Happy President's Day

A message from the man of the house:
Today I had a day off of work, which was a more than welcome break. So Owen and I went over to my Dad’s place and worked on Lucy’s birthday present: a brand new marble track. But our day was cut short because I had a class to attend. Yep, a class on President’s Day. At a state school. Subsidized by your tax money (if you live in CA). Turns out we get a break from class on Cesar Chavez Day instead, but that’s another topic for another day. So because I didn’t get a chance to fully celebrate President’s Day today, here’s a quick thought on our great leaders of the free world. I listened to a program today on the Hugh Hewitt Show that talked about each of the Presidents we’ve had, from Washington all the way to George W. I actually only caught the first hour and a half, up to the 1870’s. There were a few things that jumped out at me as they discussed each President. First, that each President certainly had his flaws. The early Presidents were slave owners, some of the later ones were prone to anger, and most of them were nasty campaigners - today’s candidates are all gentle in comparison. I even learned that Franklin Pierce is considered by most historians as the worst President in our history. He was so bad that after his first term, the Democratic party chose not to let him run for a second term.

My favorite story was William Henry Harrison. He took office in 1841, and died after only one month of service! It’s said that the cause of his death was weather exposure on the day he delivered his inaugural address. He spoke for nearly 2 hours, and said over 8,000 words. Then he rode through the inaugural parade, waving to everyone. Turns out he caught a cold that developed into pneumonia and pleurisy, and he died.
I was glad they got to Abe Lincoln before I was done driving for the day. I’ve seen documentaries about Lincoln, heard radio bits about him, and I’ve read about him. It seems that in the long line of Presidents with flaws, Abe Lincoln’s worst flaw appears to have been that he was one ugly dude. But even he had a great sense of humor about his looks, so it cancels out.
He was also a great speechwriter, and is still often quoted to this day – “Democracy is the government of the people, by the people and for the people.” He led the emancipation of slavery. He embodied the American dream, having gone from rags and poverty to becoming the President of the country. He’s one man who appeared to have filled the position in every way that we always hope they do.
So let’s raise a glass for our Presidents. Some turn out to be crappy while others become our heroes. We seem to get by either way, thanks to an inspired Constitution and a free market economy. USA! USA! USA! USA! USA!


dana said...

Great post honey. You are a true patriot with a realistic heart, who doesn't mind seeing the honest side of things at times. I'm glad you point out the details I often miss. And I too am thankful for wonderful men and women who have served this country by upholding its simple creed: In God we Trust.
God bless the USA!

Connie said...

Great post, Casey. I would have loved to hear that program. Happy Presidents Day!

Allison said...

Darnit, I wish I would have known about that program, too. My dad is quite the patriot - I can't recall many renditions of "Star Spangled Banner" at which he didn't tear up. He passed a lot of country-lovin' to his kids, and for that I'm grateful. Thanks for writing this out for us!