Nonfiction > Jacob A. Riis > Theodore Roosevelt, the Citizen > Page 373
Jacob A. Riis (1849–1914).  Theodore Roosevelt, the Citizen.  1904.

Page 373
of the facts in the labor situation of which they tried to make capital, if I may use so odd a term. It was just as simple as all the rest of President Roosevelt’s doings.
  “Finance, tariff,” he said to me once,— “these are important. But the question of the relations of capital and labor is vital. Your children and mine will be happy in this country of ours, or the reverse, according to whether the decent man in 1950 feels friendly toward the other decent man whether he is a wage-worker or not. ‘I am for labor,’ or ‘I am for capital,’ substitutes something else for the immutable laws of righteousness. The one and the other would let the class man in, and letting him in is the one thing that will most quickly eat out the heart of the Republic. I am neither for labor nor for capital, but for the decent man against the selfish and indecent man who will not act squarely.”
  To a President of that mind came the coal-strike question in October, 1902, with its demand for action in a new and untried field—a perilous field for a man with political aspirations, that was made clear without delay. Then, if ever, was the time for the policy



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