The Corner

A Celebration of Grover

No, not this one. From a reader:

Dear Mr. Goldberg,

Your comments in “The Corner” on Theodore Roosevelt seemed mostly on the

mark to me. I suspect Roosevelt is today (and perhaps always was) probably

more admired for his vivid personality and his accomplishments as a rancher,

soldier, and sportsman, than for his political beliefs and actions.

I propose that conservatives pay more attention to a president who was

philosophically the anti-TR – Grover Cleveland. One wishes there were such

Democrats today! He was an advocate of sound money, belonging to the “gold”

faction of his party, in opposition to the “silver Democrats” surrounding

William Jennings Bryan. He was a believer in strict limits to federal power,

and vetoed legislation that he thought exceeded its constitutional bounds.

Upon being approached for federal relief by the inhabitants of Johnstown,

Pennsylvania after the disastrous flood in that place, he replied that in

his view the Constitution did not provide authority for the federal

government to make such local expenditures. He was, however, pleased to

contribute $10,000 of his own money (perhaps the equivalent of $500,000

today in inflation-adjusted terms) towards rebuilding.

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