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Trump is no Teddy Roosevelt, but his fate should be the same

Unlike Avi Snyder, I'm a fan of Teddy Roosevelt. I'm conservative in the sense of being a traditionalist, and I acknowledge the principle of small government as a means to competence and efficiency- or rather, the principle that big government makes both impossible. But I actually admire TR's reforms, if not always his methods or enthusiasms. I would count him among the five greatest presidents we've ever had.

Like Donald Trump, TR sometimes had contempt for constitutional principles he should have held in reverence. Like Donald Trump, he was often "over the top-" and sometimes way "over the top." But while I did not know Teddy Roosevelt, nor was Teddy Roosevelt a friend of mine, Donald Trump is no Teddy Roosevelt. He may share some of TR's vices, but he has none of his virtues. He lacks Roosevelt's intellect, his vision, his indomitable courage, and his sense of honor.

Still, in some respects 2016 does, undeniably, resemble 1912. I consider the nomination of William Howard Taft that year to have been a historic blunder of the first magnitude. But I have to agree with Snyder that we should hope and pray that the convention at Cleveland repeats that pattern of the 1912 conclave and give the nomination to a safe conservative chosen by the party regulars- the much-abused "Establishment."

Like Trump, TR threatened to run as an independent if denied the Republican nomination. Unlike Trump (who will no longer be able to get on the ballot as an independent by July) TR made good on his threat. But the result was of denying TR the nomination was the same as the result would be of giving it to Trump. The Republican vote was split in November, and the Democrats under Woodrow Wilson won.

Here's hoping that the party at Cleveland- even on pain of the rebellion of the Trumpites and charges of a "stolen" nomination- does what needs to be done at Cleveland, and nominate somebody who not only can be elected president but ought to be.

Photo right in some countries: Jbarta

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