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in our construction and can never be so great, or useful, or happy in any other country as we can in our own.” In the same essay quoted above he says: “One may fall very far short of treason and yet be an undesirable citizen in the community. The man who becomes Europeanized, who loses his power of doing good work on this side of the water, and who loses his love for his native land, is not a traitor; but he is a silly and undesirable citizen. He is as emphatically a noxious element in our body politic as is the man who comes here from abroad and remains a foreigner. Nothing will more quickly disqualify a man from doing good work in the world than the acquirement of that flaccid habit of mind which its possessors style cosmopolitan.” That Mr. Roosevelt is didactic to a degree one must admit; but that he is here expressing his actual beliefs cannot be questioned. That is one of the things even his enemies admire. His words are an utterance of himself, and whether they be true or false in themselves, they are true to him. It is complimentary to his judgment that while he has been speaking and writing in this vein for more than twenty years he has never yet had to recede from his position, although he has
often been worsted in battles for his ideals. But whether he wins or loses, he fights on. It has mattered not to him whether the foe was the fierce cougar of the Rockies, the fetish-maddened Indians of the Bad Lands, the corrupt officials of a municipality or commonwealth, or the Spanish oppressors of Cuba; once he was arrayed against them there was no talk of quarter. Fortunately for him he has generally been on the winning side. In his physical encounters this has been almost invariably the case. On the trail, in the forest, and in camp and field his adherents have always proved faithful. Although an aristocrat by birth and education, he has the true spirit of camaraderie, and generally makes firm friends of his associates in chivalric adventure. But politicians are of different metal. In a political campaign there is always the personal equation to be considered, and the “Fighting Teddy” of the frontier who could always depend upon his body of rough plainsmen or daring mountaineers to stand by him to the death, has more than once been forced to “drink his bitter beer alone” at the end of an unsuccessful attack upon the organized forces of the spoils system in his native city and State.
But this sturdy, laughing, playing, working, fighting descendant of the first Americans has never recognized defeat. If he has suffered from reverses, the world has never known of it. Always upright, forceful, aggressive, he has never changed front once in his remarkable career, which has been meteoric. He had not been one year out of college before he was a member of the general assembly of New York State. During his two years’ term he fought every attempt of his colleagues to wrong the people in any way. At first they laughed at him. What did this student, fresh from the walls of a university, know of politics; he would soon be glad to lay aside his ideas of purity in government and adopt a less arduous way to the favor of the people. But he disappointed them, and his opposition was so constant and hearty that they were at last obliged to yield to him in many things. During his term he secured the passage of the civil service law in New York, a measure that has been the sword and shield of all those who since have been engaged in the work of purifying the politics of the State.
Following his retirement from the assembly he became chairman of the New York delegation