Monday, March 26, 2012

POLITICS: What today's Republicans need - A good strong dose of Theodore Roosevelt

TR prepares to face a yet-unpicked Democratic opponent in 1904, drawn by Joseph Keppler for Puck.
Are you like me?  Do you feel distinctly annoyed and disheartened watching the final stages of this year's pathetic contest for the Republican presidential nomination?   Then remember this:  2012 is not the first time the Party was this stupid!!  Exactly 100 years ago, in 1912, this same Republican Party rejected Theodore Roosevelt as its nominee, despite Roosevelt's having won most of that year's Republican primaries and having the support of most of the party's own members across the country.  

Instead, meeting in Chicago, a small circle of "stand pat" Bosses and insiders insisted on giving the nod to incumbent President William Howard Taft, forcing Roosevelt to bolt and run as a third party candidate.  Roosevelt ran for President in 1912 as a Progressives or Bull Moose-er.  He easily beat Taft in the 1912 popular vote, but Democrat Woodrow Wilson took advantage of the split and won the White House that year.  Click here for full results.     

If Theodore Roosevelt were alive today, would Republicans in 2012 reject him again?   I have no doubt.  TR believed in the party of Lincoln, a party of ideas and progress and equality.

Just for nostalgia, here are a few favorite cartoons, just to remember how good a Republican president used to be able to be.   Enjoy.

Roosevelt seen conquering New York State Republicans at their 1910 convention in Saratoga, winning the convention chairmanship over the party's own sitting Vice President, James S. Sherman.  Drawn by W.A. Carson of the Utica Post. 

Another Puck cartoon show TR as president in his bid to drive corruption from the US post office.

Lions, tigers, zebras and all the other African animals run for the lives on hearing the TR  plans to visit for a hunting trip after leaving office in 1909.

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