Mr. Roosevelt is the most formidable disaster that has befallen the country since the Civil War — but the vast mass of the nation loves him, is frantically fond of him, even idolizes him. This is the simple truth. It sounds like a libel upon the intelligence of the human race, but it isn’t; there isn’t any way to libel the intelligence of the human race.

Mark Twain (September 13, 1907)
Cover illustration, Harper’s Weekly, August 3, 1912.

What do libertarians think of Teddy Roosevelt?

…as answered on Quora….

As a president he was a very good prose stylist. As a philosopher he was a very good hunter. As a man he was a very good maniac.

I have never met a libertarian who saw in TR much other than an imperialist, a warmonger, and a scheming corrupter of the Constitution. He brought “Progressivism” — technocratic Socialism Lite with a plutocratic twist — into the mainstream, which meant that he prepared the way for the worst president in American history, Woodrow Wilson, and for that epochal disaster, TR’s clanmate FDR.

He is admired by ambitious people left and right, and, arguably, there are few better cultural indicators of libertarianism’s perpendicularity to standard politics than libertarians’ near-universal hatred for Teddy Roosevelt.

I liked John Milius’s The Wind and the Lion, though — an interesting portrait of TR by Brian Keith. I need to see it again, considering the film’s eerie framing of the current cultural friction between Islam and the West.