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Oh hey! I have an art tumblr! check out melissajmassey.tumblr.com
Oh hey, I have a webcomic too! Vatican Assassins!
tomorrow is the 1st of September if at least 18 NF songs aren’t released I will consider the day a complete failure
Is Teddy Roosevelt really as awesome as his depictions in pop culture has lead us to believe?
He’s kind of more awesome, really.
While in pop culture it’s easy to reduce him to a caricature of robust masculinity (I have to include myself among such offenders, but Tales from the Bully Pulpit was always intended to be a clash of cultural iconography, not actual historical figures), the fact is, the dude was multi-multi-multi-faceted and just completely amazing.
He pursued his vigorous lifestyle as a way to keep himself alive: he had terrible asthma as a child, and so developed his strenuous regimen to build up his health.
But while many people focus on this aspect of his life—his vigor, his time as a soldier, etc—the fact is, he had a lot more going on. He fought like a motherfucker on ecological and conservation issues. His biggest policy was the Square Deal, which was based on three issues he called the three Cs: 1) conservation of natural resources, 2) control of corporations, and 3) consumer protection.
I don’t know about you, but I’d say we could use another person like that in charge.
Also, people tend to focus on the “big stick” part of his famously repeated axiom, but forget that the first part was “speak softly”: diplomacy first. TR won a Nobel Peace Prize for basically single-handedly orchestrating the end of a war between Russia and Japan. Sure, I’m not huge on the idea of military expansionism, but the idea is that it’s big so that you never have to use it, and I can at least understand where that’s coming from.
Was he perfect? No, of course not. Certainly some of his positions would not be considered enlightened or even acceptable today. For example, as a young man he had some fairly appalling views of Native Americans, and also harbored some ideas about the sterilization of criminals that seem ghastly today.
(Though: his views on immigration and race are more progressive than you might expect. He was strongly in favor of a welcoming immigration policy as long as the immigrants properly assimilated into American culture, and he said of African Americans, “ the only wise and honorable and Christian thing to do is to treat each black man and each white man strictly on his merits as a man, giving him no more and no less than he shows himself worthy to have.” He also appointed the first Jewish cabinet member. But…still. Some of his views would still be pretty abhorrent today. Are they worse than those held by some currently active members of Congress? Certainly not, but it’s not a contest, I suppose.)
Anyway, in short: was he awesome? Yes. Was he as awesome as pop culture makes him? More so, but for reasons pop culture rarely gets into.
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