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Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Trump and T. R.

Trump and T.R.

From the History Channel’s 2003 production “Teddy Roosevelt, an American Lion”.  

He was an American original….his name was Theodore Roosevelt…..He packed more excitement in 60 years than other men could in a hundred.  He broke the bounds of a politician…..His enemies saw him as a bigot, an imperialist, a blustering ego maniac….He’s the biggest character in American history....His vitality would energize the nation as never before…..He trusted the American people and it gave him the strength to do what his instincts told him he ought to do….Nothing about Theodore Roosevelt was a charade, he was a lion….Almost from the outset Americans knew they were in for something special”.

“Americans needed a leader they could trust, and that they had trusted Theodore Roosevelt he had put his trust in them the ordinary people.  As he reached for great things he had pulled the nation with him, in the search for new and better solutions to America’s problems….  The people forgave him for sometimes choosing the wrong path…..”

Trump the Reformer

Analogies are tricky but sometimes useful so here goes.

I'm looking at similarities, I know all about the negatives and how they may differ.  I'm interested in positives.  

Trump reminds me of Teddy Roosevelt.  There I said it – but why?  

Trump is being called many of the same names Teddy had been called such as “bigot, imperialist and blustering ego-maniac” maybe not in those exact words but plenty close enough and a whole lot more.  But above all Trump and Teddy have the trust of the ordinary people.  

Trump may still have to prove he is worthy of that trust in deeds once he takes office but on the campaign trail he earned it by a simple expedient.  He trusted the people - they learned they could trust him.  He stuck with what he said because he believed in what he said.  

As with Teddy they grasped the simple truth that people vote for those they trust.  The other smarter politicians and their advisers forgot that.  

They both were true to the concept that America should be great.

Teddy helped make it great during the “American Century” of the 1900s and Trump promises to “Make America Great Again”.

Teddy was a reformer and a Republican.  He too had to break with his party on issues and as with the reforms he started Wilson the next President who was a Democrat came in and took them over and took the credit. If Trump seems to be too liberal in some of his views those views are based upon his concept of the The American Dream.  Things like believing in all people being equal, we should base our decisions upon what is good and not just give lip service to what is good for America.  Teddy one said:  

This goes with Trump’s promise to “Drain the swamp”.  We need to drain the swamp of dishonest people, of corrupt people.

Getting back to the similarities of Trump to Teddy.  Teddy was a person all through his political career that couldn’t be bought or influenced.  It seems obvious so far the same holds true for Trump.  
One of Teddy's early jobs in government was to run the little known civil service department.  His political boss put him there to get him out of the way and ok the people he told Teddy to hire, but Teddy refused to hire his boss’s nominees unless they were qualified.  

He was adamant and was threatened mightily for not doing it but stood his ground.  

He followed this thought all through his career.  He believed in a person getting a job based on merit.  Beyond that he decide policy on the merit of "What is good for America".

Trump is now trying to do the same up and down the line.  Not only with unqualified federal employees but by shrinking the size of government.  This is all in the name of “Draining the Swamp”.

Take the example of Trump tweeting about the cost of getting another Air Force One built by Boeing.  He said the cost is out of control.  

Rush Limbaugh made the case that Boeing and their political influence is what Trump is really fighting.  Rush brought up the sale of planes to Iran by Boeing that was part of the Obama Iran Nuclear deal not to mention the yuge donations made to the Clinton Foundation by Boeing.  

That would be a sore spot for Trump as he didn't like that deal, saying of it that it was “disastrous” for America and that he would “tear it up”-- the worst deal in history. 

That is a reform of another kind I would call corporate cronyism.  Again the idea of Merit.  

The main point between the two men is that their driving force is trying to make America Great.  America did become great under Teddy and will again under Trump if he can stay honest to his ideals and the American people - the “ordinary people” stay true to theirs.  

We pick our leaders because they are stronger than we are, better able to carry out and act in ways sometimes we are too weak to follow.  But the American people remain strong in their ability to reward honesty and loyalty when they see it.  When they do and their pick lives up to their trust the vacuum for lack of greatness is filled.

I was at our local Cozy Conservative Corner at LaFiesta (every Tues 8am all are welcome) and as two of us were leaving we struck up a conversation with a lady who is a regular there on that day.

She knew we were both into politics and she asked us about the Jill Stein recount.  The conversation quickly turned to politicians and she asked why can’t they just do what is best for the country and not what is best for themselves or their party or whatever else they use to justify doing crazy stuff.  

We were talking about the local news that the old Hart ISD building which is really a new building is being sold.  Come to find out we were all at the meeting a couple years ago when they decided to merge with Mason County’s school district.  We all protested but they merged anyway.  We were told it wouldn’t affect us in Hart.  Now they are closing the building and selling it - I guess it did affect us.

There seems to be swamps that need to be drained all over the place.  At our level the retired school teacher above saw it plain as day.  She and the rest of the ordinary people see through the “smug obliviousness” of the political elite in a heartbeat.  They will give their heart to those who oppose that smugness and decide things on the merits of what is good for America.

American too will forgive a lot of mistakes by those who do that as long as they keep trying.  We know perfection is not attainable but demand of our leaders to be constantly seeking it and strive for it and never, never, never ever give up trying.  That is the only sin in the ordinary people’s eyes – giving up.

It is fitting that writing this post I have decided a question I have been debating for days.  I am basing it on a meshing of T. R.’s quotes above.  I have decided because of the quote about honesty as a pre-requisite for public office (all public offices no matter how small) and the concept that “patriotism means to stand by the country” not what others tell you to do.  Patriotism means fighting for everyone not hyphenated ones.  At my local level I’m talking not of race or nationality but of political creed.  

If we are to buck the national system of political correctness perhaps it is time to buck the political correctness of local politics as well and do what is best for the ordinary people.  Here I’m talking both sides of the ideological spectrum.  

I'm talking about not replacing one Political Correct creed with another.

That is what true leadership means as stated so well about Theodore Roosevelt in the History Channel’s production.
“As he reached for great things he had pulled the nation with him, in the search for new and better solutions to America’s problems….  The people forgave him for sometimes choosing the wrong path…..”

----EDITED Below -NOON WED.----

Then and now.

The difference is the headline by the media then and now.  Teddy was credited with making america and Trump is just a person who is President of the "Divided States of America.  What a difference a century makes.  From Drudge with the caption to the above Time cover and story which reads "Make the Media Great Again?"  That Time piece is a perfect example of how biased and dishonest the media has become.  People are tired of the cynicism of the media always dividing America instead of applauding those that are trying to unite it.

Regards, Bob Carr
Live Dangerously, Tell the Truth

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