President Teddy Roosevelt championed the redesign of American coinage – from the gold Indian series to the St. Gaudens $20 gold Double Eagles. He was a man of action in many areas. He created a strong U.S. Navy fleet, which sailed around the world as a show of American strength. He lived by the motto “speak softly and carry a big stick.”
He also said: “Don’t hit at all if you can help it; don’t hit a man if you can possibly avoid it; but if you do hit him, put him to sleep.”
In light of the recent terrorist attacks in Paris, Mali and elsewhere, President Obama’s previous posture of dismissing ISIS as a “junior varsity” team rings hollow.
On November 13, early on the very day that ISIS terrorists attacked Paris, the President explained to ABC’s Good Morning America host George Stephanopoulos that “we have contained” ISIS.
President Roosevelt would not have dismissed or minimized the enemy so glibly.
In defining the office of the presidency, he gave good advice to our current leaders and future Presidents:
“The President is merely the most important among a large number of public servants. He should be supported or opposed exactly to the degree which is warranted by his good conduct or bad conduct, his efficiency or inefficiency in rendering loyal, able, and disinterested service to the Nation as a whole. Therefore it is absolutely necessary that there should be full liberty to tell the truth about his acts, and this means that it is exactly as necessary to blame him when he does wrong as to praise him when he does right. Any other attitude in an American citizen is both base and servile. To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that all are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. Nothing but the truth should be spoken about him or anyone else. But it is even more important to tell the truth, pleasant or unpleasant, about him than about anyone else.”
The current aspirants to the presidency should remember those words during the 2016 election campaign.
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