Theodore Roosevelt

(Theodore Roosevelt Jr; Teddy Roosevelt)

Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore Roosevelt
  • Born: October 27, 1858
  • Died: January 6, 1919
  • Nationality: American
  • Profession: President

384

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313

Citations

1,015

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Theodore Roosevelt Jr. was an American statesman, author, explorer, soldier, naturalist, and reformer who served as the 26th President of the United States from 1901 to 1909. As a leader of the Republican Party during this time, he became a driving force for the Progressive Era in the United States in the early 20th century.

Quotes About
Author Quote
Henry Clay Frick We bought the son of a bitch, but he didn't stay bought.
John D. Rockefeller The day of combination is here to stay. Individualism is gone, never to return.
Mark A. Hanna Now look, that damned cowboy is President of the United States.
Mark A. Hanna Don’t any of you realize that there is only one life between this madman and the Presidency.
Anonymous Traitor to his class
Lyndon B. Johnson Conservation has been in eclipse in this country ever since Theodore Roosevelt’s day. It had barely gotten off the ground when Uncle Joe Cannon, the Speaker of the House in those days, issued his ultimatum: “Not 1 cent for scenery.” Well, today we are repealing Cannon’s law. We are declaring a new doctrine of conservation.
Louis Thomas McFadden Roosevelt ordered the people to give their gold to private interests - that is, to banks, and he took control of the banks so that all the gold and gold values in them, or given into them, might be handed over to the predatory International Bankers who own and control the Fed. Roosevelt cast his lot with the usurers. He agreed to save the corrupt and dishonest at the expense of the people of the United States…. The International Bankers set up a dictatorship here because they wanted a dictator who would protect them.
Calvin Coolidge Theodore Roosevelt was always getting himself in hot water by talking before he had to commit himself upon issues not well-defined
Warren G. Harding Well, the mad Roosevelt has a new achievement to his credit. He succeeded in defeating the party that furnished him a job for nearly all of his manhood days after leaving the ranch, and showed his gratitude for the presidency, at that party's hands. The eminent fakir can now turn to raising hell, his specialty, along other lines.
William McKinley I am afraid he is too pugnacious... I want peace... Theodore is always getting into rows with everybody
Japan; Russia There shall henceforth be peace and amity between their Majesties the Emperor of Japan and the Emperor of all the Russias, and between their respective States and subjects.
Anonymous Bwana Makuba Great Master
Anonymous The Great Opposer
Anonymous Humpty Dumpty [Teddy Roosevelt] sat on the wall, Humpty Dumpty had a bad fall. All the ex-bosses And Bully Moose men, Can never put Humpty up [for election] again.
Anonymous Princess Alice
Anonymous The cyclone assemblyman
Anonymous At 3 O'clock on Saturday afternoon Theodore Roosevelt will walk on the Waters of Lake Michigan
Anonymous Wall Street Expects Every Lion To Do Its Duty
Anonymous The Statue of Liberty hung her head; Columbia dropped in a swoon, The American Eagle drooped and died, When Teddy dined with the coon.
Brooks Adams Wall Street has desperate need of men like you.
Henry Adams [Describing Theodore Roosevelt:] ... pure act.
Henry Adams Theodore [Roosevelt] is never sober. Only he is drunk with himself and not with rum.
Henry Adams Theodore betrays his friends for his own ambition.
Susan B. Anthony Before you leave the presidential chair recommend a Constitutional amendment to enfranchise women.
Joseph W. Bailey He is clay, and very common clay at that.
John Bates Theodore Roosevelt is following the footsteps of Julius Caesar and Napoleon Bonaparte, and unless we stop him it will be but a question of time when he usurps a dictatorship of the American people.
Poultney Bigelow If you wish my opinion of Theodore Roosevelt, it is that he might make a passable king, a very fair newspaper man, an admirable circus impresario; but as President he is as monstrous as would be Mrs. Mary Baker Eddy in a Salome dance.
Henry H. Bingham Is there any statute that gives the President authority in any way to change the spelling?
Frank B. Brandegee There ain't any first-raters this year .... We don't have any John Shermans or Theodore Roosevelts. We've got a lot of second-raters and Warren G. Harding is the best of the second-raters.
David J. Brewer Thank God there have always been in this country, college men able to recognize a true Washington, though his first name be not George.
John Burroughs … a walking day of judgment
Thomas Butler [Theodore Roosevelt] came down here [Washington DC] looking for war. He did not care whom we fought as long as there was a scrap.
Allen Candler No self respecting white man can ally himself with the President [Theodore Roosevelt] after what has occurred.
Joseph Cannon The President [Theodore Roosevelt] has as much use for the Constitution as a tom cat has for a marriage license.
Chicago Tribune The Eighth Commandment: Thou Shalt Not Steal.
Grover Cleveland [Theodore] Roosevelt is the most perfectly equipped and the most effective politician thus far seen in the Presidency.
Colliers Those who know Governor Roosevelt [TR] must believe that he is much better fitted for the Presidency than is Mr. McKinley.
Eugene V. Debs [Theodore Roosevelt had the] cruel malevolence of a barbarian .... [he] uttered a lie as black and damnable, a calumny as foul and atrocious, as ever issued from a human throat.
Chauncey Depew The only question now is which corpse gets the most flowers?
Andrew Draper I do not believe that the State Education Department should tell the people how they must spell.
Emma Goldman Republicanism stands for vested rights, for imperialism, for graft, for the annihilation of every semblance of liberty. Its ideal is the oily, creepy respectability of a McKinley, and the brutal arrogance of a [Theodore] Roosevelt.
James Jerome Hill All he ever does is pose for pictures and draw his pay.
Jean-Jules Jusserand If it's just the same with you, Mr. President, I'd like to lie down and die.
Robert MacArthur The departure of the fleet was momentous. It drove me to prayer. I could see in it America's assertion of her right to control the Pacific in the interest of civilization and humanity.
Memphis Scimitar the most damnable outrage ever perpetrated by any citizen of the United States when he invited a nigger to dine with him at the White House.
H. L. Mencken One always thinks of him [Theodore Roosevelt] as a glorified bouncer engaged eternally in cleaning out bar-rooms—and not too proud to gouge when the inspiration came to him or to bite in the clinches.
John Morley [Describing Theodore Roosevelt:] Half St. Paul, half St. Vitus.
Frank Andrew Munsey My fortune, my magazines, my newspapers are with you.
Frank Andrew Munsey While splendidly progressive it is at the same time, amply conservative and sound.
Robert M. La Follette Theodore Roosevelt is the ablest living interpreter of what I would call the superficial public sentiment of a given time, and he is spontaneous in his reactions to it.
Henry Cabot Lodge The general impression of course is that you would be most foolish to take the Vice Presidency .... if I were a candidate for the Presidency, I would take the Vice Presidency in a minute at this juncture. My belief in your taking it arises from my conviction that it is the true stepping-stone for you .... The Vice Presidency is the better path to better and more important things.
James Gibbons Mother Earth is not only a fruitful mother, she is also a grateful mother and repays her children for every kindness and tenderness.
Desmond Morris His fundamental interest throughout his life was himself.
Ida Tarbell Theodore Roosevelt ... had become uneasy at the effect on the public of the periodical press's increasing criticisms and investigations of business and political abuses
Cecil Spring Rice You must always remember that the President is about 6 years old.
Susan B. Anthony I would rather have President Roosevelt say one word to Congress in favor of amending the Constitution to give women the suffrage than to praise me endlessly!
Andrew Paolo Napolitano America has been an empire ever since Theodore Roosevelt.
James W. Wadsworth The whole thing stamps the President (Theodore Roosevelt) as unreliable, a faker, and a humbug. For years he has indulged in lofty sentiments, and violates them all for the sake of satisfying his petty spite.... Thank God, he can't fool all the people all the time, and this country is fast awakening to the real character of this bloody hero of Kettle Hill.
William Howard Taft Theodore Roosevelt has become the most dangerous man in American history because of his hold on the less intelligent voters and the discontented.
William Randolph Hearst His military experiences have been confined to shooting a fleeing Spaniard in the back on the slopes of Kettle Hill in Cuba.... No other conspicuous American public man would behave with such squalid selfishness.
William Randolph Hearst [Theodore Roosevelt] has sold himself to the devil and will live up to the bargain.
John Hay We want Perdicaris alive or Raisuli dead!
Warren G. Harding ... a Benedict Arnold.
Harper's Weekly Hate, not hat, is in the ring.
Mark A. Hanna Your duty to the Country, is to live for four years.
Barack Obama Teddy Roosevelt was called a radical—a socialist—even a communist.
William Howard Taft … his [Charles Evans Hughes’] greatest fault is his failure to accord credit to anyone for what he may have done. This is a great weakness in any man. I think it was one of the strongest things about [Theodore] Roosevelt. He never tried to minimize what other people did and often exaggerated it..
Mark A. Hanna I see dynamite in it.
Albert J. Menendez Theodore Roosevelt provoked an outcry when he banned Christmas Trees from the White House as a conservationist measure, but he relented when convinced that his position was untenable.
Benjamin Ryan Tillman The action of President Roosevelt in entertaining that nigger will necessitate our killing a thousand niggers in the South before they learn their place again.
Eleanor Roosevelt I think I have a good deal of my Uncle Theodore in me, because I could not, at any age, be content to take my place by the fireside and simply look on.
Elihu Root I have read your proposed speech. Your argument is like that of the man who is accused of seduction and defends himself by explaining that he has committed rape.
Francis E. Leupp [There is] a type of which he [Theodore Roosevelt] is perhaps the master specimen—the politician who could not help being one if he tried…. when Mr. Roosevelt takes a step which the mass of his fellow citizens regard as carefully considered for its political effect, the chances are at least even that he is merely obeying a natural impulse, which may make for either strength or weakness.
Ellery Sedgwick By birth Mr. Roosevelt is an aristocrat. An unfeigned interest in the lives of his fellow millions has made a democrat of him, and through both channels he draws that social understanding …. But partly from the consciousness of a lack of sympathy for his "class," and partly from the inevitable sense that his lot is cast with the multitude, it is the democrat in him which has gained the permanent ascendency.
Eleanor Roosevelt Theodore Roosevelt is perhaps one of the most colorful personalities in our history and will always be, I think, an influence on the youth of the country. His spirit was ever youthful and he lived his philosophy with all his might, never grudging in his praise of others, thereby bringing out in them the desire to meet his standards of integrity and duty.
Herbert Croly The first political leader of the American people to identify the national principle with an ideal of reform.
Benjamin Ryan Tillman Theodore Roosevelt owes more to newspapers than any other man of his time, or possibly of any other time.
William Garrott Brown It is doubtful if any power he [Theodore Roosevelt] has over us through his office or through his leadership of a party is so great as this which he exercises directly through his example and character.
Mark Twain Theodore Roosevelt would go to Halifax for half a chance to show off and to Hell for a whole one.
John Dewey One cannot think of him [Theodore Roosevelt] except as part of the public scheme, performing on the public stage.
David Greenberg More than any other U. S. President, Theodore Roosevelt permanently transformed the position of Chief Executive…. What had been largely an administrative position subordinate in many ways to Congress, grew into the locus of policy making and the office everyone looked to for leadership on issues large and small.
Woodrow Wilson He appeals to their imagination; I do not. He is a real vivid person whom they have seen and shouted themselves hoarse over and voted for, millions strong: I am a vague, conjectural personality, more made up of opinions and academic prepossessions than of human traits and red corpuscles.
Robert M. La Follette He [Theodore Roosevelt] acted upon the maxim that half a loaf is better than no bread. I believe that half a loaf is fatal whenever it is accepted at the sacrifice of the basic principle sought to be attained. . . . A half-way measure never fairly tests the principle and many utterly discredit it.
James W. Van Cleave We are done with demagogues. We need a person at the head of this government who is safe and sane.
James W. Van Cleave Do not let [“Big”] Bill Hayward and the Industrial Workers of the World terrorize President, Congress, Judge and Juries.
Walter Wellman Where Mr. McKinley was patient, cautious, tactful and a very good listener…, Roosevelt is impetuous, impatient, and wholly lacking in tact.
New York World [President Theodore Roosevelt] has proven himself to be wiser and more resolute than leaders of his party in Congress, who sit supinely in the path of a rising storm of popular indignation and refuse to do anything to ‘disturb the business of protecting monopolies by law.
Henry Cabot Lodge Your great work in world politics this summer, will be, when the history of our time is written, one of your most, if not your most, certain titles to a really enduring fame.
New York Times No foreign ruler or man of eminence could have aroused more universal attention, received a warmer welcome or achieved greater popularity among every class of society
John Morley I have seen two tremendous works of nature in America—the Niagara Falls and Mr. [Theodore] Roosevelt.
William Allan White No other friendship in our modern politics has meant more to the American people for it has made two most important and devoted public servants wiser, kindlier, and more useful men.
Boston Evening Times Mr. Roosevelt … isn’t afraid of the newspapers, he isn’t afraid of losing his place, and he is always ready for a fight. He keeps civil-service reform before the people and … his aggressiveness is a great factor in a good cause.
William Henry Harrison Roosevelt seemed to feel that everything ought to be done before sundown.
William McKinley I want peace [in my administration] and I am told that your friend Theodore [Roosevelt]—whom I know only slightly—is always getting into rows with everybody. I am afraid he is too pugnacious.
Lincoln Steffens TR was a very practical politician, and it was partly from watching him sympathetically that I lost some of my contempt for politicians …
Washington Post The American people will not soon forget their debt to Mr. Roosevelt. More glorious than winning a battle is this triumph of peace..
Puck Magazine Bigger Than His Party.
John Burroughs .[Theodore Roosevelt] is a man of such abounding energy and ceaseless activity that he sets everything in motion around him wherever he goes.
Paul Dana He is on the side of the men who are ever day seeking to overthrow the Constitution. He has joined their organizations, espoused their creed, received their leaders at his dwelling and his official residence; and as President of the United States has welcomed their delegates.
Washington Times Holding It Down
Kansas City Times Says Roosevelt: “I announce no choice, To no man will I lend my voice I have no private candidate, I care not whom you nominate-- Just so it’s Taft.”
William Howard Taft I don’t care for the Presidency if it has to come by compromise with Senator Foraker. I would never strike a bargain to endorse a man who has consistently opposed the policies and programs of the Roosevelt Administration.
Paul Dana He has upset the public confidence, arrayed class against class, and fomented mistrust and hatred..
Boston Globe … sledgehammer eloquence...
Theodore Roosevelt The reigning conservatives in the House and Senate felt a relief that they did not try to conceal at the fact that I was not to remain as President.
Ray Stannard Baker Roosevelt never leads; he always follows. He acts, but he acts only when he thinks the crowd is behind him …. Upon all the great issues he has championed, the country was prepared before he entered the arena.
Tacoma Times Attention! Land Thieves and Natural Resources Grabbers …. Under [Theodore] Roosevelt any doubt about the power of the Chief Executive to make withdrawals of public land was resolved in favor of the people.
Gerald R. Ford Teddy Roosevelt once said, "Speak softly and carry a big stick." Jimmy Carter wants to speak loudly and carry a fly swatter.
Gerald R. Ford Theodore Roosevelt understood that unregulated monopoly could pose an even greater threat than unrestrained government.
Quotes
Quote Topics Cited
… a federal industrial commission comparable to the Interstate Commerce Commission and the protection of the people from concerns offering worthless investments under highly colored and specious appearances Regulation & Deregulation
… a polyglot boarding house Immigration & Emigration
… an act of dirty treachery on the part of the Spaniards …. I would give anything if President McKinley would order the fleet to Havana tomorrow. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
… pinheaded, anarchistic cranks. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
… preposterous little czar Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
… representatives of those forces which simmer beneath the surface of every civilized community and if they could break out, would destroy not only property and civilization but finally even themselves. . Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
… strong national regulation of interstate corporations Regulation & Deregulation
… the mere money-making American, insensible to every duty, regardless of every principle, bent only on amassing a fortune. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
… the unholy alliance between corrupt business and corrupt politics Corruption
…it was far better to be known as an ex-secretary than an ex-defeated candidate for governor. Miscellaneous
…Taft has reached and passed the nadir of his unpopularity. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
…the statements to the World and News consist simply of a string of infamous libels. Media, Journalism & The Press
A heavy progressive tax upon a very large fortune is in no way such a tax upon thrift or industry as a like would be on a small fortune. Taxes
A man of sound political instincts can no more subscribe to the doctrine of absolute independence of party on the one hand than to that of unquestioning party allegiance on the other…. If we had no party allegiance, our politics would become mere windy anarchy, and, under present conditions, our government could hardly continue at all. If we had no independence, we should always be running the risk of the most degraded kind of despotism,—the despotism of the party boss and the party machine. Political Parties & Machines
A man should be able to have a whiskey in the evening without jeopardizing his health Regulation & Deregulation
A public official must feel that he is a servant of the people. This is true of all public officials but perhaps in a special sense true of the Secretary of State, for our party lines stop at the water’s edge. Detriments & Qualifications ;Public Office: Benefits ;Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
A typical vice of American politics — the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues, and the announcement of radical policies with much sound and fury, and at the same time with a cautious accompaniment of weasel phrases each of which sucks the meat out of the preceding statement. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
A very adroit … hypocrite.... He has made our statesmanship a thing of empty elocution. He has covered his fear of standing for the right behind a veil of rhetorical phrases …. He hasn't a touch of idealism in him. He is a silly doctrinaire at times and an utterly selfish and cold-blooded politician always Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
After one operator referred to the union as ‘a set of outlaws’, I wanted to take him by the seat of the breeches and nape of the neck and chuck him out the window. Labor Unions, Labor Relations & Strikes
Aggressive fighting for the right is the noblest sword the world affords. Miscellaneous
All contributions by corporations to any political committee or for any political purpose should be forbidden by law. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
All contributions by corporations to any political committee or for any political purpose should be forbidden by law; directors should not be permitted to use stockholders' money for such purposes; and, moreover, a prohibition of this kind would be, as far as it went, an effective method of stopping the evils aimed at in corrupt practices acts. Not only should both the National and the several State Legislatures forbid any officer of a corporation from using the money of the corporation in or about any election, but they should also forbid such use of money in connection with any legislation save by the employment of counsel in public manner for distinctly legal services. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
All men who feel any power of joy in battle know what it is like when the wolf rises in the heart. War & Peace
All really civilized communities should have effective arbitration treaties among themselves. I believe that these treaties can cover almost all questions liable to arise between such nations Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising ;Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
All the power of the government will be directed towards the Rockefeller Trust. Energy ;Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
America’s forests and waters must come into the hands of not a few men who speculate in them, but be distributed among many men, each of whom intends to make a home upon the land. Housing
Any country whose people conduct themselves well can count our hearty friendship. If a nation shows that it knows how to act with reasonable efficiency and decency in social and political matters, if it keeps order and pays its obligations it need fear no interference from the United States. Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
Any man familiar with public life realizes the foul gossip which ripples just under the surface about almost every public man, and especially about every President Public Relations & Image
Any man who has ever been honored by being made President of the United States is thereby forever after rendered the American people. Presidency, Vice Presidency & Prime Ministership
Behind the ostensible government sits enthroned an invisible government owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people Lobbying & Special Interests
Behind the ostensible government sits enthroned an invisible government owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people. To destroy this invisible government, to befoul the unholy alliance between corrupt business and corrupt politics is the first task of the statesmanship of the day Corruption
Behind the ostensible government sits enthroned an invisible government owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people. To destroy this invisible government, to dissolve the unholy alliance between corrupt business and corrupt politics, is the first task of the statesmanship of the day. Corruption
Change is realized by men who take the next step; not those who theorize about the 20th step. Reform, Change, Transformation & Reformers
Congress did not themselves wish to be investigated.. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
Damn the President! He is a cold-blooded, narrow-minded, prejudiced, obstinate, timid old psalm-singing Indianapolis politician Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
Death is always and under all circumstances a tragedy, for if it is not, then it means that life itself has become one. Miscellaneous
Die if you must, but never kill. Expansionism, Colonialism & Imperialism
Do not answer [William Jennings] Bryan. Attack him! Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
Dollar Diplomacy Diplomacy & Diplomats ;Foreign Aid ;Social Sciences ;Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
Don’t hit until you have to, but when you do hit, hit hard. Slogans & Mottoes
Don’t swear; fight! Military & Veterans
Dumber than a guinea pig, A fathead Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
Every man holds his property subject to the general right of the community to regulate its use to whatever degree the public welfare may require it. Regulation & Deregulation
Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing Work, Workers & The Labor Force
Fitness for self-government is not a God-given, natural right, but comes to a race only through the slow growth of centuries. Democracies & Republics
For weal or for woe, the peoples of mankind are knit together far closer than ever before.. Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
Formerly, in every campaign, national, state, or local, the office-holders were assessed all round, as a matter of course. The party committees, after consultations with the heads of departments, notified office holders outright what amount--usually about two per cent of their salary -they would be expected to pay; and at the appointed day they marched up, paid, and got their receipts. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
foul language kennel filth unspeakable lowness Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
Friends, I will disown and repudiate any man of my party who attacks with … vile, foul slander and abuse any opponents of another party. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
Get me a military man who can’t quit until I say he can quit.
Good public service is good practical politics…. My goal is to strengthen the [Republican] Party by bettering it.. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
He [Jacob Riis] had the most flaming intensity of passion for righteousness. Reform, Change, Transformation & Reformers
He serves his party best who helps to make it instantly responsive to every need of the people. Political Parties & Machines
Head Devil Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
Henry George espouses wild and illogical doctrines. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
Here in the United States we turn our rivers and streams into sewers and dumping-grounds, we pollute the air, we destroy forests, and exterminate fishes, birds, and mammals—not to speak of vulgarizing charming landscapes with hideous advertisements. Environment & Environmentalism
History must not be treated as something set off by itself. History
I am doing my best to prevent the corporations and the Republican Party Machine making me the … candidate for the vice presidency in order to get rid of me here as governor. Presidency, Vice Presidency & Prime Ministership
I am forced to make a rule not to write letters on the occasion of any celebration, no matter how important, simply because I can not write one without either committing myself to write hundreds of others or else running the risk of giving offense to worthy persons. I make as exception in this case because the lamentable and terrible suffering to which so many of the Jewish people in other lands have been subject to express my deep sympathy for them, as I now do, but at the same time to point out what fine qualities of citizenship have been displayed by the men of Jewish faith and race, who, having come to this country, enjoy the benefits of free institutions and equal treatment before the law… in the spiritual world that no one can wrong others and yet in the end himself escape unhurt… Jews of the United States, who now number more than a million, have remained loyal to their faith and their race traditions, they have become indissolubly incorporated in the great army of American citizenship, prepared to make all sacrifice for the country, either in War or peace, and striving for the perpetuation of good government and for the maintenance of the principles embodied in the Constitution. They are honorably distinguished by their industry, their obedience to law, and their devotion to the national welfare. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
I am genuinely independent of the big monied men in all matters where I think the interests of the public are concerned, and probably I am the first President of recent times of whom this could be truthfully said.... But where I do not grant any favors to these big monied men which I do not think the country requires that they should have, it is out of the question for me to expect them to grant favors to me in return... The sum of this is that I can make no private or special appeals to them, and I am at my wits' end how to proceed. Morality, Ethics & Conflict of Interest
I am having immense fun running the Navy. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
I am having my hair turned gray by dealing with the Russian and Japanese negotiators. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
I am in every fiber of my body a radical. Reform, Change, Transformation & Reformers
I am in the worst hole politically I have ever been in my life. The whole Catholic Church is on my back…. What a lecherous lot of scoundrels the Spanish friars are. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
I am interested in the Panama Canal because I started it. If I had followed traditional, conservative methods I would have presented a dignified state paper to Congress and the debates on it would have been going on yet; but I took the Canal Zone and let Congress debate; and while the debate goes on the Canal does also. Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
I am much obliged to you gentlemen for leaving me one sentence of my own. Presidency, Vice Presidency & Prime Ministership
I am no longer a political accident. Presidency, Vice Presidency & Prime Ministership
I am so angry with that infernal, little, Cuban republic that I would like to wipe its people off the face of the earth. All that we wanted from them is that they would behave themselves and be prosperous and happy so that we would not have to interfere. Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
I am so out of sympathy with what seems to be the prevailing currents of American opinion that I keep my judgment suspended as regards the political wisdom of certain [Republican] party moves Public Opinion & Polling
I became more set than ever in my distrust of those men, whether businessmen or lawyers, judges, legislators or executive officers, who seek to make the Constitution a fetish for the prevention of the work of social reform.. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
I believe in corporations. I believe in trade unions. Both have come to stay and are necessities in our present industrial system, But where, either one or the other, there develops corruption or mere brutal indifference to the rights of others … then the offender, whether union or corporation, must be fought. Labor Unions, Labor Relations & Strikes
I believe in men who take the next step. Not in men who theorize the 200th step. Leaders & Leadership
I believe in power. Power
I can be President of the United States, or I can control Alice. I cannot possibly do both. Presidency, Vice Presidency & Prime Ministership
I cannot say that I entered the presidency with any deliberately planned and far-reaching scheme of social betterment. Reform, Change, Transformation & Reformers
I did not intend that Uncle Sam be held up while he was doing great work for himself and all mankind. Development & Growth ;Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
I do not believe in government ownership of anything which can with propriety be left in private hands, and in particular I should most strenuously object to government ownership of railroads. In my judgment public ownership of railroads is highly undesirable and would probably in this country entail far-reaching disaster. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
I do not believe that I have ever before written to an individual legislator in favor of an individual bill, but …. Presidency, Vice Presidency & Prime Ministership
I do not believe that it is wise or safe for us as a party to take refuge in mere negation … Political Parties & Machines
I do not believe there can be found in the whole country a man so well fitted to be President. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
I do not represent public opinion. I represent the public. There is a wide difference between the two, between the real interests of the public and the public’s opinion of those interests. Public Opinion & Polling
I do not want to establish the precedent of going about guarded. Presidency, Vice Presidency & Prime Ministership
I don’t care a damn about stocks and bonds, but I don’t want to see them go down the first day I am President. Presidency, Vice Presidency & Prime Ministership
I don’t care how honest a man is. If he is timid, he is no good. Morality, Ethics & Conflict of Interest
I don’t give a damn for the legislature of Texas! Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
I don’t think any President ever enjoyed himself more than I did. Presidency, Vice Presidency & Prime Ministership
I don't go so far as to think that the only good Indians are dead Indians, but I believe nine out of ten are, and I shouldn't like to inquire too closely into the case of the tenth. Minorities & Women
I esteem it my duty to use every endeavor to prevent this growing monopoly [electric power], the most threatening which has ever appeared, from being fastened upon the people of this nation. Energy
I feel as fit as a bull moose. Nicknames
I feel it is an intensely disagreeable and unfortunate task which we cannot in honor shirk. Expansionism, Colonialism & Imperialism
I have constantly preached what our opponents are pleased to call "jingo doctrines" for a good many years. Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
I have never liked Winston Churchill, but in view of what you tell me as to his admirable conduct and nerve in mobilizing the fleet, I do wish that if it comes your way you would extend to him my congratulations. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
I have not been able to think out any solution of the terrible problem offered by the presence of the Negro on this continent, but of one thing I am sure, and that is that in as much as he is here and can neither be killed or driven away, the only wise and honorable and Christian thing is to treat each black man and each white man strictly on his merits as a man. Equality & Equal Opportunity
I have now run up against an ugly snag, the Sunday Excise law. It is altogether too strict but I have no honorable alternative save to enforce it… to the furious rage of the saloon … keepers, and a good many other peoples too for which I am sorry. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
I have read your book and have come to help. [ Poverty
I have received more advice than any man living—mostly bad. Presidency, Vice Presidency & Prime Ministership
I have stopped at farm after farm where lean, underfed women and sickly men repeated again and again the same story—little food and no opportunity to get more. Poverty
I intended to be one of the governing class. Leaders & Leadership
I killed a Spaniard with my own hand, like a jackrabbit. War & Peace
I like my job. The burdens of this great nation I have borne up under for the past seven years will not be laid aside with relief, as all presidents have heretofore said, but will be laid aside with a good deal of regret, for I have enjoyed every moment of this so-called arduous and exacting task. Presidency, Vice Presidency & Prime Ministership
I like you and trust you and believe in you . . . and golden years open before you Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
I never take a step in foreign policy unless I am assured that I shall be able to carry out my will by force. Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
I pass my days in a state of exasperation. First, with the fools who do not want any of the things that ought to be done, and second, with the equally obnoxious fools who insist upon so much that they cannot get anything done. Presidency, Vice Presidency & Prime Ministership
I put righteousness above peace, and should be entirely satisfied to lead a crusade for the Armenians. War & Peace
I recommend that a law be enacted to regulate interstate commerce in misbranded and adulterated foods, drinks, and drugs.... Traffic in foodstuffs which have been debased or adulterated so as to injure health or to deceive purchasers should be forbidden. Regulation & Deregulation
I shall ask you to be as quiet as possible, I don’t know if you fully understand that I have just been shot. But it takes more than that to kill a Bull Moose. Oratory, Discussion & Debate
I should have appointed a judge with more backbone than a banana. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
I should not dream of asking the permission of Congress That treaty is the law of the land and I shall execute it. It is essential to give independence to the Executive in dealing with foreign powers. I am willing to accept responsibility to establish precedents which successors may follow. Intergovernmental Relations
I stand for the square deal.... I mean not merely that I stand for fair play under the present rules of the game, but I stand for having those rules changed so as to work for a more substantial equality of opportunity and reward. Equality & Equal Opportunity
I suppose my critics will call that preaching, but I have got such a bully pulpit. Oratory, Discussion & Debate
I think that perhaps if I looked through the sweatshops myself, we might be in a condition to put things on a new basis, just as … in the police department after you and I began our midnight tours. Work, Workers & The Labor Force
I wanted to give the people a good show. Public Relations & Image
I was anxious to save the great coal operators and all of the class of big propertied men, of which they were members, from the dreadful punishment which their own folly would have brought on them if I had not acted. Labor Unions, Labor Relations & Strikes
I was only one-half the appointing power. I nominated, but the Senate confirmed.
I will have no criticism of my administration from you or any other officer of the Army. Military & Veterans
I wish to preach not the doctrine of ignoble ease but the doctrine of the strenuous life. Presidency, Vice Presidency & Prime Ministership
I wish to see the Hague Court greatly increased in power and permanency Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
I would much rather be your assistant in the Philippines …. than be Vice-President. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
I would rather see this administration turned out for enforcing laws can see a succeed for violating them. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
I’m rather apt to read old books than new. Miscellaneous
If ever anarchy is triumphant, it’s triumph will last for but one red moment, to be succeeded for ages by the gloomy night of despotism. Rebellion, Revolution, Insurgency & Resistance
If I can be right 75 per cent of the time I shall come up to the fullest measure of my hopes. Presidency, Vice Presidency & Prime Ministership
If I cannot find qualified Republicans, I am going to appoint Democrats.
If I could only be President and Congress too, for just 10 minutes. Presidency, Vice Presidency & Prime Ministership
If I ever thought it necessary, if I thought a combination of laborers were doing wrong, I would apply for an injunction against them just as quickly as against so many capitalists. Labor Unions, Labor Relations & Strikes
If I had been President, I should have acted on the thirtieth or thirty-first of July, as head of a signatory power of the Hague treaties, calling attention to the guaranty of Belgium's neutrality and saying [to Germany] that I accepted the treaties as imposing a serious obligation which I expected not only the United States but all other neutral nations to join in enforcing. Of course, I would not have made such a statement unless I was willing to back it up. I believe that if I had been President the American people would have followed me. Public Opinion & Polling ;Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
If I had my way we should annex those islands tomorrow. Expansionism, Colonialism & Imperialism
If it becomes necessary for me to act, or merely to lay before the Congress a statement of what occurred, I want to know fully the exact facts. Presidency, Vice Presidency & Prime Ministership
If there is not the occasion, you don't get the great statesmen. If Lincoln had lived in peacetime, you would not know his name today. Presidency, Vice Presidency & Prime Ministership
If we do not want third parties to take the action against wrongdoing regimes in our hemisphere, then sooner or later we must keep order ourselves. Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
If we permit ourselves to be ill served, to be served by corrupt and incompetent and inefficient men, then on our own head must the blame rest. Voters, Voting & Elections
In El Paso, the people are homicidal but orthodox. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
In every civilized society property rights must be carefully safeguarded; ordinarily, and in the great majority of cases, human rights and property rights are fundamentally and in the long run identical; but when it clearly appears that there is a real conflict between them, human rights must have the upper hand, for property belongs to man and not man to property. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
In his over-anxiety not to offend the powerful who have done wrong, President Wilson scrupulously refrains from saying one word on behalf of the weak who have suffered wrong. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes ;Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
In my cabinet at the present moment there sit side by side Catholic and Protestant, Christian and Jew. Religion & God
In our great cities there is plainly in evidence much wealth contrasted with much poverty and some of the wealth has been acquired or is used in a manner for which there is no moral justification. Morality, Ethics & Conflict of Interest
In public life as in private life, a man of the very highest repute will occasionally go wrong.. Human Nature
In the history of mankind many republics have risen, have flourished for a less or greater time, and then have fallen because their citizens lost the power of governing themselves and thereby of governing their state; and in no way has this loss of power been so often and so clearly shown as in the tendency to turn the government into a government primarily for the benefit of one class instead of a government for the benefit of the people as a whole. Power
In the ordinary and low sense which we attach to the words "partisan" and "politician," a judge of the supreme court should be neither. But in the higher sense ... he is not in my judgment fitted for the position unless he is a party man, a constructive statesman ... keeping in mind his relations with his fellow statesmen in other branches of government. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
In the unlikely event of the wound being mortal, I want to die with my boots on. Presidency, Vice Presidency & Prime Ministership
In the Wounded Knee fight, the troops under your command killed squaws and children as well as unarmed Indians. Minorities & Women
In Turkey, public opinion is nil and the people always obey any effective executive force, and obey nothing else…. The perpetuation of Turkish rule is the perpetuation of infamy. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
Invisible Empire Power
Invisible government English, Languages & Bilingualism
It cannot be too often repeated that in this country, in the long run, we all of us tend to go up or go down together. Citizenship & Patriotism
It is a mere truism to say that, in politics, there has to be one continual compromise. Of course now and then questions arise upon which a compromise is inadmissible. There could be no compromise with secession, and there was none. There should be no avoidable compromise about any great moral question. But only a very few great reforms or great measures of any kind can be carried through without concession. No student of American history needs to be reminded that the Constitution itself is a bundle of compromises, and was adopted only because of this fact, and that the same thing is true of the Emancipation Proclamation. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
It is a naked fight against theft, and the thieves will not win. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
It is a very poor thing, whether for nations or individuals, to advance the history of great deeds done in the past as an excuse for doing poorly in the present; but it is an excellent thing to study the history of the great deeds of the past, and of the great men who did them, with an earnest desire to profit thereby so as to render better service in the present. History
It is essential that there be organization of labor…. Capital organizes and therefore labor must organize. Labor Unions, Labor Relations & Strikes
It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed. Human Nature
It is impossible to differentiate between what I say in my individual capacity from what I say as President. Privacy, Abortion & Family Planning
It is never well to take drastic action, if the result can be achieved with equal efficiency with less drastic action.. Management & Managing Government ;Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
It is no limitation upon property rights or freedom of contract to require that when men receive from Government the privilege of doing business under corporate form, which frees them from individual responsibility, and enables them to call into their enterprises the capital of the public, they shall do so upon absolutely truthful representations as to the value of the property in which the capital is to be invested. Regulation & Deregulation
It is not good for the country to have a college professor as a President. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena. Detriments & Qualifications ;Public Office: Benefits
It is often pacifists who, halting and stumbling and not knowing whither they are going, finally drift helplessly into a war. War & Peace
It is one thing to listen in perfunctory fashion to tales of overcrowding tenements, and it is quite another actually to see what that overcrowding means, some hot summer night, by even a single inspection during the hours of darkness. Housing
It is out of the question to suppose that any other nation, with no interest of its own at stake, would do for the Koreans what they were utterly unable to do for themselves Expansionism, Colonialism & Imperialism
It is proper to demand more from the man with exceptional advantages than from the man without them… To the great body of men who have had exceptional advantages in the way of educational facilities we have a right, then, to look for good service to the state. Detriments & Qualifications ;Public Office: Benefits
It is shocking to smite down trees for mere decorations. Environment & Environmentalism
It is simply a matter of treating each man, rich or poor, on his merits, and making him feel that at the White House, which is the Nation's property, all reputable citizens of the nation are sure of like treatment. Equality & Equal Opportunity
It is the patriotic duty of women to bear four children. Families, Children & Parenting
It is true he has never originated anything that would savor of progressiveness, but he has been close enough to this administration to know what it stands for. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
It seems to me worth while for this Government to try whether it will not work on a large enough scale to be of use in the event of war. Military & Veterans
It shall be my aim to continue absolutely unbroken the policy of President McKinley for the peace and prosperity and the honor of our beloved country. Presidency, Vice Presidency & Prime Ministership
It should be as much the aim of those who seek social betterment to rid the business world of crimes of cunning as to rid the entire body politic of crimes of violence. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
It was good for the Japanese. It was good for the Russians, and it was good for me. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
It would be a dreadful calamity to see the nation divided into two parties, one containing the bulk of the property owners and conservative people, the other the bulk of the wageworkers and the less prosperous people generally; each party insisting on demanding much that is wrong, and each party sullen and angered by real and fancied grievances.. Liberals & Conservatives
It would be an advantage to justice if we were to effectively interfere for the Armenians in Turkey, and for the Jews in Russia … and in the Congo Free State. Minorities & Women
It would depend on whether a judge of the Supreme Court came down heads or tails. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
It's a dreadful thing to come in this way. Presidency, Vice Presidency & Prime Ministership
Journalists want me to keep repeating myself and they don't see that it would make people think I didn't believe myself. If what I say isn't worth believing when I say it, what additional value would it have from being repeated? If I were to repeat that statement this afternoon, in two weeks the newspapers would all be clamoring to have me say it again. Then pretty soon I should have to say it every day, and nobody would believe it. Oratory, Discussion & Debate
Keep full of coal. In the event of a declaration of war against Spain, your duty will be to see that the Spanish Squadron does not leave the Asiatic coast. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
La Follette is the Grand American neo-Copperhead ... at the moment loyally serving one country—Germany. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
Labor organizations are like other organizations, like organizations of capitalists; sometimes they act very well and sometimes they act badly. We should consistently favor them when they act well, and as fearlessly oppose them when they act badly. Labor Unions, Labor Relations & Strikes
Law is largely crystallized custom. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
Leave it [The Grand Canyon] as it is. The ages have been at work on it, and man can only mar it …. Keep it for your children, your children’s children, and all who come after you, as one of the sights which every American … should see. Environment & Environmentalism
Legislative bodies have tended more and more to become wholly inefficient for the purposes of legislation. The prime feature in causing this unhealthy growth has been the discovery by minorities that under the old rules of parliamentary procedure they could put a complete stop to all legislative action... If the minority is as powerful as the majority there is no use of having political contests at all, for there is no use in having a majority. Legislating & Legislative Process
Let American cities be bombarded and razed rather than pay a dollar to any foe for their safety. Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
Let me emphatically point out that … sympathy is useless unless it is accompanied by indignation, and indignation is useless if it exhausts itself in words instead of taking shape in deeds. Leaders & Leadership
Let the People Rule! Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
Let us ... run the risk of wearing out rather than rusting out. Elderly, Aging. Old Age, Social Security & Pensions
living wage Work, Workers & The Labor Force
Look out for the trusts. I hate to leave you here alone with those dreadful corporations, but I can’t very well help it. Be careful of them and don’t let them hurt you while I am away. Regulation & Deregulation
Loose cannon English, Languages & Bilingualism
Make your point as clear as possible and thrust the steel well home. Oratory, Discussion & Debate
Malefactors of great wealth Business, Commerce & Finance
Mayor Mitchel has too much 5th Avenue and not enough 1st Avenue. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
McKinley has no more backbone than a chocolate eclair. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
More and more it is evident that the State and if necessary the Nation, has got to possess the right of supervision and control as regards the great corporations. Regulation & Deregulation
Most of these people habitually led rather gray lives. And they came to see the president much as they would have come to see the circus. It was something to talk over and remember and tell their children about. But I think that besides the mere curiosity there was good feeling behind it all, a feeling that the president was their man and symbolized their government, and that they had a proprietary interest in him and wished to see him and that they hoped he embodied their aspirations and their best thoughts. Human Nature
Mr. Watson belongs to that school of southern Populists who honestly believe that the respectable and commonplace people who own banks, railroads, dry goods stores, factories, and the like, are persons of mental and social attributes that unpleasantly distinguish Heliogabalus, Nero, Caligula, and other worthies of later Rome.... If he got the chance he would lash the nation with a whip of scorpions Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
My belief was that it was not only the President's right but his duty to do anything that the needs of the nation demanded unless such action was forbidden by the Constitution or by the laws. Under this interpretation of executive power I did and caused to be done many things not previously done by the President. Presidency, Vice Presidency & Prime Ministership
My experience has taught me that in such a case a quick decision prevents bitterness.
My power for good, whatever it may, would be gone if I didn’t try to live up to the doctrines I have tried to preach. Presidency, Vice Presidency & Prime Ministership
Neither man nor nation can prosper unless, in dealing with the present, thought is steadily taken for the future. Policy & Policy Making
Neither this people or any other free people will permanently tolerate the use of the vast power conferred by vast wealth, and especially by wealth in its corporate form, without lodging somewhere in the government a still higher power of seeing that this power, in addition to being used in the interest of the individual or individuals possessing it, is also to be used for and not against the interests of the people as a whole…. [We must] keep the great highways of commerce open to all on reasonable and equitable terms. Power
No enemy of free government is more dangerous and none so insidious as corruption. Corruption
No given measure and no given set of measures will work a perfect cure for any serious evil. Policy & Policy Making
No greater calamity could now befall the United States than to have the Pacific Slope fill up with a Mongolian [Asian] population. Immigration & Emigration
No human beings, black, yellow, or white could be quite as untruthful, as insincere, as arrogant—in short, as untrustworthy in every way—as the Russians. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes ;Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
No man is above the law and no man is below it; nor do we ask any man's permission when we require him to obey it. Obedience to the law is demanded as a right; not asked as a favor. Equality & Equal Opportunity
No man is justified in doing evil on the ground of expediency. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
no political influence could save a man who deserved punishment and none could win unworthy promotion. Bureaucracy
Not since Crassus and the campaign against the Parthaginians was there such an incompetent a general as Shafter…. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
Oh, things will be all right. I have left Taft sitting on the lid. Presidency, Vice Presidency & Prime Ministership
On the 4th of March next I shall have served three and one half years and the three and a half years constitute my first term The wise custom which limits the President to two terms regards the substance and not the form, and under no circumstances will I be a candidate for or accept another term. Presidency, Vice Presidency & Prime Ministership
on the ground of both humanity and self-interest…. [There will be] a benefit done to our people by giving them something to think of which isn’t material gain.. War & Peace
One of the chief principles for which I have stood is the genuine rule of the people. I hope that the people may be given the chance, through direct primaries, to express their preference as to who shall be the nominee. Voters, Voting & Elections
Only the corporation that shirks from the light would have anything to fear from government. About the welfare of such corporations we need not be over-sensitive. Regulation & Deregulation
Our aim is not to do away with corporations; on the contrary, these big aggregations are an inevitable development of modern industrialism …. We are not hostile to them; we are merely determined that they shall be so handled as to subserve the public good. We draw the line against misconduct, not against wealth. Regulation & Deregulation
Our allies and enemies, and Mr. Wilson himself, should all understand that Mr. Wilson has no authority to speak for the American people. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising ;Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
Our forest policy is not to preserve forests because they are beautiful—though that is a good in itself—not to preserve them because they are refuges for wild creatures of the wilderness—though that is a good in itself—but rather to conserve them in order to guarantee a steady and continuous supply of timber, grass, and above all, water. Humor ;Public Works & Natural Resources ;Animals
Our relations with the other powers of the world are important, but still more important are our relations among ourselves. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising ;Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
Our words must be judged by our deeds; and in striving for a lofty ideal we must use practical methods; and if we cannot attain all at one leap, we must advance towards it step by step, reasonably content so long as we do actually make some progress in the right direction. Legislating & Legislative Process
Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the President or any other public official. Nationalism & Treason ;Citizenship & Patriotism
Patriotism, love of country, and pride in the flag which symbolizes country may be feelings which the race will at some period outgrow, but at present they are very real and strong, and the man who lacks them is a useless creature, a mere encumbrance to the land. Nationalism & Treason ;Citizenship & Patriotism
People ask the difference between a leader and a boss. . . . The leader works in the open, and the boss is covert. The leader leads, and the boss drives Leaders & Leadership ;Secrecy & Transparency
Pierce was...a small politician, of low capacity and mean surroundings, proud to act as the servile tool of men worse than himself but also stronger and abler. He was ever ready to do any work the slavery leaders set him. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
Political parties exist to secure responsible government and to execute the will of the people. From these great tasks both of the old parties have turned aside. Instead of instruments to promote the general welfare they have become the tools of corrupt interests, which use them impartially to serve their selfish purposes. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
Power invariably means both responsibility and danger. Power
Probably the greatest harm done by vast wealth is the harm that we of moderate means do ourselves when we let the vices of envy and hatred enter deep into our own natures. Miscellaneous
Rough Riders Military & Veterans
Russia is corrupt, treacherous, shifty and incompetent. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far. Leaders & Leadership
Taft is as fine a fellow as ever sat in the President’s chair, and I cannot express the measureless content that comes over me as I think that the work in which I have so much believed will be carried on by him. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
Taking your life as a whole, I think you now occupy the position of being the most respected and venerated, and useful citizen of our country. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
Thank God I am not a free-trader. In this country pernicious indulgence in the doctrine of free trade seems inevitably to produce fatty degeneration of the moral fibre. Foreign Trade
The anarchist is the enemy of humanity—the enemy of all mankind. Miscellaneous
The Armenian massacre was the greatest crime of the war, and failure to act against Turkey is to condone it. Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
The bearded iceberg Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
The bosses of the Democratic party and the bosses of the Republican party alike have a closer grip than ever before on the party machines in the States and in the Nation. This crooked control of both the old parties by the beneficiaries of political and business privilege renders it hopeless to expect any far-reaching and fundamental service from either. Political Parties & Machines
The death-knell of the republic had rung as soon as the active power became lodged in the hands of those who sought, not to do justice to all citizens, rich and poor alike, but to stand for one special class and for its interests as opposed to the interests of others. Policy & Policy Making
The demand for a statement of a candidate’s religious belief can have no meaning except that there may be discrimination for or against him because of that belief. Discrimination against the holder of one faith means retaliatory discrimination against men of other faiths. The inevitable result of entering upon such a practice would be an abandonment of our real freedom of conscience and a reversion to the dreadful conditions of religious dissension which in so many lands have proved fatal to true liberty, to true religion, and to all advance in civilization. Discrimination & Prejudice
The first duty of an American citizen, then is that he shall work in politics. Citizenship & Patriotism
The first is determining how to deal with the great industrial combinations is knowledge of the facts—publicity. Business, Commerce & Finance ;Secrecy & Transparency
The future policy of Japan towards Asiatic countries should be similar to that of the United States towards their neighbors …. A “Japanese Monroe Doctrine” in Asia will remove the temptation of European encroachment, and Japan will be recognized as the leader of the Asiatic nations. Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
The government is us; we are the government, you and I. Government ;Democracies & Republics
The great corporations which we have grown to speak of rather loosely as trusts are the creatures of the State, and the State not only has the right to control them, but it is duty bound to control them wherever the need of such control is shown. Regulation & Deregulation
The greatest crime of the War…. All of the terrible inequities of the past year and a half, including the crowning iniquity of the wholesale slaughter of the Armenians, can be traced to the … criminal responsibility of Germany (which) must be shared by the neutral powers headed by the United States for their failure to protest when the initial wrong was committed. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes ;Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
The insistence on a perfect cure often results in no betterment whatsoever. Management & Managing Government ;Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
The Jackson-Lincoln Theory of the Presidency: Occasionally great national crises arise which call for immediate and vigorous executive action, and that in such cases it is the duty of the President to act upon the theory that he is the steward of the people and … that he has the legal right to do whatever the needs of the people demand, unless the Constitution or the laws explicitly forbid him to do it.. Presidency, Vice Presidency & Prime Ministership
The Jews should be given control of Palestine. States. Nations & Nationhood
The large corporations, commonly called trusts, though organized in one State, always do business in many States, often doing very little business in the State where they are incorporated. There is utter lack of uniformity in the State laws about them; and as no State has any exclusive interest in or power over their acts, it has in practice proved impossible to get adequate regulation through State action. Therefore, in the interest of the whole people, the Nation should, without interfering with the power of the States in the matter itself, also assume power of supervision and regulation over all corporations doing an interstate business. Regulation & Deregulation
The Maine was sunk by an act of dirty treachery on the part of Spain. Presidency, Vice Presidency & Prime Ministership
The mechanism of modern business is so delicate that extreme care must be taken not to interfere with it in a spirit of rashness or ignorance. Many of those who have made it their vocation to denounce the great industrial combinations which are popularly, although with technical inaccuracy, known as "trusts," appeal especially to hatred and fear. These are precisely the two emotions, particularly when combined with ignorance, which unfit men for the exercise of cool and steady judgment.. Business, Commerce & Finance
The members of the bicycle squad, which was established shortly after we took office, soon grew to show not only extraordinary proficiency on the wheel, but extraordinary daring. They frequently stopped runaways, wheeling alongside of them, and grasping the horses while going at full speed; and, what was even more remarkable, they managed not only to overtake but to jump into the vehicle and capture, on two or three different occasions, men who were guilty of reckless driving, and who fought violently in resisting arrest. They were picked men, being young and active, and any feat of daring which could be accomplished on the wheel they were certain to accomplish. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
The men with the muckrakes are often indispensable but only if they know when to stop raking muck. Media, Journalism & The Press
The most American thing in America Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
The most brilliant statesman who ever lived, possessing the loftiest and keenest intellect of his time. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
The nation behaves well if it treats the natural resources as assets which it must turn over to the next generation increased, and not impaired, in value. Environment & Environmentalism
The Nation trembled on the brink. Events moved with such speed that it was necessary to decide to act on the instant, as each successive crisis arose. Presidency, Vice Presidency & Prime Ministership
The only effective forces against the [Spanish American] war are the forces inspired by greed and fear, and the forces that tell in favor of the war are the belief in national honor and common humanity. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
The Panama railroad had been built by Americans over a half century ago, with appalling loss of life Development & Growth
The poor man … will be swayed by his sense of injury against the men who try to hold what they have improperly won… the most awful passions will be let loose. Business, Commerce & Finance
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 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 we 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 any one else. But it is even more important to tell the truth, pleasant or unpleasant, about him than about any one else.
The primary object of our forest policy, as of the land policy of the United States, is the making of prosperous homes… You can start a prosperous home by destroying the forests, but you cannot keep it prosperous that way.
The principles for which we stand are the principles of fair play and a square deal for every man and every woman in the United States. Slogans & Mottoes
The reigning conservatives in the House and Senate felt a relief that they did not try to conceal at the fact that I was not to remain as President. Liberals & Conservatives
The relation of the conservation of natural resources to the problems of National welfare and National efficiency had not yet dawned on the public mind. The reclamation of arid public lands in the West was still a matter for private enterprise alone; and our magnificent river system, with its superb possibilities for public usefulness, was dealt with by the National Government not as a unit, but as a disconnected series of pork-barrel problems, whose only real interest was in their effect on the re-election or defeat of a Congressman here and there—a theory which, I regret to say, still obtains. Environment & Environmentalism
The Republican party should be beaten, and badly beaten, if we took the attitude of saying that corporations should not, when they receive great benefits and make a great deal of money, pay their share of the public burden [pay taxes]. Political Parties & Machines
The Supreme Court is a menace to the welfare of the nation. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
The things that will destroy America are prosperity-at-any-price, peace-at-any-price, safety-first instead of duty-first, the love of soft living and the get-rich-quick theory of life. States. Nations & Nationhood
The tone of a portion of the press of the country toward public men, and especially toward political opponents, is degrading, all forms of coarse and noisy slander being apparently considered legitimate weapons to employ against men of the opposite party or faction. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
The vice presidency is not an office in which a man who is still vigorous and not past middle life has much chance of doing anything. As you know, I am of an active nature. Presidency, Vice Presidency & Prime Ministership
The vice-presidency ought to be abolished. The man who occupies it may at any moment be everything; but meanwhile he is practically nothing. I do not think that the President wants me to take part in affairs or give him advice. Presidency, Vice Presidency & Prime Ministership
The victories of peace are great but the victories of war are greater. No merchant, no banker, no railroad magnate, no inventor of improved industrial processes, can do for any nation what can be done for it by its great fighting men.. War & Peace
There are, however, cases in which, while our own interests are not greatly involved, strong appeal is made to our sympathies.... in extreme cases action may be justifiable and proper. What form the action shall take must depend upon the circumstances of the case; that is, upon the degree of the atrocity and upon our power to remedy it. Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
There can be no question that women should have equal rights with men.... Especially as regards the laws relating to marriage there should be the most absolute equality between the two sexes. I do not think the woman should assume the man's name. Equality & Equal Opportunity
There is at least as much need to curb the cruel greed and arrogance of part of the world of capital, to curb the cruel greed and violence of part of the world of labor, as to check a cruel and unhealthy militarism in international relationships. Human Nature
There is no longer any such brutal and flagrant assessing of government employees in the federal service as was customary ten years ago. There is not nearly so much as there is in the local, state, and municipal service Corruption
There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americanism…. The one absolutely certain way of bringing this nation to ruin, of preventing all possibility of its continuing to be a nation at all, would be to permit it to become a tangle of squabbling nationalities. Citizenship & Patriotism
There should be a Zionist state around Jerusalem. States. Nations & Nationhood
They [Native Americans] were good enough to fight and die, and they are good enough to have me treat them exactly as square as any other man. Minorities & Women
They [the anti-imperialist Senators] are little better than traitors. We shall be branded with the steel of clinging shame if we leave the Philippines to fall into a welter of bloody anarchy instead of taking hold of them and governing them with righteousness and justice, in the interest of their own people even more than the interests of ours. Expansionism, Colonialism & Imperialism
They are as blind to some of the tendencies of the time as the French Noblese was before the French Revolution. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
This is a matter of humiliation to the nation that an employee who suffered an injury through no fault of his own would not be protected. In no other prominent industrial country in the world could such gross injustice occur. Work, Workers & The Labor Force
This is the last office I shall ever hold. I have offended so many powerful interests and so many powerful politicians. Presidency, Vice Presidency & Prime Ministership
Those of you who are in public life have a right to be here at this celebration today only if you are prepared to do your part in building up the Navy of the present. Military & Veterans
Thou Shalt Not Steal! Corruption
To Any Officer or Employee of the Government: Please tell Mr. Lincoln Steffens anything whatever about the government that you know (not incompatible with the public interest) and provided only that you tell him the truth—no matter what it might be—I will see to it that you are not hurt. T. Roosevelt. Secrecy & Transparency ;Media, Journalism & The Press
To waste, to destroy, our natural resources, to skin and exhaust the land instead of using it so as to increase its usefulness, will result in undermining in the days of our children the very prosperity which we ought by right to hand down to them amplified and developed. Environment & Environmentalism
Torture is not a thing we can tolerate. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
We cannot avoid facing the fact that we occupied a new place among the people of the world… Our flag is a proud flag, and it stands for liberty and civilization. Where it has once floated, there must be no return to tyranny. Expansionism, Colonialism & Imperialism ;Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
We cannot defeat these men by shooting at them; we must rush them. Let my men through sir. War & Peace
We demand that big business give the people a square deal; in return we must insist that when anyone engaged in big business honestly endeavors to do right he shall himself be given a square deal. Regulation & Deregulation
We do not ever want our land policy to be shaped so as to create a big class of proprietors who rent to others.. Policy & Policy Making
We do not wish to discourage enterprise. We do not desire to destroy corporations. We do desire to put them fully at the service of the State and the people. Business, Commerce & Finance
We draw the line against misconduct. Not against wealth. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
We have become a great nation, forced by the fact of its greatness into relations with the other nations of the earth. Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
We have not the slightest sympathy with that socialistic idea which would try to put laziness, thriftlessness and inefficiency on a par with industry, thrift and efficiency Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
We must prevent the transmission in their entirety of those fortunes swollen beyond all healthy limits. Taxes
We must treat each man on his worth and merits as a man. We must see that each is given a square deal, because he is entitled to no more and should receive no less. Slogans & Mottoes
We need new laws to rein in the forces of greed and to curb those ingenious legal advisors of the holders of vast corporate wealth. Regulation & Deregulation ;Capitalism
We shall guard as zealously the rights of the striker as those of the employer. But when riot is menaced it is different. The mob takes its own chance. Order will be kept at whatever cost. If it comes to shooting we shall shoot to hit. No blank cartridges or firing over the head. Civil Disorder, Riots, Protests & Demonstrations
We stand at Armageddon, and we battle for the Lord. Political Parties & Machines
We suffer quite as much from exaggerated, hysterical, and untruthful statements in the press as from any wrongdoing by businessmen or politicians. Media, Journalism & The Press
We will throw the highways of commerce open on equal terms to all who use them. Transportation
We wish to control big business so as to secure among other things good wages for the wage-workers and reasonable prices for the consumers. Wherever in any business the prosperity of the businessman is obtained by lowering the wages of his workmen and charging an excessive price to the consumers we wish to interfere and stop such practices. We will not submit to that kind of prosperity any more than we will submit to prosperity obtained by swindling investors or getting unfair advantages over business rivals. Regulation & Deregulation
Weasel Words Oratory, Discussion & Debate
Web of corruption Criminals of great wealth Apologists for corrupt wealth Powerful wrongdoers Hypocritical baseness Peculiarly flagrant iniquity Flagrant dishonesty Rottenness Greed, trickery and cunning Representatives of predatory wealth Wealth accumulated by iniquity Corrupt men of wealth Law-defying wealth Mammon of unrighteousness Very wealthy criminals Corruption of organized politics Evil eminence of infamy The death knell of the Republic Wealthy malefactors Business, Commerce & Finance
When a judge decides a constitutional question, when he decides what the people as a whole can or cannot do, the people should have a right to recall that decision if they think it is wrong. If the courts have the first say so as to all legislative acts, and if no appeal can lie from them to the people, then they are the irresponsible masters of the people. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
When I spoke of the Progressive party as having a lunatic fringe, I specifically had you in mind! Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
When the question of the new coinage came up we looked into the law and found there was no warrant therein for putting 'In God We Trust' on the coins. As the custom, although without legal warrant, had grown up, however, I might have felt at liberty to keep the inscription had I had approved of its being on the coinage. But as I did not approve of it, I did not direct that it should again be put on. Of course the matter of the law is absolutely in the hands of Congress, and any direction of Congress in the matter will be immediately obeyed. At present, as I have said, there is no warrant in law for the inscription. Money, Coins & Minting
Where a bad custom has been in existence for any length of time, most people grow to regard it as part of the order of nature. Human Nature
While young men stand ready to pay with their lives for the honor and interest of the American people, the son of wealthy Mr. [Henry] Ford sits at home in ignoble safety. Military & Veterans
White House Memorials, Monuments, Medals, Statues & Buildings
Woodrow Wilson is an abject coward…. The worst President since Buchanan. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
word thrower … phrase maker Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
Would you please tell Sinclair to go home and let me run the country. Management & Managing Government
You are on the ground. You see the needs of the situation, and I shall back up whatever you do. Presidency, Vice Presidency & Prime Ministership
You have so often been right that it is perfectly possible that I am wrong… Miscellaneous
You would make the best governor but not the best candidate. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
A man who has never gone to school may steal from a freight car; but if he has a university education, he may steal the whole railroad. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
A man who is good enough to shed his blood for the country is good enough to be given a square deal afterwards.
A thorough knowledge of the Bible is worth more than a college education. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training ;Religion & God
A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
A vote is like a rifle; its usefulness depends upon the character of the user.
Absence and death are the same - only that in death there is no suffering. Death
Appraisals are where you get together with your team leader and agree what an outstanding member of the team you are, how much your contribution has been valued, what massive potential you have and, in recognition of all this, would you mind having your salary halved.
Behind the ostensible government sits enthroned an invisible government owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people. Government
Believe you can and you're halfway there. Inspiration
Big jobs usually go to the men who prove their ability to outgrow small ones. Work, Workers & The Labor Force
Character, in the long run, is the decisive factor in the life of an individual and of nations alike. Life
Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.
Don't hit at all if it is honorably possible to avoid hitting; but never hit soft.
Every immigrant who comes here should be required within five years to learn English or leave the country. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
Every reform movement has a lunatic fringe.
Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing. Life ;Work, Workers & The Labor Force
Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure... than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat. Failure
For unflagging interest and enjoyment, a household of children, if things go reasonably well, certainly all other forms of success and achievement lose their importance by comparison. Success
Freedom from effort in the present merely means that there has been effort stored up in the past. Freedom & Liberty
Germany has reduced savagery to a science, and this great war for the victorious peace of justice must go on until the German cancer is cut clean out of the world body. Science, Mathematics, Engineering & Technology ;War & Peace
Get action. Seize the moment. Man was never intended to become an oyster. Motivation
Great thoughts speak only to the thoughtful mind, but great actions speak to all mankind.
I am only an average man but, by George, I work harder at it than the average man. Work, Workers & The Labor Force
I don't pity any man who does hard work worth doing. I admire him. I pity the creature who does not work, at whichever end of the social scale he may regard himself as being. Work, Workers & The Labor Force
I think there is only one quality worse than hardness of heart and that is softness of head.
I took the Canal Zone and let Congress debate; and while the debate goes on, the canal does also.
I wish to preach, not the doctrine of ignoble ease, but the doctrine of the strenuous life. Life
If there is not the war, you don't get the great general; if there is not a great occasion, you don't get a great statesman; if Lincoln had lived in a time of peace, no one would have known his name. Time ;War & Peace
If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn't sit for a month. Humor
In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.
It behooves every man to remember that the work of the critic is of altogether secondary importance, and that, in the end, progress is accomplished by the man who does things. Work, Workers & The Labor Force
It is essential that there should be organization of labor. This is an era of organization. Capital organizes and therefore labor must organize.
It is only through labor and painful effort, by grim energy and resolute courage, that we move on to better things. Moving On
Keep your eyes on the stars, and your feet on the ground. Motivation
Never throughout history has a man who lived a life of ease left a name worth remembering. Life ;History
Nine-tenths of wisdom is being wise in time. Time
No great intellectual thing was ever done by great effort.
No man is above the law and no man is below it: nor do we ask any man's permission when we ask him to obey it.
No man is justified in doing evil on the ground of expedience.
No man is worth his salt who is not ready at all times to risk his well-being, to risk his body, to risk his life, in a great cause. Life
No people is wholly civilized where a distinction is drawn between stealing an office and stealing a purse.
Nobody cares how much you know, until they know how much you care.
Obedience of the law is demanded; not asked as a favor.
Old age is like everything else. To make a success of it, you've got to start young. Success
People ask the difference between a leader and a boss. The leader leads, and the boss drives. Leaders & Leadership
Some men can live up to their loftiest ideals without ever going higher than a basement.
The American people abhor a vacuum.
The best executive is one who has sense enough to pick good people to do what he wants done, and self-restraint enough to keep from meddling with them while they do it.
The boy who is going to make a great man must not make up his mind merely to overcome a thousand obstacles, but to win in spite of a thousand repulses and defeats.
The first requisite of a good citizen in this republic of ours is that he shall be able and willing to pull his own weight.
The human body has two ends on it: one to create with and one to sit on. Sometimes people get their ends reversed. When this happens they need a kick in the seat of the pants.
The man who loves other countries as much as his own stands on a level with the man who loves other women as much as he loves his own wife. Women
The most important single ingredient in the formula of success is knowing how to get along with people. Success
The most practical kind of politics is the politics of decency. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
The most successful politician is he who says what the people are thinking most often in the loudest voice.
The one thing I want to leave my children is an honorable name.
The only man who never makes a mistake is the man who never does anything.
The only time you really live fully is from thirty to sixty. The young are slaves to dreams; the old servants of regrets. Only the middle-aged have all their five senses in the keeping of their wits. Time
The pacifist is as surely a traitor to his country and to humanity as is the most brutal wrongdoer.
The reactionary is always willing to take a progressive attitude on any issue that is dead.
The things that will destroy America are prosperity-at-any-price, peace-at-any-price, safety-first instead of duty-first, the love of soft living, and the get-rich-quick theory of life. Life ;Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex ;Failure
The unforgivable crime is soft hitting. Do not hit at all if it can be avoided; but never hit softly.
There has never yet been a man in our history who led a life of ease whose name is worth remembering. Life ;History
To announce that there must be no criticism of the president... is morally treasonable to the American public.
To educate a man in mind and not in morals is to educate a menace to society. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training ;Society
Wars are, of course, as a rule to be avoided; but they are far better than certain kinds of peace. War & Peace
We can have no '50-50' allegiance in this country. Either a man is an American and nothing else, or he is not an American at all.
When they call the roll in the Senate, the Senators do not know whether to answer 'Present' or 'Not guilty.'
When you are asked if you can do a job, tell 'em, 'Certainly I can!' Then get busy and find out how to do it.
When you play, play hard; when you work, don't play at all. Work, Workers & The Labor Force
With self-discipline most anything is possible. Inspiration