Publication information

Social Democratic Herald
Source type: newspaper
Document type: editorial
Document title: “He Will Be a Failure”
Author(s): anonymous
City of publication: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Date of publication: 28 September 1901
Volume number: none
Issue number: 13
Pagination: 1

“He Will Be a Failure.” Social Democratic Herald 28 Sept. 1901 n13: p. 1.
full text
Theodore Roosevelt; Roosevelt presidency (predictions, expectations, etc.); Theodore Roosevelt (criticism); Theodore Roosevelt (compared with Otto von Bismarck).
Named persons
Otto von Bismarck; Henry George; Abram S. Hewitt; Thomas Jefferson; William McKinley; Theodore Roosevelt.

He Will Be a Failure

     As to the personality of Theodore Roosevelt—the flower of capitalistic America, the embodiment of “strenuous life,” and by accident also the youngest President the United States have ever had—little can be said that is not generally known. He was born in 1858 in New York of an old Dutch family that gave an alderman to the city of New York for six generations. “Teddy” graduated at Harvard university [sic] at the age of 22, was elected to the Assembly of the state of New York at the age of 23, was chairman of the New York delegation to the Republican national convention at the age of 25, and was a candidate for mayor of the city of New York at the age of 28 (in 1886, Vote—Hewitt, 90,555; Henry George, 68,110; Roosevelt, 60,435). He was a United States civil service commissioner from 1889 to 1895; after that, from 1895-1896 a police commissioner of New York city [sic], 1897-1898 assistant secretary of the navy, 1898 colonel of the Rough Riders, 1898 governor of New York, November 6, 1900, elected vice-president of United States and became President by the death of William McKinley. Between all these he found time to write books—about a dozen volumes or so—and to manage a ranch in the Bad Lands in North Dakota. He is married and has a family of six children, which is quite contrary to the custom of the American capitalist class. It can be said that with the exception of Thomas Jefferson he is probably the best educated man that ever became President of the United States. He also has the reputation of being an enthusiastic reformer. In short, Theodore Roosevelt has had all the advantages that wealth for generations, a strong body and excellent training can give.
     Yet, with all these, we PREDICT a SIGNAL FAILURE for THEODORE ROOSEVELT as President of the United States. This failure will be especially glaring, should an industrial crisis—a so-called panic, which is due within a few years—set in during his first or second administration, for it goes without saying that he will be renominated and re-elected, because the poor, decrepit and split up Democratic party cannot elect a President any more and the Socialists are still too week [sic]. We base our prediction of utter failure for Roosevelt—and when we say utter failure we mean that even a large element of his own class and his own party will consider him a failure—upon the fact that although he likes to pose as a reformer, like so many strong men of his class—for instance, Bismarck—he fails to understand the significance of the social problem, the meaning of the class struggle and the mission of the proletariat. His surrounding [sic] and bringing up has prevented him from seeing the other side of the main question of today. While a reader of history to some extent he has evidently never studied the history of civilization, at leas[t] his writings and doings do not show that he has in any way grasped the tremendous change that has not only undergone in the means of production, but also in the makeup of the producers. While an infinitely stronger man than McKinley, and fully as willing a tool of plutocracy, he will do it great harm by making “strenuous” efforts to perpetuate its rule. We look to Roosevelt to do Socialism and Social Democracy a similar service as Bismarck did in Germany—that is, this country being a republic and having a democratic form of government, Roosevelt naturally will not be able to go even half as far as the Iron Chancellor, yet “Teddy” will do whatever he can.
     But the working people of America will stand. And the working people of America will fight.