After watching Ken Burns long documentary on the Roosevelts, one key point remained with me. TR, FDR and ER asked people what they were thinking rather than telling them what to think like current Republicans and Democrats.
One voter remarked that FDR was the first president who realized that my boss is a son of a b-tch. As President Franklin Roosevelt’s funeral procession past, a man dropped to his knees while crying. When asked if he knew the president, the man said “no, but he knew me.” There it is. How many of the 2014 candidates truly know the people. Some might argue that Roosevelts, Kennedys, Bushes and even Obamas are fancy Ivy Leaguers who learned the aspects of “regular people’s struggles.” But, Truman and Clinton were intimately familiar with the grind in the heartland.
I want to add a new twist to the “but he knew me” notion based on our current president and the next person to occupy the office. Barrack Obama isn’t a regular person because he is such a good guy. When he speaks, he speaks of the righteous America we should be ideally rather than the rough America we are. By rough, I mean the America where not everyone is a hero and doing his/her best. To be honest, some people suck and we can’t move forward until we make a real assessment of our situation. The folks who won the Second World War might have been the greatest generation but a significant percentage of today’s population is weak and of questionable character.
Who is the 2016 presidential candidate with TR’s guts because a reality check should be priority one. President Obama and the first lady will have a lot to say “on the real” after leaving office and their future actions will be wonderful.
I am afraid that the day after the November 2014 election, the Democrats will be crestfallen about the weak Black voter turnout….which would cost them the U.S. Senate and facilitate Obama’s impeachment. If the candidates knew me/us, voter turnout wouldn’t be an issue. But, they are talking with the wrong people. We could use Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt in the next 30 days. When Truman asked her what he could do for her, she replied “is there anything we can do for you? For you are the one in trouble now.”
The best Eleanor Roosevelt quote is “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent…and the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility.” But, you have to love that Teddy Roosevelt. When a Tammy Hall political boss said he would kill TR and put him in a blanket, TR went up to him and said, “By God! MacManus, I hear you are going to too me in a blanket. By God! If you try anything like that, I’ll kick you, I’ll bite you, I’ll kick you in the balls, I’ll do anything to you—you’d better leave me alone.” MacManus backed down.
The ice cold TR quote is about those who choose to get in the arena and fight.
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.