Presidents Day Questions

Last month, I received so many emails about Presidents’ Day that I had to offer this quick response.

Why is Presidents’ Day so important?

It unites us as a people.  And it gives our youth common heroes.  We are divided by class, ethnicity, left and right on the political spectrum, religion and science but we come together in Washington, who walked away from power and Lincoln who held us together. So, even while we will be divided this year in a presidential contest, we do find common ground in some of our great leaders of the past. And then, there is the inspiration we get from having heroes, which is important and bit unique to Anglo American history.

Why so? You write about why Americans need heroes.  Why do we make heroes out of our presidents?

I think it reveals more about us than it does the men and women we celebrate.  We choose to have heroes.  You look at 500 years of French history and they can basically only name three, Charlemagne, Joan of Arc and Charles DeGaulle and there isn’t really unanimity on those.  The Germans really don’t have heroes.  The Australians have no Lincoln or Jefferson or Washington.  They can’t seem to unite on a single political leader in their history.  You ask them who their heroes are and they will say, “Nicole Kidman.”  So this hero business is very much an Anglo-American thing.

Talk to us about George Washington

Well, Washington is really very complicated and flawed.  He loved his neighbor’s wife and even in retirement tried to talk her into moving nearby.  But we choose to celebrate his grace and his integrity.  He walked away from power and that was unprecedented.  People have to be dragged away from power, kicking and screaming.  In Russia, you see President Putin hanging on, not letting go.  And contrast that with Washington, who didn’t have to leave the seat of power but left it anyway to set the precedent.

And Lincoln is revered.

Lincoln too was very complicated and flawed.  He was a very poor father, for example, his indulgence of Tad, his neglect of Robert Todd.  But we forgive that and we concentrate on his goodness and his willingness to endure the pain of so many personal losses and to carry the nation through its darkest days. That’s what I mean when I say it reveals more about us as a people.  We choose to believe the best about our leaders when we could just as easily choose to cast them in more complicated tones.

You write that Lincoln actually got his inspiration from an idealized version of Washington.

That’s right.  And it is very ironic.  Remember, as a boy, Lincoln practically memorized Parson Weems history of George Washington.  Now, today we know that most of what Weems wrote was invented.  Cutting down the cherry tree, for example, and declaring, “I cannot tell a lie.”

Well, Lincoln believed it all, as did his contemporaries, and ironically Lincoln strove to become this idealized version of George Washington.  He became “honest Abe.”  So this is a perfect example of how cherishing the good in a president, making him a hero, inspired another president to actualize it and live it out.

How will history rank George W. Bush? Obama?

It’s way too soon.  A survey of George Mason historians had 81% ranking George W. Bush as a terrible president but that is frankly ridiculous.  And the Sienna Institute ranked Obama as 15th, even while unemployment lingers at an abysmal rate.  Seven out of the last ten presidents are now ranked differently from their contemporaries.

Bush will be a complex study.  Remember one president started an unprovoked war; his reasons later discredited by the world, betrayed his conservative base by over spending, suspended civil liberties and wrapped it all in religion.  Delegates actually left his last nominating convention singing, “Onward Christian Soldiers.”  His name was Theodore Roosevelt.  He invaded Bolivia and carved out a bogus country of Panama so he could build his canal.  And historians usually rank him third behind Washington and Lincoln, as the third greatest American president.  So the presidency of George W. Bush is very complicated and it should not be ranked so easily or so soon.  And it is way too soon to be talking about Obama’s place in history.

 

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19 Responses to Presidents Day Questions

  1. tex2 says:

    I heard Washington was actually an alien from Jupiter. There, I’ve provided the same level of supporting evidence that Doug did when he said Washington “…loved his neighbor’s wife and even in retirement tried to talk her into moving nearby.” Come on Doug, a REAL historian provides substance to his statements.

  2. Surfisher says:

    Vote YES :

    BAN *tex2* from this site IMMEDIATELY — Never allow IT to post here again! ALSO, DO NOT RESPOND TO ANY OF ITS TROLLING !

    Dear, Doug — this is your HOME page, and all of us posting here are your guests. Don’t know about your tolerance level, but mine ends when an unwelcome guest tries to set my home on fire, in order to chase out all the welcomed people I’ve invited!

    No normal exchange can be held here — since the #2 quickly fills in all REPLY slots….so no-one else can respond sequentially to what was stated before. This is its main goal (secondary is its spittings of hatred to all that’s good)!

    • tex2 says:

      Crucify him…..crucify him….. LOL

      The Passion of the Christ is a good movie, but I don’t know if I want to watch it THAT many times in a row, so let’s take a break from this repetitious “program” and allow other readers to comment on the below serious and real issues that result in baggage for Ron Paul. Tell me what you think, let’s have open and honest discourse, and since I’m a First Amendment kind of guy, even the “list” above is welcome to chime in:

      Why Ron Paul would NOT be a good president:
      1. He is old, mousey, whiny, grumpy, skinny, etc. Do not underestimate the importance of these factors, as a very large number of voters are not familiar with the issues, and vote for vanity. Sad but true. It does no good to have good ideas when you don’t have the presidential image, and Ron has neither.
      2. He has been in Congress for 2 decades and doesn’t have a single bill to his name. We elected someone president with zero accomplishments in 2008, why would we want to do that again? How can you expect him to be able to lead the country when he can’t lead a single bill to fruition after 20 years?
      3. He even voted against his own bill to audit the Federal Reserve, because he didn’t get every single detail he wanted. He is so stubbornly rigid he simply takes his toys and goes home if he doesn’t get every little detail he wants.
      4. Many of his domestic policies are admirable, but how does he expect to implement them when he will have to work with Congress to get many of them turned into a reality? Will he simply hold his breath until Congress lets him get his way, because he has zero track record of using any other tactic to be successful?
      5. Most of his foreign policies are dangerous. If we pull out of foreign countries, the vacuum WILL be filled by Russia, China, etc. Once you lose your toehold, it is VERY difficult to expand military operations if the need arises. Think about how hard it would have been for the U.S. to fight Hitler if England had fallen. For example, if China decides they don’t want to allow free flow of oil, we would have no recourse, as it takes years, if not decades, to develop independent energy sources. He is simply naive to the point of being a traitor to his own country. Also, we need forward positioned military presence to fight the global war on terror. It isn’t being fought only in Iraq and Afghanistan, there are operations literally around the world preventing future 9/11 type attacks that simply cannot be fought by guarding our own borders, 9/11 should have taught us that. We must therefore disrupt the terrorist cells wherever they are, so they cannot organize, plan, recruit, train, equip, and attack again. To not do this would be suicidal.
      For the above and other reasons, Ron gets the pot smoking and “freedom at any cost” crowd, and that’s all he will ever get…LOL

    • Surfisher says:

      To all Americans:

      Spread this video of the only American Patriot — Ron Paul — running in this race!

      (http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=hgsg7a-Ok8Q#)

      also:
      The #2 is a paid shill to troll and disrupt this forum with its spewing of hatred. So real Americans can’t converse here without IT hijacking all threads. That’s why this subhuman needs to be banned. One NEVER responds to IT — its existence is to be ignored.

  3. Surfisher says:

    Vote YES :

    BAN *tex2* from this site IMMEDIATELY — Never allow IT to post here again! ALSO, DO NOT RESPOND TO ANY OF ITS TROLLING !

    Dear, Doug — this is your HOME page, and all of us posting here are your guests. Don’t know about your tolerance level, but mine ends when an unwelcome guest tries to set my home on fire, in order to chase out all the welcomed people I’ve invited!

    No normal exchange can be held here — since the #2 quickly fills in all REPLY slots….so no-one else can respond sequentially to what was stated before. This is its main goal (secondary is its spittings of hatred to all that’s good)!

    • tex2 says:

      Crucify him…..crucify him….. LOL

      The Passion of the Christ is a good movie, but I don’t know if I want to watch it THAT many times in a row, so let’s take a break from this repetitious “program” and allow other readers to comment on the below serious and real issues that result in baggage for Ron Paul. Tell me what you think, let’s have open and honest discourse, and since I’m a First Amendment kind of guy, even the “list” above is welcome to chime in:

      Why Ron Paul could be and/or would NOT be a good president:
      1. He is old, mousey, whiny, grumpy, skinny, etc. Do not underestimate the importance of these factors, as a very large number of voters are not familiar with the issues, and vote for vanity. Sad but true. It does no good to have good ideas when you don’t have the presidential image, and Ron has neither.
      2. He has been in Congress for 2 decades and doesn’t have a single bill to his name. We elected someone president with zero accomplishments in 2008, why would we want to do that again? How can you expect him to be able to lead the country when he can’t lead a single bill to fruition after 20 years?
      3. He even voted against his own bill to audit the Federal Reserve, because he didn’t get every single detail he wanted. He is so stubbornly rigid he simply takes his toys and goes home if he doesn’t get every little detail he wants.
      4. Many of his domestic policies are admirable, but how does he expect to implement them when he will have to work with Congress to get many of them turned into a reality? Will he simply hold his breath until Congress lets him get his way, because he has zero track record of using any other tactic to be successful?
      5. Most of his foreign policies are dangerous. If we pull out of foreign countries, the vacuum WILL be filled by Russia, China, etc. Once you lose your toehold, it is VERY difficult to expand military operations if the need arises. Think about how hard it would have been for the U.S. to fight Hitler if England had fallen. For example, if China decides they don’t want to allow free flow of oil, we would have no recourse, as it takes years, if not decades, to develop independent energy sources. He is simply naive to the point of being a traitor to his own country. Also, we need forward positioned military presence to fight the global war on terror. It isn’t being fought only in Iraq and Afghanistan, there are operations literally around the world preventing future 9/11 type attacks that simply cannot be fought by guarding our own borders, 9/11 should have taught us that. We must therefore disrupt the terrorist cells wherever they are, so they cannot organize, plan, recruit, train, equip, and attack again. To not do this would be suicidal.
      For the above and other reasons, Ron gets the pot smoking and “freedom at any cost” crowd, and that’s all he will ever get…LOL!!!

    • Surfisher says:

      Here is another good one!

      (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZkTreAmnmZ0)

      send it!

      also:
      The #2 is a paid shill to troll and disrupt this forum with its spewing of hatred. So real Americans can’t converse here without IT hijacking all threads. That’s why this subhuman needs to be banned. One NEVER responds to IT — its existence is to be ignored.

    • Surfisher says:

      To all Americans :

      Spread this video of the only American Patriot — Ron Paul — running in this race!

      (http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=hgsg7a-Ok8Q#)

      also:
      The #2 is a paid shill to troll and disrupt this forum with its spewing of hatred. So real Americans can’t converse here without IT hijacking all threads. That’s why this subhuman needs to be banned. One NEVER responds to IT — its existence is to be ignored.

  4. Surfisher says:

    Vote to ban the #2 that pollutes this forum with its trolling.

    So far the vote to BAN it — ‘tex2′ — is:

    1) Surfisher
    2) Sharon Kuhn
    3) annebeck58
    4) christopher Deligate of Missouri
    5) donjusko
    6) sharksauce24
    7) sophiah8
    8) rmcnnlly
    9) BanTex2Al
    10) Wendy Jones
    11) Evan Godolphin
    12) Remmic Lewis
    13) Shane Mayfield
    14) jeffrey bohl

  5. Surfisher says:

    To all true Americans:

    Spread this video of the only American Patriot — Ron Paul — running in this race!

    (http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=hgsg7a-Ok8Q#)

    • Surfisher says:

      Then watch Mitt the Joke:
      An EMPTY stadium with about a hundred sycophants only… mostly yawning.

      Then see the THOUSANDS of REAL AMERICANS and their genuineness on Ron Paul’s rallies!

      But the main media never shows this REALITY — so, are we to stand by and allow them to steal this Election away from us — when clearly the TRUE Americans have spoken?!

      Spread this video!(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wMVY5u9RuW8)

    • Surfisher says:

      Here is another good one!

      (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZkTreAmnmZ0)

      send it!

      also:
      The #2 is a paid shill to troll and disrupt this forum with its spewing of hatred. So real Americans can’t converse here without IT hijacking all threads. That’s why this subhuman needs to be banned. One NEVER responds to IT — its existence is to be ignored.

    • Surfisher says:

      Send this video!

      Romney=Twoface

      (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K9njHHyRI7g&feature=player_embedded)

      also:
      The #2 is a paid shill to troll and disrupt this forum with its spewing of hatred. So real Americans can’t converse here without IT hijacking all threads. That’s why this subhuman needs to be banned. One NEVER responds to IT — its existence is to be ignored.

    • Surfisher says:

      Rmoney — “Staff, get me some internet trolls to spew forth hatred towards my opponents.”

      So they run this ad:

      “Looking for 300+lb pimply failures that live in mum’s basement.
      Must be hateful of all that’s good (since you hate yourself most because of the waste of protoplasm you’ve become); unable to crawl away from the computer, so mum gives you monthly sponge baths (also, occasionally removes the bedpan).
      Why post your venomous spittings for free, when we’ll pay you handsomely to be our Shill — a fistful of food stamps and a bottle of hooch each week!”

      That’s how the #2 got this “lucrative” job — why troll for free, when it can shill for so much more….

      (hope I didn’t misspell ANYTHING important….)

  6. Surfisher says:

    “Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson could pull as much as 6% of the vote in a hypothetical three-way match-up with Mitt Romney and President Obama. Johnson began the 2012 race running for the Republican nomination but has wound up carrying the libertarian banner and could gain ballot access in several states.”

    If the above transpires, it is a certainty that Mitt will not defeat BO (with his flip-flopping, he couldn’t defeat him anyway, now this would assure it).

    So he needs to withdraw now in favor of Ron Paul!
    ————————————————————————-

    Ron Paul WILL become President in 2012 — IF, Romney becomes a Patriot, and forgoes his ego, for the Good of the People!

    Mitt Romney could become one of the greatest Statesmen in US History! He’d be the Savior of our Nation — the one that generations to come would tell their children: “Look at this statue, this is Mitt Romney, he saved America”!

    Or, he can reduce himself to just a tiny footnote…what is amazing is that his fate rests in his own hands (a very rare occurrence throughout the history of the world)!

    All Romney has to do, is to take advantage of this rarest of historical moments, and make a SINGLE DECISION!!!

    Withdraw his candidacy IN FAVOR of Ron Paul, with the following grandiose and heart-wrenching patriotic speech (to save his political skin):

    “I, Mitt Romney, will sacrifice my political goals for the Good of the People. Now I understand that only Ron Paul that can save our Nation. I agree with all he stands for, therefore, I have deemed that our Nation’s salvation can only be accomplished when Ron Paul is elected as President of the United States of America. Without regret, but with joy, I do the most honorable and patriotic deed I can — I withdraw myself from this election, and give my full support to Ron Paul!”

    One honest person is needed to bring these logical conclusions to Romney’s PERSONAL ATTENTION (not the myopic sycophants surrounding him and stroking his ego by chanting wishful thinking as ‘fact’: “You gonna win Boss, you gonna win Boss….).

    Regardless how egotistical, arrogant and narcissistic Romney may be, some semblance of reasoning of what’s best for him, should still remain in his skull. The instinct for self preservation dictates that even the smallest of minds will chose the path that leads to safety, not the one leading to disaster.

    An honest realist needs to talk to Romney one-on-one — and explain the following to him, so Mitt can comprehend it:

    1) If you don’t win the nomination, than your political career is over (you’ll become just a tiny footnote in US History as a failure).

    2) If you win the nomination, and don’t defeat Obama — which is the most probable outcome (you’ll become just a tiny footnote in US History as an even LARGER failure).

    Therefore, Dear Mitt, whichever gamble you take from the above, may lead to total disaster for your political career (and probably will)!

    However, here is an action you can take, Dear Mitt, that guarantees you’ll become immortalized in the annals of US History — becoming the 21st Century Savior of America (surely this carrot of success will entice Romney’s egotism to go for it — over the probable political beatings he’d receive otherwise)!

    All one needs to do, to assure Mitt’s Historical Greatness of Sacrifice for the Good of the Nation, is to present the above to Romney’s eyes alone! I urge all able to do so, to place this document in front of him!

    Send this to Mitt Romney — as an Open Letter, e-mails, etc. — the more you send, the greater the chance he’ll get to read it!

  7. Surfisher says:

    *Mitt Romney, American Parasite*

    (Mitt Grosny — Romney The Terrible (my prefered title))

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article31153.htm

    It explains how Bain Capital worked. They would buy SUCCESSFUL companies, with little down, borrowed huge amounts, saddling them with crushing debt, refused to continue equipment purchases or maintenance. Then they would pay themselves huge “management” fees.
    —————————————————–

    Some notable excerpts:

    “Romney is not a vulture capitalist, as Rick Perry says, since vultures eat dead carcasses,” notes Josh Kosman, who has written about the private equity business for 15 years. He’s “more of a parasitic capitalist, since he destroys profitable businesses.” (The host must be healthy enough to be force-fed all that debt, then slowly bled to death…until the parasites drain all the wealth for themselves).

    “When Bain was about to buy a company, its partners would hold a meeting. “He said that about half the time [they] would talk about cutting workers,” Kosman says. “They would never talk about adding workers. He said that job growth was never part of the plan.” That claim was buttressed by the Associated Press, which studied 45 companies bought by Bain during Romney’s first decade. It found that 4,000 workers lost their jobs. The real figure is likely thousands higher, since the analysis didn’t account for bankruptcies and factory and store closings.

    “The Armco plant closing involved more than the torching of 750 jobs, Morrow says. Contractors and suppliers collapsed. Workers’ children and widows lost health care and pension benefits. And while Bain received millions in tax breaks—paid for by the very people left holding the bag—Romney walked away millions richer.”
    —————————————————-

    A must read (long) article recommended to all!

    Share it!

  8. Surfisher says:

    Superb parody of a “debate” btw Rmoney and BO — SHARE IT!

    (Note the exquisite sardonic touch — only one person is watching the two puppets….LOL!)

    (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4vWVdOTFs8M&feature=player_embedded)

    Ron Paul to WIN — or America to End 2012

  9. tex2 says:

    Nobody is watching RIP. LOL

    But keep giving ALL your money to RIP’s campaign. LOL

  10. Surfisher says:

    Prize winning photo for Ron Paul’s campaign — A Gem!

    SHARE IT !!!

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