Theodore Roosevelt, October 27, 1858 - January 6, 1919
A man who never graduated from school might steal from a freight car. But a man who attends college and graduates as a lawyer might steal the whole railroad.
A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues.
Americanism is a question of principle, of purpose, of idealism, of character. It is not a matter of birthplace or creed or line of descent.
Americans learn only from catastrophes and not from experience.
Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.
I hold that public servants are in very truth the servants and not the masters of the people, and that this is true not only of executive and legislative officers but of judicial officers as well.
I wonder whether there ever can come in life a thrill of greater exaltation and rapture than that which comes to one between the ages of say six and fourteen, when the library door is thrown open and you walk in to see all the gifts, like a materialized fairyland, arrayed on your special table?
If I have to choose between peace and righteousness, I'll choose righteousness.
In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing. The worst thing you can do is nothing.
It is better to be faithful than famous.
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.
Keep your eyes on the stars and your feet on the ground.
Nine-tenths of wisdom is being wise in time.
No man is justified in doing evil on the ground of expediency.
Nothing is gained by debate on non-debatable subjects.
The old parties are husks, with no real soul within either, divided on artificial lines, boss-ridden and privilege-controlled, each a jumble of incongruous elements, and neither daring to speak out wisely and fearlessly on what should be said on the vital issues of the day.
The only man who never makes mistakes is the man who never does anything.
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.
The things that will destroy America are prosperity-at-any-price, peace-at-any-price, safety-first instead of duty-first, the love of soft living, and the get-rich-quick theory of life.
There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americanism...The one absolutely certain way of bringing this nation to ruin, of preventing all possibility of its continuing to be a nation at all, would be to permit it to become a tangle of squabbling nationalities.
Though hardness of heart is a great evil, it is no greater an evil than softness of head.
To educate a man in mind and not in morals is to educate a menace to society.
When they call the roll in the Senate, the Senators do not know whether to answer “present” or “not guilty.”