Teddy Roosevelt: A Joy of Life

          In The Joy of Life, the biography of Teddy Roosevelt, the author described TD’s forecasting magic. Famous for anchoring the “Big Stick” policy, TD strengthened the US authority in the American continent and steered the US from stumbling in wars in Europe. In his years, TD has however repeatedly expressed opinions in further global interactions. When looking at the Russo-Japanese War negotiation, TD reiterated his respects for the Japanese despite domestically, many had considered the Japanese in San Francisco secondary race. On a dinner reception where he received both Russian and Japanese ambassadors, he stayed unimpressed by the Russian prowess and praised the Japanese for his well-kept demeanour.

          Demeanour, defined as a way of looking or behaving by the Cambridge Dictionary, is a manner beyond ourselves. To refine a way of looking, one needs to go beyond his or her own environment. As modern day CFDA-awarded fashion blogger Garance Dore wrote, “culture … shows that you are open to the world!”
          One century ago, the Japanese, who were the bourgeoning military power, showed their demeanour through diplomatic involvement. The Japanese had finished Meiji Restoration and many young had ventured in the world. The military might, improved education, and a deeply rooted sense of conquest stunned the world. Japanese had rarely flaunted their power. They had real power. A few years later, the used-to-be Sick Man of Asia brought the Russians down in the Russo-Japanese War.
          In comparison, today we praise ignorance and protection blaming on economic reasons. Back to the era TD lived in, venture was the theme. He annexed Panama Canal and hunted in Africa. When he heard that oriental children were sent to segregated schools on the West Coast, he took a strong stand and ordered the San Francisco Board of Education to admit school-aged English-speaking kids without discrimination. While fighting for a belief he held to be true, TD influenced generations of public servants and became TD by his name.
          In TD’s later years, he accurately foretold Second World War decades before its happening. While Woodrow Wilson had withheld the US interaction for years, TD had vehemently protested such seclusion policy. Politics had disserted TD like his Bull Moose Party during the time. He died without seeing an open policy but preserved his honour as the fighter. One of his epitaphs precisely said: “… if Roosevelt had been awake, there would have been a fight.” Months later, World War I bursted. Decades later, the US entered into war with Japan.

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