Way Forward For Nation Might Happen By Looking Back To TR In 1883

Our nation is divided.  Political tribalism has a firm grasp on the populace.   Both parties say that the other one does not listen, or try to understand the position which is being advocated.  It is that theme in 2018 which has a historical connection back to 1883.

I was reading today about a Maine congressman, Thomas Reed, who eventually became Speaker of the House.  But as the story is evolving, Grover Cleveland the New York Democratic Governor, has vetoed a bill which would have rolled back fees for New York City’s much detested elevated railroads.   The bill was very popular as the corporate entity was the most hated in the state.

Republican Assemblyman Teddy Roosevelt had stood on the floor and denounced the railway company as “infernal thieves and conscienceless swindlers”.   It would seem there was no wiggle room in how he viewed the matter.

Cleveland did not truly think TR wrong in how he viewed the company, but instead made the point there was a contract with the state that needed to honored.  That was the basis for his veto.

Here, then, is where the thrust of this post is headed.

TR had voted for the bill, but when READING the veto message from the governor–of the other party--came to see the logic and wisdom of Cleveland.  The time to think and reflect allowed him to see he was wrong, and the other person right.

When making a public statement about his change of mind TR said, “It is a question of doing justice to ourselves.  It is a question of standing by what we honestly know is right. Even if in so doing we antagonize the feelings of our constituents.”

That is the bi-partisan lesson we need to hear in this nation–coast to coast.

Below is photo of the two men. GC and TR.

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