Friday, June 28, 2013

Interesting Quote From Theodore Roosevelt

More than occasionally, quotes appear in email that are pro-gun, but false.  As I observed a couple of years ago:
“The problem with Internet quotations is that many are not genuine.”  -- Abraham Lincoln
When this quote from Theodore Roosevelt showed up in my email, I was immediately suspicious:
A vote is like a rifle; it's usefulness depends on the character of the user.
But sure enough, it is in Theodore Roosevelt: An Autobiography (New York: Charles Scribner & Sons, 1922):
Suffrage for women should be looked on from this standpoint. Personally I feel that it is exactly as much a''right'' of women as of men to vote. But the important point with both men and women is to treat the exercise of the suffrage as a duty, which, in the long run, must be well performed to be of the slightest value. I always favored woman's suffrage, but only tepidly, until my association with women like Jane Addams and Frances Kellor, who desired it as one means of enabling them to render better and more efficient service, changed me into a zealous instead of a lukewarm adherent of the cause — in spite of the fact that a few of the best women of the same type, women like Mary Antin, did not favor the movement. A vote is like a rifle: its usefulness depends upon the character of the user. The mere possession of the vote will no more benefit men and women not sufficiently developed to use it than the possession of rifles will turn untrained Egyptian fellaheen into soldiers. This is as true of woman as of man — and no more true. Universal suffrage in Hayti has not made the Haytians able to govern themselves in any true sense; and woman suffrage in Utah in no shape or way affected the problem of polygamy. I believe in suffrage for women in America, because I think they are fit for it. I believe for women, as for men, more in the duty of fitting one's self to do well and wisely with the ballot than in the naked right to cast the ballot.

1 comment:

Windy Wilson said...

Of course, if voting mattered identification and a Form 4473 would be required.