Theodore Roosevelt citations
Date de naissance: 27. octobre 1858
Date de décès: 6. janvier 1919
Autres noms: Teddy Rosevelt, Teddy Roosevelt
Theodore Roosevelt, Jr. dit Teddy Roosevelt /ˈɹoʊ̯.zə.vɛlt/, né le 27 octobre 1858 à New York et mort le 6 janvier 1919 à Oyster Bay, est un homme d'État américain, vingt-sixième président des États-Unis en poste de 1901 à 1909. Il est également historien, naturaliste, explorateur, écrivain et soldat.
Membre du Parti républicain, il est successivement chef de la police de New York entre 1895 et 1897, adjoint du secrétaire à la Marine de 1897 à 1898, engagé volontaire dans la guerre hispano-américaine de 1898 où il s'illustre à la tête de son régiment de cavalerie, les Rough Riders, à la bataille de San Juan puis gouverneur de l'État de New York entre 1899 et 1900.
Vice-président des États-Unis sous le mandat de William McKinley, il lui succède après son assassinat par un anarchiste et termine son mandat du 14 septembre 1901 au 3 mars 1905. Roosevelt entame ensuite son propre mandat présidentiel qu'il termine le 3 mars 1909. Conformément à ses engagements, il ne postule pas en 1908 à un nouveau mandat présidentiel.
Il est le plus jeune président des États-Unis. Sa présidence est notamment marquée, sur le plan international, par sa médiation dans la guerre russo-japonaise, qui lui vaut le prix Nobel de la paix et son soutien à la première conférence de La Haye en ayant recours à l'arbitrage pour résoudre un contentieux opposant les États-Unis au Mexique. Sa politique dite du Big Stick , puis l'affirmation du corollaire Roosevelt à la doctrine Monroe, justifie la prise de contrôle par les États-Unis du canal de Panamá. En politique intérieure, son mandat est marqué par une politique volontariste de préservation des ressources naturelles et par l'adoption de deux lois importantes sur la protection des consommateurs, le Hepburn Act de 1906, qui renforce les pouvoirs de la Commission du commerce entre États, et le Pure Food and Drug Act de 1906, qui fonde la Food and Drug Administration.
En 1912, mécontent de la politique de son successeur, le républicain William Howard Taft, il se présente comme candidat du mouvement progressiste. S'il remporte plus de suffrages que le président Taft, il divise le camp républicain et permet l'élection du candidat démocrate Woodrow Wilson à la présidence des États-Unis.
L'effigie de Roosevelt a été reproduite sur le mont Rushmore aux côtés des présidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson et Abraham Lincoln.
Citations Theodore Roosevelt
„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.“
As quoted by John M. Kost http://www.mackinac.org/bio.aspx?ID=104 (25 July 1995) in S. 946, the Information Technology Management Reform Act of 1995: hearing before the Subcommittee on Oversight of Government Management and the District of Columbia of the Committee on Governmental Affairs (1996).
This appears to derive from a 1910 advertisement by writer Alfred Henry Lewis for a forthcoming series of biographical articles about Roosevelt: "All activity, Mr. Roosevelt has often shown that it is better to do the wrong thing than do nothing at all. In politics this last is peculiarly true. The best thing is to do the right thing; the next best is to do the wrong thing; the worst thing of all things is to stand perfectly still". (e.g. in La Follette's Magazine https://books.google.com/books?id=RV4CAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA183&dq=%22best+thing%22+%22right+thing%22+%22worst+thing%22+nothing&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjNksu-nZrMAhVDy2MKHSl1Df8Q6AEIIzAB#v=onepage&q=%22the%20best%20thing%20is%20to%20do%20the%20right%20thing%22&f=false (28 May 1910)
„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.“
As quoted in Art of Communicating Ideas (1952) by William Joseph Grace, p. 389
— Theodore Roosevelt, The Strenuous Life
1900s, The Strenuous Life: Essays and Addresses (1900), The Strenuous Life
Contexte: It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed. In this life we get nothing save by effort. Freedom from effort in the present merely means that there has been stored up effort in the past.
Contexte: A life of slothful ease, a life of that peace which springs merely from lack either of desire or of power to strive after great things, is as little worthy of a nation as of an individual. [... ] If you are rich and are worth your salt, you will teach your sons that though they may have leisure, it is not to be spent in idleness; for wisely used leisure merely means that those who possess it, being free from the necessity of working for their livelihood, are all the more bound to carry on some kind of non-remunerative work in science, in letters, in art, in exploration, in historical research—work of the type we most need in this country, the successful carrying out of which reflects most honor upon the nation. We do not admire the man of timid peace. We admire the man who embodies victorious effort; the man who never wrongs his neighbor, who is prompt to help a friend, but who has those virile qualities necessary to win in the stern strife of actual life. It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed. In this life we get nothing save by effort. Freedom from effort in the present merely means that there has been stored up effort in the past. A man can be freed from the necessity of work only by the fact that he or his fathers before him have worked to good purpose. If the freedom thus purchased is used aright, and the man still does actual work, though of a different kind, whether as a writer or a general, whether in the field of politics or in the field of exploration and adventure, he shows he deserves his good fortune. But if he treats this period of freedom from the need of actual labor as a period, not of preparation, but of mere enjoyment, even though perhaps not of vicious enjoyment, he shows that he is simply a cumberer of the earth's surface, and he surely unfits himself to hold his own with his fellows if the need to do so should again arise.
As quoted by Jacob A. Riis in Theodore Roosevelt, the Citizen (1904), chapter XVI A Young Men's Hero http://www.bartleby.com/206/16.html
Ch. IX : Outdoors and Indoors, p. 336; the final statement "quoted by Squire Bill Widener" as well as variants of it, are often misattributed to Roosevelt himself.
Variant: Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.
Attributed to Roosevelt in Conquering an Enemy Called Average (1996) by John L. Mason, Nugget # 8 : The Only Place to Start is Where You Are. <!-- The Military Quotation Book, Revised and Expanded: More than 1,200 of the Best Quotations About War, Leadership, Courage, Victory, and Defeat (2002) by James Charlton -->
Variante: Do what you can, with what you've got, where you are.
Contexte: There are many kinds of success in life worth having. It is exceedingly interesting and attractive to be a successful business man, or railroad man, or farmer, or a successful lawyer or doctor; or a writer, or a President, or a ranchman, or the colonel of a fighting regiment, or to kill grizzly bears and lions. But for unflagging interest and enjoyment, a household of children, if things go reasonably well, certainly makes all other forms of success and achievement lose their importance by comparison. It may be true that he travels farthest who travels alone; but the goal thus reached is not worth reaching. And as for a life deliberately devoted to pleasure as an end — why, the greatest happiness is the happiness that comes as a by-product of striving to do what must be done, even though sorrow is met in the doing. There is a bit of homely philosophy, quoted by Squire Bill Widener, of Widener's Valley, Virginia, which sums up one's duty in life: "Do what you can, with what you've got, where you are."
Variante: Look Toward the stars but keep your feet firmly on the ground.
Source: The Greatest American President: The Autobiography of Theodore Roosevelt
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Variante: No one cares how much you know, until they know how much you care
„I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life; I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.“
Address in Des Moines, Iowa (4 November 1910)
„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.“
Kansas City Star (7 May 1918)
Contexte: 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 better distribution of property is desirable, but it is not to be brought about by the anarchic form of Socialism which would destroy all private capital and tend to destroy all private wealth. It represents not progress, but retrogression, to propose to destroy capital because the power of unrestrained capital is abused.“
1910s, The Progressives, Past and Present (1910)
Contexte: To my mind the failure resolutely to follow progressive policies is the negation of democracy as well of progress, and spells disaster. But for this very reason I feel concern when progressives act with heedless violence, or go so far and so fast as to invite reaction. The experience of John Brown illustrates the evil of the revolutionary short-cut to ultimate good ends. The liberty of the slave was desirable, but it was not to be brought about by a slave insurrection. The better distribution of property is desirable, but it is not to be brought about by the anarchic form of Socialism which would destroy all private capital and tend to destroy all private wealth. It represents not progress, but retrogression, to propose to destroy capital because the power of unrestrained capital is abused. John Brown rendered a great service to the cause of liberty in the earlier Kansas days; but his notion that the evils of slavery could be cured by a slave insurrection was a delusion analogous to the delusions of those who expect to cure the evils of plutocracy by arousing the baser passions of workingmen against the rich in an endeavor at violent industrial revolution. And, on the other hand, the brutal and shortsighted greed of those who proﬁt by what is wrong in the present system, and the attitude of those who oppose all effort to do away with this wrong, serve in their turn as incitements to such revolution; just as the insolence of the ultra pro-slavery men ﬁnally precipitated the violent destruction of slavery.