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Teddy Obama

Here’s a letter sent today to the Washington Post:

Simon Johnson and James Kwak want Pres. Obama to channel Teddy Roosevelt (“To battle Wall Street, Obama should channel Teddy Roosevelt,” April 4).  I don’t; I want him to to not-channel T.R.

According to H.L. Mencken – a first-hand, careful, and clear-eyed observer of the now-sainted Rough Rider – “Roosevelt, for all his fluent mastery of democratic counter-words, democratic gestures and all the rest of the armamentarium of the mob-master, had no such faith in his heart of hearts.  He didn’t believe in democracy; he believed simply in government.  His remedy for all the great pangs and longings of existence was not a dispersion of authority, but a hard concentration of authority.  He was not in favor of unlimited experiment; he was in favor of a rigid control from above, a despotism of inspired prophets and policemen.”*

Sounds to me as if Mr. Obama is already channeling T.R. – and, in doing so, is endangering our freedom and our prosperity.

Donald J. Boudreaux
Professor of Economics
George Mason University
Fairfax, VA 22030

* H.L. Mencken, “Roosevelt I,” in A Mencken Chrestomathy (1949), pp. 229-242.  The quotation above is on page 238.


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