Remarks at the State House in Des Moines, Iowa

April 28, 1903

Coming through the state of Nebraska today I have rejoiced in your great prosperity; I rejoiced in your fertile soil; I rejoiced in the crops you raised, as the product of the soil is the product of the men and women. I was mighty glad to see your children. They seem to excel in quality and quantity. I think you have a mighty good stock, and I want to see it grow. And now, my friends and fellow citizens, I have a word to say to you upon government—good government. There is nothing peculiar or wonderful in getting a good government more than there is anything peculiar or wonderful in a man's making a success in private life. The same qualities that make a man a good man in his family, a good husband and father, a good neighbor, a man with whom you like to work or to deal, those same qualities make him a good citizen, a good man in the state when applied in his relations to the state. We need honesty, we need courage, we need common sense. We need to show in civic life the same spirit that you showed in the Civil War in battle; what you cared to know about as to the man on your right or the one on the left, was not the way in which he worshiped his Maker; not his social standing or wealth; you cared nothing whether he were a farmer or mechanic, lawyer or business man, a bricklayer or banker; what you wanted to know was whether he would do his duty like a man. This is what you cared for, whether he would "stay put" when the time came. It is the same thing in civil life now.

Theodore Roosevelt, Remarks at the State House in Des Moines, Iowa Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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