Theodore Roosevelt circa 1900. (Photo by Ullstein Bild via Getty Images)

Things Worth Remembering: The Man in the Arena

At a time of widespread discontent with our elected officials, it’s worth recalling Theodore Roosevelt’s speech—about those with the courage to run for high office.

Welcome to Douglas Murray’s column Things Worth Remembering, in which he presents great speeches from famous orators we should commit to heart. To listen to Douglas read from Theodore Roosevelt’s 1910 ‘Man in the Arena’ speech, scroll to the end of this piece.

In just four days, Joe Biden and Donald Trump will take part in the first presidential debate of 2024, in Atlanta.

A few days later, there will be elections in France, where President Emmanuel Macron will probably be humiliated; and the week after that, in the United Kingdom, where Prime Minister Rishi Sunak faces a similar fate.

All of these events will be analyzed by people—reporters, commentators, pundits of varying intelligence—who are, in the main, utterly unqualified to judge the actions of the people in question. Unless you have seen or experienced the challenges of elected office up close, almost nobody can understand how lonely and different it all looks from there.

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