Theodore Roosevelt: A True Progressive in Comparison to Current Progressive

Title: "Theodore Roosevelt: A True Progressive Compared to Today's Democrats, as Explored in 'The Last Romantic' by H.W. Brands"


Theodore Roosevelt stands as a shining example of a true progressive, especially when compared to the current state of the Democratic Party. In H.W. Brands' book, "The Last Romantic," the author discusses Roosevelt's remarkable capabilities to bring about genuine reform. This essay aims to explore Roosevelt's progressive achievements and highlight the contrasting landscape of today's Democrats, emphasizing the importance of learning from Roosevelt's legacy.

Section 1: Recognition of Lack of Accountability in Policing

One of the areas where Theodore Roosevelt demonstrated his true progressivism was in addressing the lack of accountability within the New York police force. Roosevelt astutely observed that there was a failure on the part of the police to fulfill their duties effectively. However, his calls for reform were met with resistance, with both the police and New York officials labeling him as a radical or even a communist of his time.

Contrary to these unfounded accusations, Roosevelt recognized the pressing need for change. He took proactive measures by implementing proper marking systems, such as a uniform, and enacting laws to hold individual police officers accountable for their actions. By demanding accountability and transparency, Roosevelt laid the foundation for the modern understanding of police reform and the importance of holding law enforcement agencies responsible for their conduct.

Section 2: International Reform and the Creation of the Panama Canal

Roosevelt's progressive ideals extended beyond domestic issues to international affairs. One of his most significant achievements was the creation of the Panama Canal. Recognizing the economic potential of improving trade and transportation, Roosevelt undertook the ambitious task of constructing the canal.

By understanding the need for a new means of transportation, Roosevelt not only opened up new economic opportunities for the region but also showcased his progressive mindset on a global scale. The Panama Canal became a symbol of American innovation and economic superiority, emphasizing the importance of international cooperation and infrastructure development in achieving progress.

Section 3: Contrasting Today's Democrats and the Importance of Roosevelt's Legacy

In comparing the true progressivism of Theodore Roosevelt with the current state of the Democratic Party, a stark contrast emerges. Today's Democrats often appear less focused on meaningful reform and more preoccupied with divisive rhetoric or superficial gestures. The lack of genuine progressivism is evident in their inability to effectively address income inequality, environmental issues, and systemic injustice.

By combining the progressive ideals embodied by Theodore Roosevelt with contemporary challenges, we can forge a path towards true reform. Roosevelt's commitment to social justice, equality, and governmental intervention to address societal issues should serve as a guiding light for today's progressives. It is essential for current Democrats to learn from Roosevelt's legacy and prioritize substantial policy changes over mere symbolic gestures.


Theodore Roosevelt's true progressivism shines brightly when compared to the current state of the Democratic Party. "The Last Romantic" by H.W. Brands provides invaluable insights into Roosevelt's capabilities as a reformer. Roosevelt's ability to identify societal shortcomings, implement necessary changes, and tackle international challenges exemplify his true progressive spirit.

By studying his legacy and merging it with contemporary issues, we can revive the essence of progressivism and strive towards a more just and equitable society. It is crucial for today's Democrats to refocus their efforts on meaningful reform, drawing inspiration from Roosevelt's progressive values, and working towards substantial policy changes that address the pressing challenges of our time.

"Discover the captivating story of Theodore Roosevelt's true progressivism and its relevance to today's political landscape in 'The Last Romantic' by H.W. Brands. Click here to delve into the remarkable achievements and transformative legacy of one of America's most influential leaders."