Tracker Pixel for Entry

Where’s Teddy when we need him?

by Sabrina Hornung | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | Editorial | July 17th, 2019

Editorial artwork by Punchgut

It’s no secret Theodore Roosevelt loved North Dakota. It’s also no secret North Dakotans love Teddy. He left us with a legendary legacy and it’s no wonder that the Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library will be in the badlands of Medora, where he said, "the romance of my life began."

Though he was born a New Yorker, he came to North Dakota in the fall of 1883, at the age of 24, shortly after he lost both his wife and mother on the same day. He came to North Dakota a “City Slicker” and left with true grit.

According to theodorerooseveltcenter.org, there are 15 sites that mark his legacy, four statues of him in our state, two roadways that bear his name; as well as both units of our national park named after him.The highest honor bestowed upon someone by the state of North Dakota is called the “Rough Rider Award” in reference to the 1st United States Volunteer Cavalry unit that was led by Roosevelt during the Spanish American War.

Six sites in our state were dedicated by the man himself, one being the Fargo college cornerstone which now resides in Bonanzaville. According to the same website, during the library’s dedication he said, “One of the most important assets of the nation is the education of its young men and women.” He also noted that his experience ranching in the badlands was a “postgraduate course.”

He dedicated two bird sanctuaries in our state, Chase Lake National Wildlife Refuge in Stutsman County and Stump Lake Wildlife Refuge in Nelson County. Other sites include Sully’s Hill Wildlife Preserve near Devils Lake. Dakota National Forest in Slope County was an effort to conserve coniferous trees in the state. And then there was the Lower Yellowstone Irrigation Project, near Williston.

As far as his presidential legacy, he was a noted conservationist and “trust buster” meaning he was a monopoly’s worst nightmare. In fact he went head to head with J.P. Morgan, the most powerful industrialist in the country at the turn of the century. Though Roosevelt was born into affluence, he was a man for the people.

Let’s take a moment to digest this information, shall we? As a conservationist and trustbuster, what would TR think of the state of North Dakota’s current political situation?

Yeah, we’re looking at you Burgum, Cramer, and Armstrong. What would Teddy think of your oil-lined pockets, of the fracking, the oil-induced corruption and toxic waste? What would he think of the flares and bobbing donkeys and oil wells, toxic spills, and the oil refinery slated for the outskirts of the national park that bears his name?

Theodore Roosevelt once said,“Here is your country. Cherish these natural wonders, cherish the natural resources, cherish the history and romance as a sacred heritage, for your children and your children's children. Do not let selfish men or greedy interests skin your country of its beauty, its riches or its romance.”

His descendants certainly don’t seem to think much of the refinery. According to npca.org in an article titled, “Summer 2014: Drilling down,” Roosevelt’s great-great grandson Winthrop Roosevelt was quoted as saying, “Destroying the areas directly around national parks is probably not the best idea, Just like people don’t want to live right next to chemical plants, national parks [shouldn’t be] next to industrial sites that might cause ecological damage.”

What would Roosevelt think of the Keystone Pipeline? How would he approach the water protectors? What would he think of the greasy oil money that’s infiltrating North Dakota politics? I’m no expert, but to me that sounds like the very thing he fought tooth and nail against. Would he seek out alternative energy solutions? What would he think of the Green New Deal?

He once said, “A great democracy has got to be progressive or it will soon cease to be great or a democracy.”

Would he be dubbed a radical or ...gasp… socialist by today’s standards? Would he even have a chance in North Dakota politics or would he be demonized for having a backbone? We’ll obviously never know the answers to these questions but it’s certainly food for thought. Then again Roosevelt was a larger than life figure and it’s easy to romanticize.

Go ahead, call me an idealist or a fruity liberal but if North Dakota wants to preserve Theodore Roosevelt’s legacy, maybe our leaders need to take into consideration what Roosevelt would do, instead of just using his name as a novelty or for the sake of sentiment.

Recently in:

By the time this article is published, all the major new outlets in the area will have reported on the May 30th protest in Fargo demanding change and justice after the needless killing of George Floyd, as well as its aftermath. …

by Sonja ThompsonDebra Ruh is the CEO and Founder of Ruh Global IMPACT, a consulting firm that strives to help clients amplify their impact and become disability inclusion leaders. She also serves as the Chair of the United…

Best Bets

Ladies Ag Night

by HPR Staff

Thursday, March 19, 4:30- 8 pm1609 19th Ave N, FargoCass County Soil Conservation District is hosting their annual Ladies’ Ag Night supper event. This event has a goal of bringing together multiple generations of women involved…

by Sofia Makarova and Massimo Sassi The global pandemic is an incredibly challenging time for many. Nearlyone in every three Americans’ jobs have been affected, whether a temporary layoff, a permanent job loss, or a reduction in…

Predatory Capitalism Breeds Predatory Medical CareSurvival in the animal world depends upon who eats who. Wolf packs in Yellowstone chase down the oldest weakest elk and kill with a chokehold. African lion prides select the oldest…

To say that this year’s Bartenders Battle was the best display of talent in the six years since its creation would be an understatement and a disservice to not only the bartenders who made it into the competition, but also the…

It goes without saying that Valentine’s Day is the most profitable of all the holidays and the one with the most tortured history, literally. It is confusing how an ancient Roman festival that involved sacrificing animals and…

Fargo obviously loves their classical music. Audiences have still turned out during the 2019-2020 season of the Sanford Masterworks Series performed by the Fargo-Moorhead Symphony Orchestra despite an unrelenting winter. That…

Writer Rita Kalnejais adapts the script of her own 2012 play “Babyteeth,” and Shannon Murphy, delivering her feature directorial debut, guides a fantastic ensemble of performers to success in what could have been an…

This weekend, the 10th Annual Unglued Craft Fest will be held at the Plains Art Museum, featuring over 70 local and regional artists selling handmade items. Though most are Fargo-Moorhead residents, artists from Minneapolis, Sioux…

Theatre

Fargo Film Festival 2020

by HPR Contributor

by Dominic EricksonThis March, the Fargo Film Festival will celebrate its 20th year of entertaining die-hard cinephiles and casual moviegoers alike. The festival begins on March 17 and concludes March 21. The event is once again…

by Kris Gruberperriex1@gmail.comAdam Quesnell's last show at The Cellar beneath the Front Street Taproom in Fargo was in early September of 2018. He was embarking on a seminal move from Minneapolis to LA. As always, his comedy was…

by Jill Finkelsonjsfinkelson99@gmail.comFar North Spirits, located up in Hallock, MN, is the northernmost distillery in the lower 48. They may be young in the distillery world but the farm and the spirit reach far into the past.…

Wellness

Discover Yoga Differently

by HPR Contributor

by Laurie J Bakeremsdatter@gmail.com Part of modern yoga is participating in the world around us. We live in a time of upheaval in society and nature, and of great suffering in humans of all ages. Most of us perceive this suffering…

by Devin Joubertdevinlillianjoubert@gmail.comIt’s that beautiful time of the year that’s filled with seasonal decorations, sparkly lights, warm family gatherings, and delicious feasts. I love everything about this time of the…

"…evil appears as good in the minds of those whom god leads to destruction." - Sophocles, Antigone“It is a mistake…as events since September 11 (2001) have shown—to suppose that a government can promote and participate in a…