We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
And yet he initiated progressivism, the policy of govt actively making life better. It was defined somewhat differently then, and had none of the social/ist hysteria of today's unhinged left, but he wasn't exactly timid about mucking about.
Re-elected in a landslide, Roosevelt interpreted the vote as a mandate to push ahead with new calls for increased government regulation. His Annual Message of 1905, the first of his second term, unleashed a flurry of proposals for new legislation, including pure food, drug, and meat inspection laws; government “supervision” of insurance companies; investigation of child labor conditions; employer liability laws for Washington, D.C.; and—of the highest priority—a law giving the Interstate Commerce Commission power to regulate railroad shipping rates. This last proposal, which TR signed into law in 1906 as the Hepburn Act, laid the foundation for the modern administrative state.
Still, it was only after the mid-term elections in 1906 that Roosevelt fully embraced the Progressive agenda. Republicans had been able to hold on to their majority, but Democrats cut into their numbers. In addition, insurgent Republicans had gained ground in the West, putting pressure on Roosevelt from within the party. Assessing the political mood of the country, Roosevelt concluded that he had no choice but to try to hold the “left center together.” To the extent that there was a turning point in Roosevelt’s progressive evolution, this was it.
He now regarded the Hepburn Act as a good first step, but only a first step. He called for stronger controls not only over the railroads, but across the entire industrial economy as well. To that end, he supported legislation that would convert the Bureau of Corporations into a full-fledged regulatory agency modeled on the extensive powers he envisioned for the ICC. Had the proposed legislation been enacted, it would have put in place a far more statist regulatory regime than the Federal Trade Commission that eventually replaced it, with the government exercising primary control over all businesses operating in interstate commerce.