EPISODE 14 Ted Roosevelt (Part 2): The Strenuous Life

“The poorest way to face life is to face it with a sneer,” he said. “A cynical habit of thought and speech, a readiness to criticize work which the critic himself never tries to perform, an intellectual aloofness which will not accept contact with life's realities—all these are marks, not ... of superiority but of weakness.” 
— Theodore Roosevelt 

He was the first American to receive a brown belt in Judo. 
He won the largest percentage of the vote ever by a third-party candidate.
He once took a bullet to the chest shot at point blank range, and rather than going to the hospital went to deliver a 90 minute speech. 
He survived tragedies that would break lesser men.
He spent his life fighting against the inner demons trying to destroy him. 
He was a perfect embodiment of what Nietzsche probably had in mind when he wrote, “You must still have chaos in yourself to be able to give birth to a dancing star." 
He was a warmonger with a diplomatic tact. He was a hunter and an environmentalist. He was a nerd and an athlete. He flirted with white supremacist ideas and yet was very progressive about race by the standards of his day. He was a big proponent of personal responsibility and supported quasi-Socialist policies.

Love him or hate him, he was larger than life. 

He was Theodore Roosevelt.

In this episode: 

  • The Youngest American President: Juvenile and Proud-Roosevelt and Racism

  • “Unless we keep the barbarian virtues, gaining the civilized ones will be of little avail.”

  • Losing sight in one eye while sparring, and Judo days

  • Going to battle with JP Morgan. The 1902 Coal Strike. At war with Congress over environmental preservation

  • When the President camped outdoors in the Yosemite snow with John Muir

  • “…a small bunch of shrill eunuchs…”

  • Why American Football may not exist had it not been for Roosevelt

  • “We bought the son of a bitch, and then he didn’t stay bought”

  • Jumping naked in the frozen waters of the Potomac River

  • The Media Queen: Alice Roosevelt; “a young wild animal that had been put into good clothes”

  • The Nobel Peace Prize

  • War in the Philippines; The Panama Canal; The Brownsville Incident

  • William Howard Taft and his S&M marriage

  • Eating an elephant’s heart

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For those of you who may be interested, here is a lecture series I created about Taoist philosophy: http://www.danielebolelli.com/downloads/taoist-lectures/

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