The Folk Who Live on the Hill

Talk of vital interests has become canonical on Capitol Hill. But when pressed to identify these interests, too many congressional Republicans fall silent.

Issue: Winter 1999-2000

When Theodore Roosevelt ushered in the American Century as the nation's youngest president in 1901, he promptly rallied the Republican Party behind his unique brand of foreign affairs activism. In short order, the former Rough Rider and hero of the Spanish-American War put down insurrection in the Philippines, abetted a revolution in Panama that led to U.S. acquisition of the Panama Canal, and won the Nobel Peace Price for mediating the quarrel between Russia and Japan. In 1907 he dispatched the Great White Fleet on a cruise around the world. An America in the "prime of our lusty youth", Roosevelt proclaimed, would "speak softly and carry a big stick" in world affairs.

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