by Luke Cocchi Class of 2019
“Oh you’re a politics major! Who’s your favorite President?” I have no doubt that if I have heard this question at least five or six than so does everyone else in my school. In all honesty for the longest time I had no true answer to it. I would often just list different facts I liked about each one. However, the questions’ repetition eventually made me look to find answer. Due to his ability to overcome personal loss and fierce establishment opposition, Theodore Roosevelt is my favorite President. Theodore, as a child, was born with several ailments which often left him bed ridden and weak. One day, his father pulled him aside and told him he would never reach his potential if he let the ailments get the better of him. In response, Teddy said, “I will make my body.” Despite his sickly nature, the young Teddy took up gymnastics, boxing, and started hiking. He willed himself forward to success against odds and illnesses which would have hindered most other human beings. His physical prowess would go on to be reported on well into his presidency. Before becoming president, Roosevelt had built himself a fantastic resume after a life of public service. He served an NY State Assemblyman, the Police Commissioner of New York, Assistant Secretary of Navy, and, after a brief hiatus to fight a war, he ran and was elected Governor of the state of New York. In all of these fields, Roosevelt exhibited and developed qualities which he would bring with him to the Oval Office. As an assemblyman, he took up a vow to safeguard the American working family from corrupt and abusive employers after seeing. As NYPD Police Commissioner, he moped up dirty cops and replaced them with men with no political strings attached. As a governor, he learned the ins and outs of economics and he had his first showdowns with monopolies and trusts. After the assassination of President McKinley, Roosevelt was sworn in as the 26th President of the United States of America. After an idle Vice-Presidency, Roosevelt hit the ground running. His achievements and actions earned him the distinction of the “First Modern President.”
One of the many distinctions of a 20th and 21st century presidency is a powerful military and strong executive power. Roosevelt started his presidency with the construction of the “Great White Fleet” which catapulted the U.S. Navy out of the 1800s and into the mechanized future. The expansion of executive power and influence can clearly be seen in how he handled businesses and the environment. He made strides to conserve nature using executive orders and, with his “big stick” personality and the “Square Deal”, he strong armed businesses and Congress to protect the American worker. Roosevelt was indeed a true American: unafraid to go up against the norms of his time, or his party. From taking on the Spaniards in battle to businesses in court Roosevelt always stood by the United states and her people. This is why Theodore Roosevelt is my favorite president.