Today is the 154th Anniversary of President Theodore Roosevelt’s birth.
TR is one of the most acclaimed Presidents, often listed as high as 4th all time, just below Abraham Lincoln, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and George Washington.
TR is certainly regarded as the second greatest Republican President of all time, behind only Lincoln, unless one chooses to believe the lunacy of conservative propagandist Glenn Beck, who constantly denounces TR, and would put Ronald Reagan higher than TR, and who also has reservations about Lincoln, because correspondence between Lincoln and Karl Marx has been uncovered, which makes some right wing nuts think Lincoln “might” have been a “Socialist”, or a “Communist”, or even the word “Progressive”, which is considered the same thing by Beck, Florida Congressman Allen West, and other right wing lunatics!
TR was a “Progressive” who promoted conservation and the environment; promoted the advance of labor rights; believed in regulation of big business; created the Food and Drug Administration to monitor safety of what Americans consume; and believed later in his life, when he ran as the Progressive Party nominee for President in 1912 that there was a need for health care and labor laws and other aspects of a social safety net. This made TR the forerunner of Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama in advocating more government, more regulation, more social safety net, and concern about the environment.
None of the above is now believed by the Republican Party of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, who wish to repeal everything TR and his successors of both parties believed in!
So it is clear that TR, certainly not perfect but still exceptional in so many ways, would NOT be a Republican today!
But then Abraham Lincoln would not be a Republican today.
Neither would Dwight D. Eisenhower or even Richard Nixon or Gerald Ford, who were condemning the religious extremism of their party in their later years.
And right now, former Florida Governor Charlie Crist, former Secretary of State Colin Powell, former Rhode Island Senator Lincoln Chafee, and former South Dakota Senator Larry Pressler have endorsed President Barack Obama.
And under the surface, not willing to speak up, but clearly uncomfortable with the GOP of 2012, are many other former Republican Governors, Senators, and Congressmen who feel that their party has been “hijacked” by an evil, selfish, greedy, nasty group of weirdos who wish to take away rights from women, labor, minorities, the disabled, the poor, and the middle class, and are refusing to come out openly and endorse Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan.
The party of Theodore Roosevelt and his “progressivism” and reform is long gone, and sadly, may never return!