Theodore Roosevelt

Pres. Theodore Roosevelt!

Theodore Roosevelt to Mrs. William Brown Meloney

The embodiment of rugged masculinity and adventure, Theodore Roosevelt did not take kindly to pacifists. When, in 1914, hostilities between Germany and America's European Allies exploded, the former president demanded that the United States involve itself militarily. President Woodrow Wilson argued that America should remain neutral, proclaiming in one speech: "There is no such thing as being too proud to fight. There is such a thing as a nation being so right that it does not need to convince others by force." Roosevelt scoffed at this and publicly called President Wilson "yellow." Eight months before the United States formally declared war on Germany, Roosevelt wrote the following letter to a friend, Mrs. William Brown Meloney.

      August 5, 1916

      Dear Mrs. Meloney,

      There are a good many things that America needs, if Santa Claus could only give them!

      Here are a few of them:

      1. That every molly-coddle, professional pacifist, and man who is "too proud to fight" when the nation's quarrel is just, should be exiled to those out of the way parts... where the spirit of manliness has not yet penetrated.

      2. That every decent young man should have a family, job, and the military training which will enable him to keep this country out of war by making it dangerous for any ruthles military people to attack us.

      3. That every youngster should have a good and wise mother; and every good woman a child for her arms.

      4. That we may all of us become an efficient, patriotic, and nobly proud people - too proud either to inflict wrong or to endure it.

      Good luck, Always yours

Theodore Roosevelt