Originally compiled by Drake Baer and Richard Feloni and published by Business Insider on February 14, 2016, these quotes capture the essence of what Theodore Roosevelt meant to the country and to the ideals of the Republican Party.  And if you ever wondered why his portrait in etched on Mt Rushmore then a review of these quotes should answer that question. These ideals need to be rekindled and brought forth into the dialogue within the country.  No amount of socialist or PC propaganda could stand –up to these values and character.  Enjoy.


On effort: “Nothing in this world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty.”

Source: “American Ideals in Education,” 1910


On inaction: “To sit home, read one’s favorite paper, and scoff at the misdeeds of the men who do things is easy, but it is markedly ineffective. It is what evil men count upon the good men’s doing.”

Source: The Higher Life Of American Cities,” December 1895


On courage: “A soft, easy life is not worth living, if it impairs the fibre of brain and heart and muscle. We must dare to be great; and we must realize that greatness is the fruit of toil and sacrifice and high 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.”

Source: Campaign address, October 1898


On work: “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.”

Source: Speech, September 1902


On daily life: “We must show, not merely in great crises, but in the everyday affairs of life, the qualities of practical intelligence, of courage, of hardihood, and endurance, and above all the power of devotion to a lofty ideal, which made great the men who founded this Republic in the days of Washington, which made great the men who preserved this Republic in the days of Abraham Lincoln.”

Source: Inaugural Address, March 1905


On self-knowledge: “Unless a man is master of his soul, all other kinds of mastery amount to little.”

Source: Ladies’ Home Journal, 1917


On diversity: “I cannot consent to take the position that the door of hope — the door of opportunity — is to be shut upon any man, no matter how worthy, purely upon the grounds of race or color. Such an attitude would, according to my convictions, be fundamentally wrong.”

Source: Letter, November 1902


On being American: “Much has been given us, and much will rightfully be expected from us. We have duties to others and duties to ourselves; and we can shirk neither. We have become a great nation, forced by the fact of its greatness into relations with the other nations of the earth, and we must behave as be seen as a people with such responsibilities.”

SourceInaugural Address, March 1905


On corporations: “Our aim is not to do away with corporations; on the contrary, these big aggregations are an inevitable development of modern industrialism. … We are not hostile to them; we are merely determined that they shall be so handled as to subserve the public good. We draw the line against misconduct, not against wealth.”

Source: State of the Union address, December 1902


On striving: “You often hear people speaking as if life was like striving upward toward a mountain peak. That is not so. Life is as if you were traveling a ridge crest. You have the gulf of inefficiency on one side and the gulf of wickedness on the other, and it helps not to have avoided one gulf if you fall into the other.”

Source: Address, May 1904


On success: “It is a bad thing for a nation to raise and to admire a false standard of success; and there can be no falser standard than that set by the deification of material well-being in and for itself.”

Source: “Citizenship in a Republic,” April 1910


On conflict: “The unforgivable crime is soft hitting. Do not hit at all if it can be avoided; but never hit softly.”

Source: Practical Politics, April 1913


On virtue: “No nation deserves to exist if it permits itself to lose the stern and virile virtues; and this without regard to whether the loss is due to the growth of a heartless and all-absorbing commercialism, to prolonged indulgence in luxury and soft, effortless ease, or to the deification of a warped and twisted sentimentality.”

Source: “Nobel Lecture,” May 1910


On history: “It is of little use for us to pay lip-loyalty to the mighty men of the past unless we sincerely endeavor to apply to the problems of the present precisely the qualities which in other crises enabled the men of that day to meet those crises.”

Source: “The New Nationalism,” August 1910


On critics: “It is not the critic who counts. … The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by the dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly … who, at 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 or defeat.”

Source: “Citizenship in a Republic,” April 1910