On this day in 1901, the first year of the 20th century, Theodore Roosevelt became President of the United States upon the death of President William McKinley, who died of gunshot wounds suffered eight days earlier in Buffalo, New York, perpetrated by the assassin, Leon Czolgosz!
TR becoming President turned out to be transformational, as he became an advocate of an activist Presidency, and became a model for both Republican Presidents and Democratic Presidents of the future!
TR helped to make America a world power, and would be shocked at the thought of many today who would advocate withdrawing from the world.
TR would be proud of President Barack Obama in his handling of the Middle East crisis that emerged this week with the death of Christopher Stevens, the US Ambassador to Libya, and would be shocked at the reaction of his fellow Republican, Presidential nominee Mitt Romney.
Also, TR would be proud of Barack Obama for accomplishing what he first brought up as an issue a century ago–national health care for all—and would be disappointed that his party has set out to repeal “ObamaCare”!
It is clear that TR, were he alive today, would be a Democrat, not a Republican, as TR’s Progressive beliefs have been repudiated by right wing conservatives, and TR would be furious at social conservatives trying to control the American people’s private lives, and promoting religion in government, rather than the tradition of the Founding Fathers, to have separation of church and state!
And TR, were he here now, would love to punch Glenn Beck and other right wing extremists who have attacked him because he was a Progressive, who believed that government was designed to make life better for the people, not for the corporations and the wealthy!
Yes, TR had his faults, as we all do, but he stands out as one of our greatest Presidents, who might never have ascended to that job, but for the evil deed of one man, who murdered William McKinley.
Just the same, Barack Obama will not let a small band of terrorists and thugs in Libya to upend our foreign policy, and he will show resolve and principle in dealing with the issue, just as TR always did in the Presidency!
Barack Obama is a worthy successor to the heritage of Theodore Roosevelt!