Teddy Roosevelt and the Legacy of ‘Class Warfare’


When Teddy Roosevelt became president in 1901, he was far less powerful than J.P. MorganJohn D. Rockefeller, and other robber barons. When TR dared to take them on – suing to block the Northern Securities merger, & standing up for justice for strikers instead of just siding with management, there was a huge outcry. But he won.

Back then, wealth was increasingly concentrated in a few hands, into a few families, and there were extremely wide disparities between the rich and poor, the haves and have-nots. Now, the same thing is happening again. When Republicans say we shouldn’t engage in “class warfare,” I say, if the Super-Rich are going to try to steal all the nation’s wealth from the rest of us, why shouldn’t we fight back? What’s wrong with a little class warfare, especially if it’s self-defense in a war of aggression started by the other guys? — Bruce Johnson, 2008.

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