Theodore RooseveltTheodore Roosevelt, (1858-1919) 26th US President

Theodore Roosevelt Quote

“We cannot afford to differ on the question of honesty if we expect our republic permanently to endure. Honesty is not so much a credit as an absolute prerequisite to efficient service to the public. Unless a man is honest, we have no right to keep him in public life; it matters not how brilliant his capacity.”

Theodore RooseveltTheodore Roosevelt
~ Theodore Roosevelt

Ratings and Comments

brittany, centuria

i dont understant this quote.

  • 2
  • Reply
Anonymous    3/27/06

If our leaders were honest then we would be in much better shape. Not too difficult to understand....

Mike, Norwalk

yeah, I like it. Now that we're throwing out ALL the bumbs, where are we going to get replacements ;-)

Bryan Morton, Stuart, FL

Finding an honest politician is like finding a dog which speaks fluent Norwegian. 5 stars for the quote, 0 for the source. I give it a 3.

  • Reply
gdgca    8/29/08
Waffler, Smith, Arkansas

Honesty is a matter of perception. The closer the boss is to you the more honest he seems to be. The higher up bosses seem to be less honest. It is hard to seem honest when a politician must juggle so many seemingly competing interests and issues. Sometimes compromise and nuance may appear to be dishonesty. But an absolute liar, I'm with Mike on this one, get 'em outa there.

  • 1
  • Reply
RobertSRQ    8/29/08

Yes, Yes, Yes, we need a vehicle that's easy to administer that allows us to kick out Presidents who lie regardless of their source. Last nights speech by Obama was fantastic; you can hear it on It was probably the most brilliant acceptance speech ever made. Joe Biden did a great job too. We must fight to bring back honesty in the White House if we fail in November there may not be a second chance. Honesty is honesty and mistakes are very different - "We cannot afford to differ on the question of honesty..." To have dishonesty and a total lack of capacity that is CRIMINAL. The ONLY way to be free is to be honest. RBE

E Archer, NYC
  • Reply
E Archer, NYC RobertSRQ 10/5/20

Holy Hell, did this age badly...

Patrick J. Burwell, Saylorsburg, PA

"One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much." Luke 16:10

RKA, Wasilla, AK

I am not too sure Robert, if yesterday's speech by Barak was that great. It was good, I give you that, but it was not as good as FDR. In my book, FDR's speech is still number one. Talking about "Honesty" here, and I am absolutely for honesty, and now with the appointment of Palin as VP, the McCain camp must be VERY VERY VERY honest as to the reason of their action in choosing Palin for VP. I doubt they will give good explanation, and I am sorry, it will be their downfall. LEAVE US ALASKANS BE!!!

J Carlton, Calgary

I would equate this quote to another one by (I think) Churchill. "A Statesman thinks about the next generation, A Politician thinks about the next election." We need Statesmen, not Politicians.

RKA, Wasilla, AK

Ha Ha Ha

E Archer, NYC

The quote is right on; however, honesty is a rare commodity in politics as it is in our own lives. Truth is not relative -- interpretation of truth may be. I would not trust a single word the Dems or GOP say. Obama is no more honest than the Clinton's, Kerry, Bush, Gore -- you name it -- mostly because they are full of themselves to begin with and PROFIT from exaggeration, propaganda, and down-right lies. They are interested in power only -- to hell with truth if it gets in the way. Obama was born in Kenya and his Hawaiian birth certificate is a known forgery. He lies to himself -- how can he be honest with anyone? But I don't want to get into a political discussion -- none of the candidates offered to us by the CFR cares about anything but power and control of the world. Because we are lied to day after day after day, people take 'liberties' with their own word in our interactions with each other. If we really cared about honesty, we would not stand for any of these BS artists. People don't get elected by telling the truth, they get elected for PROMISES -- just like our money system, religious systems, etc.. Just a bunch of hot air, all of them. When we treat promises as if the real thing, we inherit the wind.

jim k, austin

Palin is the perfect pick, especially since Obama picked an old line, liberal, big spending politician who favors abortion. With the Biden pick, one wonders where all this "change" is that the Anointed One blathers about, Waff.

warren, olathe

Dang it Waffler. Honesty is not a matter of perception. You are or you are not. You may perceive someone is dishonest when they are not, but the misperception does nothing to change it.

warren, olathe

Good one jim

Walter Clark, Fullerton CA

That TR quote reveals how superficial he was as a thinker. He is famous as a doer. The real experts on lying are Clair and Francis Underwood; well their writers anyway. The lesson I learned from that TV show was that ambitious politicians lie; only the stupid rely on honesty. The stupid fall into the habit of telling the truth because there's fewer things to remember. Their laziness is evidence of their lack of ambition. In addition to being smart those that repeatedly profit from lying must work in an environment where those that are served arent the ones that pay; arent the ones that feel the sacrifice for each decision. Whereas, when producers know that their customers have a choice that is directly associated with a cost, promises are less significant than reputation, and unlike a mere promise, reputation can become retribution.

Fran, Braintree

Honesty is necessary if the republic is to survive. But the powerful make honesty a prerequisite not of themselves but of others to hurt others but cloak themselves away from honesty to protect their own power. This means that few at the top are honest and of the ones who are, even they may not be able to be completely unbiased about their own actions.

jitendra, Gurgaon, India

So true and so obvious, yet it remains in the realm of wishful thinking. Unlucky mankind! God be merciful and male it a given in every society and every age.

Ronw13, Yachats Or

Truth and honesty are paramount. It is termed the armor of light . Romans 13:13. Let us walk honestly, as in the day.
How else would one come to " Know Thyself ". " " This above all : to thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man. "
William Shakespeare, Polonius' advice to Laertes
From " Hamlet " He was a wise man.
The word" honesty" is used once in a KJB, I Tim 2:2, For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.
For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour .


Get a Quote-a-Day!

Liberty Quotes sent to your mail box daily.