The comparison is absurd. Donald Trump will surely go down in history as America’s worst president, displacing Warren Harding and Millard Fillmore at the bottom of the rankings. Theodore Roosevelt is typically ranked among the five best presidents, one step below George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Both TR and DJT came from wealthy New York families, but Roosevelt devoted his life to public service, while Trump single-mindedly pursued getting richer. Roosevelt was the nation’s youngest president, while Trump is its oldest. While a strong proponent of what was considered “manliness” in his era, Roosevelt was a devoted family man. Trump is a twice-divorced, thrice-married serial sexual predator whose relationships to his children seems to be based on their ability to promote the family brand and wealth.
Taking office at a time of rising literacy and the spread of newspapers, Roosevelt may have been the first “celebrity” president, but unlike our current president, he was also a man of intellectual and wide-ranging interests. A prolific writer, he authored 18 books, including volumes on national parks, foreign policy, nature, wildlife, ranching, naval history, and the four volume The Winning of the West about the American frontier. Trump can hardly read, much less write. He has the vocabulary of a 5th grader.