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  • domajot

    This could well be a campaign speech in the current campaign.

    I noticed with pleasure Roosevelt’s use of the word ‘justice’. That’s a word that’s gone ou of political fashion of late. We hear more about rights and liberties. liberties. I’m very attached to the notion of justice, however, and regret that I don;t hear ti more
    In my view, justice excludes extremism by its very definition.

  • Jim_Satterfield

    Ha! Doma used the exact same first word that I was going to. Amazing, just amazing. The essence of it is so much a part of today’s problems it’s frightening. How many people would get some of the references to the Bourbons and Robespierre is questionable but it’s one reason I loved it.

  • pacatrue

    That is a tremendous statment of moderation in political discourse indeed.

    It reminds me quite a bit of William Jennings Bryan’s famous speech “against imperialism” from when he accepted the Democratic nomination in 1900. Bryan is most famous now for losing Presidential elections as well as being the prosecutor in the Scopes Monkey trial. But it’s really a tremendous speech which, while going long and periodically going rather racial in its views, still speaks today. Here’s a link.

    Some quotes from the speech in the “nothing new under the sun” department include:

    “The maxim of Jefferson, “equal rights to all and special privileges to none,” and the doctrine of Lincoln that this should be a government “of the people, by the people and for the people,” are being disregarded and the instrumentalities of government are being used to advance the interests of those who are in a position to secure favors from the Government.”

    “Against us are arrayed a comparatively small but politically and financially powerful number who really profit by Republican policies; but with them are associated a large number who, because of their attachment to their party name, are giving their support to doctrines antagonistic to the former teachings of their own party.”

    Most of the speech is against the policy of keeping the Phillipines as part of the American nation, as a territory, after its independence from Spain.

    “Those who would have this Nation enter upon a career of empire must consider, not only the effect of imperialism on the Filipinos, but they must also calculate its effects upon our own nation. We cannot repudiate the principle of self-government in the Philippines without weakening that principle here.”

    Some 1900 warnings of the military-industrial complex of sorts (with racial overtone, unfortunately):

    “If we have an imperial policy we must have a great standing army as its natural and necessary complement. The sprit which will justify the forcible annexation of the Philippine Islands will justify the seizure of other islands and the domination of other people, and with wars of conquest we can expect a certain, if not rapid, growth of our military establishment.”


    “It is said that we have assumed before the world obligations which make it necessary for us to permanently maintain a government in the Philippine Islands. I reply first, that the highest obligation of this nation is to be true to itself. No obligation to any particular nations, or to all the nations combined, can require the abandonment of our theory of government, and the substitution of doctrines against which our whole national life has been a protest. And, second, that our obligation to the Filipinos, who inhabit the islands, is greater than any obligation which we can owe to foreigners who have a temporary residence in the Philippines or desire to trade there.”

    An on conquest for trade:

    “Trade cannot be permanently profitable unless it is voluntary. When trade is secured by force, the cost of securing it and retaining it must be taken out of the profits and the profits are never large enough to cover the expense. Such a system would never be defended but for the fact that the expense is borne by all the people, while the profits are enjoyed by a few.”

    Um, I think I’ve wandered a bit from Roosevelt.

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