President Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919)

“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 and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, 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 he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”

“Every immigrant who comes here should be required within five years to learn English or leave the country.”

“The only man who makes no mistakes is the man who never does anything.”

“With self-discipline most anything is possible.”

“Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checked by failure…than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.”

“When you play, play hard; when you work, don’t play at all.”

“It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed.”

“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”

“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.”

“I care not what others think of what I do, but I care very much about what I think of what I do! That is character!”

“I am a part of everything that I have read.”

“Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.”

“Believe you can and you’re halfway there.”

“Keep your eyes on the stars, and your feet on the ground.”

“Wars are, of course, as a rule to be avoided; but they are far better than certain kinds of peace”

“We can have no “50-50” allegiance in this country. Either a man is an American and nothing else, or he is not an American at all.”

“Courtesy is as much a mark of a gentleman as courage.”

“The first requisite of a good citizen in this republic of ours is that he shall be able and willing to pull his own weight.”

“There has never yet been a man in our history who led a life of ease whose name is worth remembering.”

“A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues.”

“Nine-tenths of wisdom is being wise in time.”

“Absence and death are the same – only that in death there is no suffering.”

“In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing”

“The most important single ingredient in the formula of success is knowing how to get along with people.”

“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 know neither victory nor defeat”

“If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn’t sit for a month.”

“To educate a man in mind and not in morals is to educate a menace to society.”

“The best executive is one who has sense enough to pick good people to do what he wants them to do, and self-restraint enough to keep from meddling with them while they do it”

“Character, in the long run, is the decisive factor in the life of an individual and of nations alike.”

“There is a homely adage which runs: “Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far”

“The most practical kind of politics is the politics of decency”

“The only man who never makes a mistake is the man who never does anything.”

“No man is above the law and no man is below it; nor do we ask any man’s permission when we ask him to obey it”

“The boy who is going to make a great man must not make up his mind merely to overcome a thousand obstacles, but to win in spite of a thousand repulses and defeats.”

“War is not merely justifiable, but imperative upon honorable men, upon an honorable nation, where peace can only be obtained by the sacrifice of conscientious conviction or of national welfare”

“A vote is like a rifle; its usefulness depends upon the character of the user.”

“It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed. In this life we get nothing save by effort.”

“Don’t hit at all if it is honorably possible to avoid hitting; but never hit softly”

“People ask the difference between a leader and a boss. The leader leads, and the boss drives.”

“Get action. Seize the moment. Man was never intended to become an oyster.”

“Big jobs usually go to the men who prove their ability to outgrow small ones.”

“Old age is like everything else. To make a success of it, you’ve got to start young.”

“No man is justified in doing evil on the grounds of expedience”

“Don’t foul, don’t flinch. Hit the line hard.”

“The poorest way to face life is to face it with a sneer”

“Our chief usefulness to humanity rests on our combining power with high purpose. Power undirected by high purpose spells calamity, and high purpose by itself is utterly useless if the power to put it into effect is lacking.”

“A great democracy must be progressive or it will soon cease to be a great democracy”

“When you are asked if you can do a job, tell ’em, ‘Certainly I can!’ Then get busy and find out how to do it.”

“The human body has two ends on it: one to create with and one to sit on. Sometimes people get their ends reversed. When this happens they need a kick in the seat of the pants.”

“If I must choose between peace and righteousness, I choose righteousness”

“There can be no fifty-fifty Americanism in this country. There is room here for only 100 % Americanism, only for those who are Americans and nothing else.”

“There is only one quality worse than hardness of heart and that is softness of head”

“It is only through labor and painful effort, by grim energy and resolute courage, that we move on to better things”

“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…”

“It behooves every man to remember that the work of the critic, is of altogether secondary importance, and that, in the end, progress is accomplished by the man who does things.”

“It is better to be faithful than famous”

“The only time you really live fully is from thirty to sixty. The young are slaves to dreams; the old servants of regrets. Only the middle-aged have all their five senses in the keeping of their wits.”

“The country’s honor must be upheld at home and abroad”

“The American people are slow to wrath, but when their wrath is once kindled it burns like a consuming flame”

“In life, as in a football game, the principle to follow is: hit the line hard.”

“Order without liberty and liberty without order are equally destructive.”

“A thorough knowledge of the Bible is worth more than a college education”

“The most successful politician is he who says what the people are thinking most often in the loudest voice.”

“No man is worth his salt who is not ready at all times to risk his body – to risk his well-being – to risk his life – in a great cause”

“When they call the roll in the Senate, the Senators do not know whether to answer “Present” or “Not Guilty.””

“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 man who loves other countries as much as his own stands on a level with the man who loves other women as much as he loves his own wife.”

“Obedience of the law is demanded; not asked as a favor.”

“We need the iron qualities that go with true manhood. We need the positive virtues of resolution, of courage, of indomitable will, of power to do without shrinking the rough work that must always be done.”

“No people is fully civilized where a distinction is drawn between stealing an office and stealing a purse”

“We live in a great and free country only because our forefathers were willing to wage war rather than accept the peace that spells destruction”

“A just war is in the long run far better for a man’s soul than the most prosperous peace”

“Thank God for the iron in the blood of our fathers”

“I am only an average man but, by George, I work harder at it than the average man”

“I have often been afraid, but I wouldn’t give in to it. I made myself act as though I was not afraid, and gradually my fear disappeared.”

“The men and women who have the right ideals… are those who have the courage to strive for the happiness which comes only with labor and effort and self-sacrifice, and those whose joy in life springs in part from power of work and sense of duty.”

“Rhetoric is a poor substitute for action, and we have trusted only to rhetoric. If we are really to be a great nation, we must not merely talk; we must act big.”

“It is impossible to win the great prizes of life without running risks, and the greatest of all prizes are those connected with the home”

“Americanism means the virtues of courage, honor, justice, truth, sincerity, and hardihood—the virtues that made America. 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.”

“The one thing I want to leave my children is an honorable name.”

“We fight in honorable fashion for the good of mankind; fearless of the future, unheeding of our individual fates, with unflinching hearts and undimmed eyes; we stand at Armageddon, and we battle for the Lord”

“We are face to face with our destiny and we must meet it with a high and resolute courage. For us is the life of action, of strenuous performance of duty; let us live in the harness, striving mightily; let us rather run the risk of wearing out than rusting out.”

“The pacifist is as surely a traitor to his country and to humanity as is the most brutal wrongdoer”

“The government is us; we are the government, you and I”

“Every reform movement has a lunatic fringe.”

“I want to see you shoot the way you shout.”

“The conservation of our natural resources and their proper use constitute the fundamental problem which underlies almost every other problem of our national life.”

“Laws are essential emanations from the self-poised character of God; they radiate from the sun to the circling edge of creation. Verily, the mighty Lawgiver hath subjected himself unto laws.”

“The nation behaves well if it treats the natural resources as assets which it must turn over to the next generation increased, and not impaired, in value.”

“A man who is good enough to shed his blood for his country is good enough to be given a square deal afterwards. More than that no man is entitled to, and less than that no man shall have.”

“Conservation and rural-life policies are really two sides of the same policy; and down at bottom this policy rests upon the fundamental law that neither man nor nation can prosper unless, in dealing with the present, thought is steadily taken forth.”

“A man who has never gone to school may steal from a freight car; but if he has a university education, he may steal the whole railroad.”

“It pays no matter what comes after it, to try and do things, to accomplish things in this life and not merely to have a soft and pleasant time.”

“If there is not the war, you don’t get the great general; if there is not a great occasion, you don’t get a great statesman; if Lincoln had lived in a time of peace, no one would have known his name.”

“At sometime in our lives a devil dwells within us, causes heartbreaks, confusion and troubles, then dies.”

“We demand that big business give people a square deal; in return we must insist that when anyone engaged in big business honestly endeavors to do right, he shall himself be given a square deal.”

“Every man among us is more fit to meet the duties and responsibilities of citizenship because of the perils over which, in the past, the nation has triumphed; because of the blood and sweat and tears, the labor and the anguish, through which in the days that have gone, our forefathers moved on to triumph. ”

 

“The American people abhor a vacuum.”

“Aggressive fighting for the right is the noblest sport the world affords.”

“To discriminate against a thoroughly upright citizen because he belongs to some particular church, or because, like Abraham Lincoln, he has not avowed his allegiance to any church, is an outrage against that liberty of conscience which is one of the.”

“Probably the greatest harm done by vast wealth is the harm that we of moderate means do ourselves when we let the vices of envy and hatred enter deep into our own natures.”

“Never throughout history has a man who lived a life of ease left a name worth remembering.”

“The only tyrannies from which men, women and children are suffering in real life are the tyrannies of minorities.”

“I wish to preach not the doctrine of ignoble ease, but the doctrine of strenuous life.”

“The spirit of brotherhood recognizes of necessity both the need of self-help and also the need of helping others in the only way which every ultimately does great god, that is, of helping them to help themselves.”

“I am far from underestimating the importance of dividends; but I rank dividends below human character.”

“Willful sterility is, from the standpoint of the nation, from the standpoint of the human race, the one sin for which the penalty is national death, race death; a sin for which there is no atonement. No man, no woman, can shirk the primary duties of life, whether for love of ease and pleasure, or for any other cause, and retain his or her self-respect.”

“Freedom from effort in the present merely means that there has been effort stored up in the past.”

“No people ever yet benefited by riches if their prosperity corrupted their virtue.”

“It is difficult to make our material condition better by the best law, but it is easy enough to ruin it by bad laws.”

“There is something to be said for government by a great aristocracy which has furnished leaders to the nation in peace and war for generations; even a democrat like myself must admit this. But there is absolutely nothing to be said for government by a plutocracy, for government by men very powerful in certain lines and gifted with the ”money touch’,’ but with ideals which in their essence are merely those of so many glorified pawnbrokers.”

“Some men can live up to their loftiest ideals without ever going higher than a basement.”

“Peace is normally a great good, and normally it coincides with righteousness, but it is righteousness and not peace which should bind the conscience of a nation as it should bind the conscience of an individual; and neither a nation nor an individual can surrender conscience to another’s keeping.”

“Speak softly and carry a big stick.”

“Nobody cares how much you know, until they know how much you care.”

“No great intellectual thing was ever done by great effort.”

“I don’t pity any man who does hard work worth doing. I admire him. I pity the creature who does not work, at whichever end of the social scale he may regard himself as being.”

“It is essential that there should be organization of labor. This is an era of organization. Capital organizes and therefore labor must organize.”

“Let us rather run the risk of wearing out than rusting out.”

“If we do not protect the environment now, we cannot ensure a strong nation for our children, … If we do not act today, many of these lands will be gone.”

“In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person’s becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American…There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn’t an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag… We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language… and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people.”

“A little emasculated mass of inanity.”

“We must remember not to judge any public servant by any one act, and especially should we beware of attacking the men who are merely the occasions and not the causes of disaster.”

“My hat’s in the ring. The fight is on and I’m stripped to the buff.”

“Every thinking man, when he thinks, realizes that the teachings of the Bible are so interwoven and entwined with our whole civic and social life that it would be literally impossible for us to figure ourselves what that life would be if these standards were removed. We would lose almost all the standards by which we now judge both public and private morals; all the standards which we, with more or less resolution, strive to raise ourselves.”

“All the resources we need are in the mind.”

“Behind the ostensible government sits enthroned an invisible government owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people.”

“The great virtue of my radicalism lies in the fact that I am perfectly ready, if necessary, to be radical on the conservative side.”

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: