This book not only lays out the problems that we face with representative government it also points out the American civic qualities necessary to make representative government act honestly. When reading or listening to this book, it is not to hard to imagine that the planks of a political party should be built recognizing these problems and then engender these American civic qualities into a platform. A political platform is just a statement of intent which will degrade to mere lip service to lofty ideals unless the voters in enough numbers hold their public servants to a standard. First familiarize yourself with the standard Theodore Roosevelt set. Then promote a TR revival and you will have prosperity and a government that you can be proud to leave your children.
Grandmother use to say; “If your friend jumps off a bridge that does not mean that you should do the same”. So if others do not hold politicians to a standard that has nothing to do with what you should do. Once right thinking Americans start calling for proper standards, the flow of people jumping off the bridge of not holding politicians to TR standards will drastically decline.
The second section of this book shows what happens when a resolute person does not just pay lip service to Ideal standards. TR talks about actually applying these Ideals in real life politics when he was a civil service commissioner and a police commissioner. You get to see the lighting and thunder of those that wish to do business as usual. Then you see the rainbow that TR creates by not following others jumping off the bridge of business as usual.
This book closes with TR slicing and dicing 3 books written by distinguished professors that attempt to make predictions based upon history. He gives them credit were he agrees with some of their assumptions but sets the record straight where they overlook facts. The first book is on: “National Life and Character”. The Second on: “Social Evolution” (with a sub-category of all religions being the same). Lastly: “The Law of Civilization and Decay”. These books attempt to look into the future. Overall TR was optimistic about the future but we must ad one variable to the equation that variable being that as a whole the American People have forgotten TR and his proven examples of necessary civic action. He says in this section”
“it is always best to look at facts squarely in the face, without blinking them, and to remember that, as has been well said, in the long run even the most uncomfortable truth is a safer companion than the pleasantest falsehood”. “Whether the future holds good or evil for us does not, it is true, alter our duty in the present”.
“We, ourselves, are not certain that progress is assured; we only assert that it may be assured if we but live wise, brave, and upright lives”.