Square Deal

Theodore Roosevelt’s 157th Birthday A Moment To Celebrate His Great Influence On American Political Reform!

Today marks the 157th anniversary of the birth of our 26th President, Theodore Roosevelt.

TR was one of our greatest Presidents, usually ranked number four or or five on most scholarly lists of Presidents, seen as “Near Great” right behind the top three, Abraham Lincoln, Franklin D. Roosevelt and George Washington.

TR transformed the Presidency and started its modernization, and he believed the President could assert his authority over Congress and the courts, and use the news media to appeal to the American people, using his so called “Bully Pulpit”.

TR believed in the federal government intervening socially and economically, and he promoted new government agencies, such as the Food and Drug Administration and labor reforms.

TR also supported political reforms, including the direct primary, limitation of Supreme Court terms, and the breaking of the two term tradition for the Presidency, when he ran for President on the Progressive (Bull Moose) Party line in 1912, four years after completing nearly two full terms as President as a Republican.

TR loved to call himself “Progressive”, and he promoted the Progressive Era with the power of his personality.

TR believed in the environment, and the protection of our natural resources through quadrupling of our national parks and forests, and worked to end corporate monopolies.

TR was a breath of “fresh air” in  the Presidency, which had declined in significance and quality of leadership from the time of Abraham Lincoln.  He believed in giving America a “Square Deal.”

TR has been attacked by many right wing conservatives in the Republican Party for “grabbing power”, but he had a dramatic effect on many future Presidents of both parties, setting a standard for Presidential power.

TR remains more controversial in foreign policy, where he made America a world power, but gained an image in Latin America and in Asia of being a “bully” and an imperialist, but even in that area of policy, despite controversy, it is clear that TR dramatically moved America toward its world role.

TR is also one of the most interesting personalities in the White House, a fascinating figure who has had a long range impact on the future of America, both domestically and foreign.

Controversy will remain, but TR will continue to be ranked as a Near Great President in the future!



Mitt Romney’s Attack On The “Entitlement” Society Speech Of Barack Obama

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, in trouble in the public opinion polls in the Republican Presidential race in Iowa, South Carolina, and Florida, states in which former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich leads by growing margins, is obviously very desperate!

So he lashed into President Obama today for his Osawatomie, Kansas speech, in which Obama invoked the New Nationalism and Square Deal concepts of Republican President Theodore Roosevelt, who made progressivism fashionable at the beginning of the 20th century.

Romney, who was born to wealth, and is estimated to be worth at least $250 million dollars, certainly feels “entitled” to use his wealth and privilege to run for President, even though he has never had to struggle for anything in his life!

Not everyone is so fortunate to be born into such good circumstances, and one would think that Romney would feel like many other wealthy people, that he needs to “give back” to those less fortunate, rather than take a hard hearted attitude toward those who don’t have the advantages that he and his wife and five sons have!

For a man of religion, who is proud of his Mormon faith, he seems unconcerned about the struggles of those on the lower end of the social scale, which is ironic, because Christianity broadly teaches that we must come to the aid of others, and Romney says he is a “good Christian”, even though many consider the Mormons to be a religious cult.

The point is that with his good fortune since birth, and his supposedly strong religious convictions, Romney should wish to help others get some of the “entitlement” that he was born to, but NO, instead, he appeals to the selfish, self centered nature of someone who is arrogant and looks down on the poor, all for political advantage in a party which has sold out completely to religious hypocrites and wealthy people and corporations!

What are all Americans entitled to?

1. A decent educational opportunity to achieve all that one can in pursuit of a better life and job career.
2. A decent health care system which allows everyone to get appropriate, quality attention from doctors, nurses, and hospitals.
3. A decent housing situation, which promotes a sense of security and safety from harm.
4. A government which treats everyone on an equal basis, not victimizing those who are different in race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, or sexual orientation.
5. Respect for the elderly, and proper treatment of them in their twilight years.
6. Protection of the childhood of the younger generation, and encouragement of the accomplishment of their goals to grow up happy, secure, and pursue their dreams.
7. Respect for and protection of the disabled among us, giving them maximum opportunity for as normal a life as possible.
8. Protection of the environment, and promotion of consumer rights to avoid harm to the population.
9. Enforcement of the civil liberties of all Americans, preventing an oppressive government over our private lives and our public activities.
10. Protection of our nation from the abuse of corporations who are more concerned about profit than people.

These points above are “entitlements” that should come with being an American, not just based on how much money one has or inherits! Equality and justice are essential to keep the “American Dream” alive!