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Jacob A. Riis (1849–1914). Theodore Roosevelt, the Citizen. 1904.

Page 213

showed them a picture of Theodore Roosevelt as the man who had done more hard and honest fighting for those who cannot fight for themselves, or do not know how, than any other man anywhere. And a man in the audience—there is always one of that kind in every audience—who could see in the President of the United States only the candidate of his party for the next term, wrote to me of partisanship and of bad taste, and of how he could not stand Roosevelt because as Governor he would “see Platt,” and did. I have his letter here before me, and my blood boils up in me whenever I look at it. Not because of the particular man and his letter. I have come across their like before. The thing that angers me is the travesty they make of the real non-partisanship with which we must win our fight for decency in the cities, because national politics in municipal elections are a mere cloak for corruption. How in the world am I to persuade my healthy-minded Democratic neighbor not to listen to Tammany’s blandishments when he has this wizened spectacle before him? He is a man with convictions, who understands men and the play of human forces in the world, and can appreciate