Sunday, June 19, 2016

Whose you're Daddy....Presidential Fathers

Theodore Roosevelt had always had a complicated relationship with his farther Theodore "Thee" Roosevelt. He called him “The Best Man I have ever know.” Although his father had died of a stomach ache when the future President was only 19 years old he always worshiped his memory.  The image of his all-powerful and wise father lasted all the days of his life unencumbered by any relationship when they were both adults.

The greatest regret of both Roosevelt is that the senior Roosevelt did not serve in the Civil war as he took the typical out of the rich man of his day. He hired a replacement to take his place using a poor Polish immigrant starting the tradition of rich Republican establishment figure exploiting immigrants that continues to this very day. The excuse that Thee Roosevelt gave to his son was that his wife Teddy’s mother was very delicate and since her two brothers were Confederate generals it would destroy her if her husband took up arms against them. So he paid a polack and stayed home to enjoy unrestrained conjugal relations with his wife. The freedom of the Negro was not that important to him.

Of course this was problematic as Teddy Roosevelt’s mother was a southern belle who really belonged in a Tennessee Williams play. She was the actual model for Scarlett O’Hara and gave Mary Todd Lincoln a run for her money as a crazy person who was married to a political figure. Thee Roosevelt feared to have more children with her even though he was locked in a mutually satisfying sexual obsession. So he used the primitive birth control of the time with lambskin condoms his preferred method. In fact his last discussion with his son Teddy was about birth control before he went to Harvard. He warned him to always sheath his weapon but after his death Teddy went back to being a bareback rider. This was well known to all of his associates and led to the sly nickname of the Regiment he raised for the Spanish American War. They slightly altered it to the cognomen “Rough Riders” but everyone who knew him knew what they meant.

(Whose You’re Daddy, Presidential Fathers, Doris Kearns Godwin, Bantam Books, 1998)

1 comment:

rcocean said...

I thought you were going to work "Carry a Big stick" in there somehow.

But an amazing mixture of fact and fiction. You know your TR.