I’m not sure why so many conservatives are enamored of Teddy Roosevelt.
Actually, that’s not true. I understand why conservatives are enamored of the legend of Roosevelt. His personal rugged individualism and his military exploits appeal to conservatives who like their heroes rough and tough and a bit brash. The problem is, his individualism extended only to himself. His policies, as President, did everything but elevate individual rights. He believed that the state held ultimate power and that the Constitution only carved out a few exceptions where the state did not hold sway. In every other area of life, the state not only had the right but the duty to regulate the individual for the common good.
If Teddy Roosevelt were alive and active in politics today, he’d be right there alongside Barack Obama and the rest of the progressives who believe that a totalitarian government is a good one, so long as they’re in charge. He’d be every bit a hard-line Nanny Stater as the most left-wing Democrat today – sort of a Howard Dean on steroids. TR was no conservative and conservatives would do well to remember that.
Category: The Rise of the Nanny State