FEBRUARY 23, 2006
One of my favorite books is The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt. President Roosevelt was a complex man who became a model for what a president should strive to be. He was compassionate and understanding of the less fortunate, though he was born to privilege. He was fiscally astute, intellectually curious, passionate about the out of doors, and a preservationist. His decisions to preserve open space affect all of our lives today. The system of National Parks is one of his legacies. He is a hero of mine.
In December of 1907 he wrote:
To waste, to destroy our natural resources, to skin and exhaust the land instead of using it so as to increase its usefulness, will result in undermining, in the days of our children, the very prosperity which we ought by right to hand down to them amplified and developed.
He was aware of the temptation of the current generation to squander the inheritance entrusted to us to preserve in perpetuity. He was adamant about preserving the wild lands. He fostered legislation to bring his dream to reality.
It is apparent and regrettable that our current administration has not based its environmental policy on the writings of Teddy Roosevelt because it is condoning the squandering of the precious resources in our nation at an unprecedented rate.
Teddy Roosevelt was a real conservative. He did not have to tell anyone he was a compassionate conservative, because his deeds spoke much louder than his words. Teddy is calling out to each of us to model our behavior on that Presidents in our history who have walked the talk.
If our hero is Trump, or a rock star or celebrity actress, we might want to examine why we hold those individuals in high esteem. Throughout history men and woman have demonstrated heroic actions in a humble and gracious manner. May each of us attach our star to one of those folks and learn the lessons their lives so easily demonstrate.