Theodore Roosevelt wants you to criticize the president

In Political, Quotes on October 23, 2010 at 11:59 pm

Who can possibly disagree with this?

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.

Well, I’m sure a fascist or Stalinist would, easy.

This quote is important to remember, especially in response to the elected officials of recent memory. We had way too much of this “don’t judge the president” business with George W. Bush and now I, as a liberal, face the same problem with our current President for whom I voted for. I think he’s fantastic, and is the only person I would ever not address by his first name, but this “yes, no wait” policy with Don’t Ask Don’t Tell really gets under my skin. To say nothing of his bailout of the auto industry.

To be concise: We should try and do our best to not keep silent for the sake of “the party”, not when “the party” is the people themselves. We cast ballots, and those ballots determine who speaks for us and who doesn’t. People can feel, as it is their right to feel whatever they want, that their voice doesn’t matter. That the majority will rule, regardless. Well, yes, the majority will always rule, but having a voice is better then no voice at all.

Or is it?

Feel free to criticize me, by the way. I’m open to reasonable and intelligent discourse anytime.


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