You Are No Theodore Roosevelt

by Evan Isaacson | September 05, 2017

Last month, Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke submitted his long-anticipated report to President Trump that recommends dismantling and looting some of America's treasured monuments and antiquities. (This was interesting timing, given that the president stood firmly behind the preservation of some other, far less-cherished monuments.)

In anticipation of the report, Theodore Roosevelt IV, the 26th president's great-grandson, wrote a letter to the editor in the Houston Chronicle telling Zinke that his actions have failed to live up to the legacy of Teddy Roosevelt, whom the Secretary of the Interior claims to admire. The lifelong Republican wrote that, in stark contrast to Zinke and Trump, his great-grandfather had a "fierce determination to take on profiteers who were seeking to exploit public lands for private gains."

Picking up where Roosevelt IV left off, it is worth exploring this point a little further, as it reveals perhaps the most striking distinction between two Republican presidencies only a little more than a century apart. At first glance, a superficial comparison of Donald Trump and Teddy Roosevelt is quite easy to make. Both were wealthy, bombastic, trust fund kids from New York, helped in their elections by surprising levels of populist support from America's heartland.

But this is where the similarities end.

Teddy Roosevelt's presidency marked the zenith of the progressive reform movement. Roosevelt's Republican Party – the one that started with Lincoln and was carried on by Grant, ...

Trump's Plan to Dismantle National Monuments Comes with Steep Cultural and Ecological Costs

by Sandra Zellmer | May 04, 2017
Professors Michelle Bryan and Monte Mills of the University of Montana co-authored this article with Center for Progressive Reform Member Scholar and University of Nebraska—Lincoln Professor Sandra Zellmer. It originally appeared in The Conversation on May 3, 2017. In the few days since President Trump issued his Executive Order on National Monuments, many legal scholars have questioned the legality of his actions under the Antiquities Act. Indeed, if the president attempts to revoke or downsize a monument designation, such actions ...

Trump's Environmental Steamroller Bears Down on National Monuments

by Robert Glicksman | May 01, 2017
Donald Trump's antagonism toward environmental and natural resource protections seems to know no bounds, legal or otherwise. Among his latest targets are our national monuments, which include some of the most beautiful and historically, scientifically, culturally, and ecologically important tracts of federally owned lands. During the reign of destruction the president has unleashed in his first 100 days in office, his commitment to fossil fuel resource extraction and development regardless of the impact on our nation's natural resource heritage has ...

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