As much and as quickly as things change in today’s modern world much remains the same, a form of historic echo. The events and issues that President Trump is given to deal with often mirror those facing Teddy Roosevelt. His party split by a faction lead by Senator Mark Hanna, a wantta be President, not unlike our own John McCain. Both despise the man who got the seat they coveted and willing to do whatever it takes to derail the agenda. And, the Dems are a continual roadblock opposing everything the President proposes. Roosevelt observed “….each party sullen and angered by real and fancied grievances.” But political discourse differed as the Cincinnati Enquirer noted after opposing speeches “Their differences were, of course, stated in terms that prevented any exhibition of acrimony.” Not today.
That did not reach to the “Muckrakers” of the media as in the case of Ida Tarbell of the powerful McClure’s magazine who wrote “there was born in me a hatred of privilege.” Sound familiar? Although Roosevelt befriended several reporters at McClure’s his favor did not extend to the press in general calling out “infernal liars, the New York Times, Evening Post, Herald.”
Both dealt with split party allegiances, each reaching out to the Dems when necessary, each decrying shouts of class warfare and both criticizing legislation from the bench. They differed, in that, Teddy sought to establish a progressive income tax which Trump seeks to reduce and amend.
The burning issue of the day in 1904-5 was monopoly of the great oil interests and railroads; today the monopoly is who controls healthcare. Add to that an unfriendly media, strained party relations, vicious Dems, North Korea, Russia, border security, natural disasters, shadow governments and President Trump has a very steep hill to climb each day.
Mr. Roosevelt managed it all, let’s pray Mr. Trump does too. It could save America.