. He was also a fan of wildlife preserves. You could call him the first "green" president. He was a leading anti-war, pro-diplomacy progressive of his time.
Yet I wonder how some of his more notable quotes would be received today. By 21st century standards, Teddy Roosevelt sounds downright conservative--perhaps even like a "neocon."
Below are five statements made by our illustrious 26th president. Read them and then ask yourself what the MSNBC crowd would do with these nuggets of wisdom:
- "Every immigrant who comes here should be required within five years to learn English or leave the country."
- "A thorough knowledge of the Bible is worth more than a college education."
- "A vote is like a rifle; its usefulness depends upon the character of the user."
- "To announce that there must be no criticism of the president... is morally treasonable to the American public."
- "No man is above the law and no man is below it: nor do we ask any man's permission when we ask him to obey it."
Teddy sounds like quite a conservative Roosevelt. Who knew?