Theodore Roosevelt Conservative? Uh, Uh

by Sean Hackbarth

Jonah Goldberg thinks Teddy Roosevelt got a boost in the Reagan White House because of the first volume of Edmund Morris’ biography. Maybe. After reading the fine book I came to a different conclusion that Ronald Pestritto reaffirmed: TR was no conservative. He was certainly a larger-than-live character. Roosevelt was a prolific writer, sportsman, great politician, a legend of American history, and a bull moose personality. But the philosophy and policies he advocated were much closer to the Big Government of the Left than the conservatism of Reagan, Goldwater, Robert Taft, Grover Cleveland (a Democrat), and the Founding Fathers.

Go ahead and read his books and the biographies about TR, but don’t ingest his political views and claim you’re a conservative.

Theodore Roosevelt Was No Conservative”

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3 Responses to “Theodore Roosevelt Conservative? Uh, Uh”


Taft once referred to Teddy as the “most dangerous American” because TR had so thoroughly snowed the illiterate, uneducated masses. Sounds like a Dem to me!


TR was one of the greatest presidents we have ever had. Was he a conservative? No. But the term “comservative has changed many times. It was the conservatives that were against getting involved in WW2. Just as an example. It was conservatives that were against interest from banks on loans. Now conservatives are all for it. Fact is TR refomr our government when it was at one of its most corrupt stages. He turned the US into a world power. Cut taxes, balanced budgets, portected the our lands, and grew our economy. To go out and attack one of our best is folly. I am tired of my side attacking each other. Reagan bailout out Chrysler, granted amnesty to illegal aliens, and ran from Lebenon. So no president is perfect. You can gather 100 conservatives in a room, and at best they will agree on 90% of issues and ideas.


Theodore Roosevelt was a liberal by GOP standards. But he was still a conservative compared to the Democrats of his day. William Jennings Bryan, one of his Democratic political opponents, was a left-wing populist extremist who wanted to redistribute wealth and publicly called for jailing rich people such EH Harriman and John D. Rockefeller. Roosevelt wanted to regulate business more closely and put more restrictions on it, but he never advocated radical ideas like Bryan’s. He also supported the gold standard against the silver standard, which was the standard conservative position of his day. Roosevelt also was opposed to socialists and anarchists and spoke against the Red menace. He believed in a strong national defense. He also was against excessive immigration. So in some ways he was conservative.

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