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

Page 371

of us, when it comes right down to hard facts, consider government, the Republic, the general scheme of the world, a kind of modus vivendi to make sure we are not interfered with while we are at the game—never mind the rest? But yesterday the shout arose that the President was inviting “labor men” to break bread at the White House—white men, these. Well, why not labor men, if they are otherwise fit companions for the President of the United States? That these were, no one questioned. It was at that luncheon, I suppose, that one of them made the remark that at last there was a hearing for him and his fellows. I have forgotten the precise occasion, but I remember the President’s pregnant answer:
  “Yes! The White House door, while I am here, shall swing open as easily for the labor man as for the capitalist, and no easier.”
  It seems as if it was in the same week that the President had been denounced in labor meetings as “unfriendly” because he would not let union rules supersede United States law in the office of the public printer. Only a little while before, resolutions of organized labor had denounced him as “unfair” because he had