Written by Candace Hardin on October 28, 2014

Theodore Roosevelt was our 26th President. By all accounts, he was a formidable leader.
He was a fine orator and left many quotes from his ponderous speeches. In fact, one speech was so bulky that when folded and placed in his breast pocket, it slowed a bullet during an attempt on his life.

Studying the wise sayings he left behind, I began to wonder if anything he said could be applied to the concerns many have with today’s leadership.

Teddy Roosevelt once said,” Rhetoric is a poor substitute for action, and we have trusted only to rhetoric. If we are really to be a great nation, we must not merely talk; we must act big.”

Here are a few examples of idle rhetoric that have lessened our standing as a nation and in the International Community:

Drawing the “Red Line” with Syria, according to Leon Panetta, was the right thing for the president to do. However, failing to act on his word did harm in that “it was important for us to stand by our word and go in and do what a commander in chief should do.”

The Affordable Healthcare Act, an oxymoron on the best of days. So far, it has not made insurance more affordable. In fact, most people’s premiums have been steadily rising, along with deductibles, while benefits dwindled.

Healthcare on a national level is important. It should be done and it should be done prudently.

Neither of which has happened, and all we are left with is the rhetoric.

“If you like your healthcare plan, you can keep it.”

Postponements and political posturing aside, eh, not so much. Many have lost their health coverage, and others stagger under the weight of increased premiums, or have been forced financially to drop their coverage.

“Not even a smidgen of corruption in the IRS.”

Really? It seems that IRS commissioner, John Koskinen, said Lois Lerner’s emails were lost. He didn’t bother to mention that the company Sonasoft was hired by the IRS to protect against data loss.

Then, oops, the IRS came out with an apology for “inappropriate targeting” of large Tea Party groups during the 2012 election year.

It is probable that the majority of Americans have always been suspicious of the trustworthiness of the IRS. After all this, all doubt is removed. They are not to be trusted.

It seems that an administration run on hot air, rhetoric of dubious veracity and unresolved scandals of major proportion is all that we have to show from the White House for the last six years.

Teddy Roosevelt’s words still ring true. He would be outraged beyond all reason if he was alive today. American citizens should be outraged as well.



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Candace Hardin
Candace Hardin resides in Atlanta, Georgia. She is fluent in Spanish and a student of Latin and history. She is a columnist on and has a blog, Originally from North Carolina, her writing and beliefs have been heavily influenced by the Appalachian culture and tradition.