Nonfiction > Jacob A. Riis > Theodore Roosevelt, the Citizen > Page 398
Jacob A. Riis (1849–1914).  Theodore Roosevelt, the Citizen.  1904.

Page 398
sharply the truth of the general statement, in comes my neighbor with whom just now I fought shoulder to shoulder against Tammany in New York, as good and clean and honest a fellow as I know, and tells me it is all over. Clean discouraged is he, and he will never spend his time and money in fighting for decency again.
  “What’s the use?” says he. “It is all waste and foolishness; and, after all, how do I lose by some one getting what he wants and paying for it? I know this blackmailing business, a wide-open town, and all that,—I know it is wrong when you come to high principle; but we live in a practical, every-day world. Let us live and let live. I get what I want, the other fellow gets what he wants; and if it is worth my paying the price to get it, how am I hurt? Is n’t it better than all this stew for nothing? Tammany’s in and back, and we will never win again. I am done with reform.”
  He is not; I know it, for I know him. He is just tired, and he will get over it. But he speaks for a good many who may not get over it so easily, and that is exactly what Tammany banks upon. It is what the enemy hopes



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