Tag Archives: Theodore Roosevelt Presidency

Rob Galloway: Teddy Roosevelt- Speech on Social & Industrial Justice

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Source: AZ Quotes

Theodore Roosevelt speaking about the right to organize. Which I believe as a non-lawyer is guaranteed under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and our freedom of assembly. To join lawful non-criminal groups of our choosing.

As a Liberal I’m a big believer of freedom of choice and personal responsibility and the ability for people to make their own decisions and then have the responsibility to live with and deal with the consequences of their own decisions on their own, for good and bad. TR was not arguing that Americans should be forced to join labor organizations, but just have the right to make that choice for themselves.

So-called Liberals and so-called Progressives today, (Socialists in actuality) like to claim that they’re pro-choice. But what they tend to leave out is that they’re really only pro-choice on women’s reproductive rights and sexuality. They’re not even pro-choice on the right to  the right to organize, because they believe people should be forced to join labor unions because its in their best interest. (As they would argue) Apparently believing that they (big government and Socialists) are more qualified to make the most basic economic and personal decisions of three-hundred-million people that they’ve never met before. TR was arguing for the right to organize and that people should be able to make their decision for themselves.

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Progressive People’s Coalition: Teddy Roosevelt- What is a Progressive?

I’m writing these series of articles about Theodore Roosevelt, because there’s been this debate inside of the Democratic Party (which now owns progressivism) about what is progressivism and what is a Progressive. At least since Barack Obama who is definitely a Progressive and was a Progressive President, during his presidency. A debate between Center-Left Democrats who the media and the hardcore Left if not Far-Left, would call Centrist Democrats. So-called Centrist Democrats like Hillary Clinton and Socialists in and outside of the Democratic Party who call themselves both Socialists as well as Progressives. People like Senator Bernie Sanders who just happens to be the only self-described Socialist Member of Congress, who is not the only Socialist Member of Congress.

So I’ve been writing this series to explain what is progressivism and exactly what Progressives believe in and what it means to be a Progressive. Not to go issue by issue and layout all the progressive positions on every single issues. But to give you an overall vision of what progressivism is and what it means to be a Progressive. To me at least Teddy Roosevelt meets every definition of what it means to be a Progressive. If he were alive and involved in American politics today, he would not just be a Democrat or at least an Independent, but a Progressive Democrat. He would be the Sherrod Brown   of the Democratic Party today. Senator Brown who is a blue-collar Midwestern Progressive Democrat from Ohio, who has been in Congress since 1993. First elected to the House and is completing his second term in the Senate.

As I wrote before Teddy Roosevelt was a Progressive because he not just believed in progress, but also using government in a limited way to help create that progress. To use government as an investor (for lack of a better word) in American progress. To help build a society where everyone can succeed and make a good life for themselves and be able to live in freedom.

Socialists believe in progress as well, but they don’t believe in limited government at least as it relates to the economy. Progressives want to create a society where everyone can do well. Where everyone can get a good education, where everyone has a modern infrastructure system and can get around. Where people can work under safe working conditions and where commuter are protected from unsafe products. Where people can get immediate financial help when they go through hard times and can get help getting back on their feet.

Socialists have a  much larger role for government especially the national government, whether you’re talking about Democratic Socialists like Senator Bernie Sanders, or Communists like Fidel Castro. (Its hard to name a famous American Communist Right now) And see the national government’s job as to provide basic human services that they believe that private sector can’t be trusted to provide the people well.

Teddy Roosevelt is to progressivism and Progressives, what Jack Kennedy is to Liberals and liberalism.. What Barry Goldwater is to Conservatives and conservatism. What Ron Paul is to Libertarians and libertarianism. What Bernie Sanders is to Democratic Socialists and democratic socialism. What Karl Marx is to Communists and communism. And unfortunately Donald Trump is to Nationalists and nationalism. The standard-bearers to their movements and politics. And I would argue today that progressivism is still alive and very well, but now resides as part of the Center-Left in the Democratic Party. Even with the growth of Socialists both Democratic and unfortunately Communistic  at least, in the Democratic Party.

 

 

Keith Hughes: The Square Deal For Dummies- Teddy Roosevelt’s Progressive Era Reforms

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Source: IZ Quotes

I wouldn’t say Teddy Roosevelt was the first or last Progressive Republican, but its hard to find any Republicans who are Progressives today. Senator Susan Collins, might be the closest, but she’s a Center-Right Republican who is more of a Conservative in the classic sense or a Moderate-Conservative. But she’s a Republican because she believes in a strong national defense, economic freedom, property rights, low taxes, but also believes in civil liberties and commonsense regulations that Conservatives at least at one point believed in all those things. Traditional Conservative Republican values.

TR wasn’t a Socialist obviously even though he believed in both a public safety net, as well as a regulatory state, and that the rich shouldn’t control most of the power in the country. He was a strong believer in economic freedom and individualism, but that power should be for everybody and that everyone should have the ability to live in freedom. And not have a small minority at the top with most of the wealth in the country, while everyone else struggles just to survive.

Teddy wasn’t a Liberal, or a Conservative. He had liberal leanings on things like civil rights, regulatory state and safety net, but probably wasn’t as a big believer in free speech and the Right to Privacy, as Liberals (and I mean real Liberals) are. Teddy had conservative leanings at the least in the sense that he believed in America and was a true Patriot and believe America had to be defended with a strong defense, but would go much further into the economy with government when it came to the safety and regulatory state.

Teddy wasn’t a centrist either. He had strong center-left progressive leanings and real hard-core principles and wasn’t even someone who combined bits and pieces into one new ideology. But was someone who believed in progress even a limited government to help create that progress. Not to run the country or even private enterprise, but to see that everyone had a real shot at making it in America. And that there was an insurance system for people who fell through the cracks and needed temporary relief. As well as a regulatory state to protect consumers and workers from predators.

Teddy Roosevelt’s Square Deal with the introduction of the regulatory state in America, is exactly what made TR a Progressive. He wasn’t saying that capitalism and individual freedom, were failing and needed to be replaced with communism. But that capitalism needed a referee and that the U.S. Government would be that referee at the national level. And that capitalism wasn’t working for enough Americans. Not enough Americans were able to benefit from capitalism and live with individual freedom. Too much power at the top in society and not enough for everyone else. That is what Theodore Roosevelt’s Square Deal represents to me.

 

Theodore Roosevelt: President Theodore Roosevelt- On Liberty

 

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Source: AZ Quotes

President Theodore Roosevelt, did believe in individual liberty and self-government, but he wasn’t a Libertarian. He was a Progressive and those things aren’t total opposites. As much as Progressives get stereotyped as big government statists today both from an economic welfare state perspective, as well as a big government nanny state perspective who views both economic freedom and personal freedom as dangerous, people like that are Socialists and in some cases even Communists. Not Progressives, because in many cases their views are both regressive, as well as illiberal. Socialists and Communists, tend to view individualism and free choice, as dangerous. Because see those things as freedom to make mistakes that society has to pay for. Which is illiberal and regressive thinking.

Teddy Roosevelt’s rise to political power in America in the 1890s and early 1900s, really the first two decades of the 20th Century, was perfect for his progressive politics. At a time when business monopolies were actually legal. Where children could be required to work and work under harsh conditions and even prevented from going to school. Where if you were rich and were a cooperation, life was very good for you, because you had most if not all the power in the country. There were practically no referees either from government or anywhere else. Which what brought TR on the political scene in American politics because he saw a country where most of the power was very centralized and where most of the country had to struggle because they didn’t have that power.

Teddy Roosevelt wasn’t anti-business, or anti-big business, and even anti-corporate. Unlike Socialist Senator Bernie Sanders who is probably the opposite on all three of those scores. TR just didn’t want business in America to have all the power and get to make the decisions for everyone else. Which is how we got a Progressive Era and why we got the regulatory state in America so American consumers and workers could be protected from predators. Not to run businesses, but to protects consumers and businesses from predatory behavior. From employers who would force their workers to work in unsafe conditions, work overtime with no extra benefit, and sell products to consumers that are unsafe and not properly tested. To give us what we now call the Food and Drug Administration. Without the Progressive Era we don’t get the minimum wage in the 1930s.

Teddy Roosevelt believed in American capitalism, private enterprise, individualism even, but like great sports you need a referee to make sure the teams aren’t trying to physically destroy each other and to enforce the rules of the game. And an insurance system for people who fall down and need help getting back up. Which is how we got the New Deal in the 1930s which was first proposed in the early 1900s, really the first decade of that century. TR was a Progressive because he believed in progress and using government in a limited way to help create that progress, but not to try to run society and run people’s life for them. A progressive, active, limited government, as part of an over free society. Which was Theodore Roosevelt’s progressive vision.