Here’s how crazy our politics have become: Legendary Republican President Theodore Roosevelt is being called a socialist by conservatives like Glenn Beck. The man on Mount Rushmore, the Rough Rider president. Beck bases his opinion on the fact the Roosevelt was a Trust-Busting, Department of Commerce, Panama Canal, FDA, meat inspections, champion for women’s rights, first president to invite an African-American to dinner at the White House. Beck’s departure point for his now-frequent attacks on our 26th president was a post-2008 election snide swipe at John McCain, who he characterized as “this weird progressive like Teddy Roosevelt.” In his subsequent book, Glenn Beck’s Common Sense, Beck devoted a chapter to “The Cancer of Progressivism” and lays the blame at TR’s feet.
If conservatives want to kick TR out, Obama seems ready to welcome him in. As if on cue, the president’s press secretary, Robert Gibbs, announced yesterday that the president is now reading the classic The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt by Edmund Morris, a book that inspired Reagan’s senior staff to tap Morris as their in-house historian during the 1980s.
As TR said, “constructive change offers the best method of avoiding destructive change, reform is the antidote to revolution… social reform is not the precursor but the preventive of socialism.”