President’s Day Musings
President’s Day Is a consolidation of Washington’s and Lincoln’s birthday. Recently it has become a recognition of the services of all presidents. That was a a noble thought but a misguided one.
Washington and Lincoln made major contributions to the creation and later to the continued existence of this magnificent experiment.
When we break free of this present pandemic and subsequent economic setback we have suffered, we will be back on this ever-imperfect quest of creating a “more perfect union.”
Having the privilege of living in this great country, I have memories oh the administrations of Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George HW Bush, Bill Clinton, GW Bush, Barak Obama, and Donald J. Trump.
Among that group there were a few giants but none of them came close to the legacy of Washington and Lincoln Here’s why these two extraordinary presidents deserve our devotion.
Washington was in a unique position. He had the option to serve as king with no such notion of terms. Instead, he chose to serve two elected terms as president and then he retired to his farm. Powerful people rarely walk away from a position of power, but those choices set the example for other presidents that followed him. The two-term legacy lasted until Franklin Roosevelt made the case for not “changing horses in midstream.” Truman corrected that unwise change.
Lincoln was great for a different set of reasons and a change of opinion that led to the Emancipation Proclamation. Lincoln did not start out with a passion for the freeing of the slaves, but he was a man that was on a constant growth pattern. That growth brought him the friendship of Frederick Douglas and other intellectuals. When the Civil War was over, he declared “malice toward none and charity to all”. His determination saved the union and his attitude to the South was generous and forgiving. Had he lived to administer the “reconstruction” that followed that era would have been considerably different, but he did save the union.
Recently we have re-learned that democracy is incredibly fragile. We will last as a democratic nation only if we are careful as to who we elect to that powerful office. Never fail to vote.