Remarks in Mitchell, South Dakota

April 06, 1903

You can lift up a man if he stumble, if he lies down you cannot carry him. If you try to, it will not help him and it will not help you. So, fundamentally, it must rest upon yourself to win success. As I said, law can do something, wise legislation, wise administration of government can do something.

If you have bad laws, badly administered, they will spoil any prosperity. It is easy enough to get a bad law that will stop the whole business, but to get a good law is not so easy. It is easy to sit outside and say how the man inside should run the machine, but it is not so easy to go inside and run the machine yourself.

This prosperity to which we have attained, has been reached under a series of economic moves included in a system through carrying out certain ideas in the currency and in the tariff. We cannot afford to reverse the system.

Improvements can be made. In the tariff, for instance, schedules are not sacred, and as the needs of the nation change and shift it will be necessary to change certain schedules to meet those shifting needs.

Theodore Roosevelt, Remarks in Mitchell, South Dakota Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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