Theodore Roosevelt’s passion for politics included his own insistence on the American public’s quest for truth and honesty. He was known for continually demanding as much for himself, even more so, as a political leader. He abhorred politicians who randomly distributed false promises.
TR fell short as humans do, but always wrestled with himself to be his best…as an American, father and leader.
When he gave his new guides a $14,000 check for his first Dakota ranch, he disregarded getting a receipt. That’s trust.
“The worth of a promise consists purely in the way in which the performance squares with it. That has two sides. In the first place, if a man is an honest man he will try just as hard to keep a promise made on the stump as one made off the stump. In the second place, if the people keep their heads they won’t wish promises to be made which are impossible of performance.
A broken promise is bad enough in private life. It is worse in the field of politics. No man is worth his salt in public life who makes on the stump a pledge which he does not keep after election; and, if he makes such a pledge and does not keep it, hunt him out of public life.
It seems to me that one of the most important problems which this nation has to solve is that of honest elections, and I am for radical measures.”
Dakota Datebook: Remembering Theodore Roosevelt is written and performed by Steve Stark. Funding provided by the Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation.