Monday, October 27, 2008
TR IN HIS OWN VOICE-THE RIGHT OF THE PEOPLE TO RULE
The campaign of 1912 featured TR as a third party candidate of the Progressive Party or the Bull Moose Party, named after TR. He had failed to wrest the Republican Party nomination away from William Howard Taft, therefore he struck out on his own. The Dems put up Woodrow Wilson who won as the Republican vote was split between Taft and TR. TR despised both of his opponents, even though Taft was his hand-picked successor. Taft displeased TR for not following his policies closely enough and he considered Wilson a weak idealist, which he was actually. Listen to this speech by TR and you will get an idea of his power as a speaker and his underlying faith in the American people to govern themselves without a lot of government interference. He accuses Taft and Wilson of being tools of the trust and big business. Again, he was right. Taft actually was more of trustbuster than TR was but, his progressive credentials didn't suit TR.
As with everything TR considered every campaign a war and he was the leader the American people needed to win the battle against the entrenched big business leaders. TR was a reformer and wasn't real popular with J.P. Morgan and his boys. I also love the history lesson TR gives about the failure of the French Revolution. Give this a listen and wish we had a leader like this today.