This weekend we have fun President’s Day — a vacation set by Congress to collectively commemorate the lives of all American presidents. It seems that we have now rather a lot to have fun. We have now had some actually nice ones.
We have now been fairly fortunate with our presidents, significantly early in our historical past when communication was not instantaneous — as it’s right now — and we knew little or no about the individual that was chosen to steer us. Most presidents have been very honorable, patriotic males who when known as upon by alternative and circumstance rose to the event and perpetually engraved their names into the historical past of our nation.
We have now had presidents who’ve led us by way of darkish and dangerous occasions: George Washington on the delivery of our nation, Abraham Lincoln throughout the Civil Battle, Roosevelt by way of the Nice Despair, Truman by way of World Battle II, John F. Kennedy by way of the Cuban missile disaster and George W. Bush after 9/11.
We have now additionally had a number of actually unhealthy apples. Warren G. Harding and Richard Nixon come to thoughts. However largely we have now had good, brave leaders that did the easiest that they may do for our nation.
We have now an amazing legacy of leaders who have been recognized for varied issues: Trustworthy Abe, George Washington’s “I can’t inform a lie,” Kennedy’s “Ask not what your nation can do for you,” and Barack Obama’s ”Be the change that you just wish to see on the earth.” And we have now had presidents who’ve carried out superb issues, Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation freed the slaves, FDR created Social Safety, Carter’s Camp David Peace Accord ended many years of warfare between Israel and Egypt, Obama handed well being care — one thing that had been tried for 118 years.
And with that storied historical past in our rear view mirror, it’s certainly exhausting to swallow the less-than-great administration that we’re presently enduring.
We can’t be positive simply how historical past will bear in mind this time as a result of his presidency just isn’t over and we can’t think about what surprises would possibly lie forward. However, I consider that historical past will mirror the truth that he stepped into sneakers that have been means too huge for him and that he was merely less than the duty at hand.
As a substitute of inspiring ideas from a podium as soon as used to convey good concepts, like going to the moon or The New Deal, we’re presently subjected to petty and vindictive statements and threats. Somewhat than shoring up alliances and making “grand bargains” we see our president posing concepts that instantly contradict our values and alienate our allies.
In his latest State of the Union tackle, President Trump launched World Battle II veterans, commemorating the upcoming 75th anniversary of the Invasion of Normandy and our profitable effort to free Europe from the grip of fascism. And in the identical speech, he addressed a pretend warfare on immigration as a platform for anger and racism, opposite to the heroic warfare wherein these veterans had served.
I’m glad that the majority of our WW II veterans are usually not alive right now to see an American president embrace the very issues that they fought so valiantly in opposition to. It’s puzzling how President Trump can use a part of his speech to introduce a survivor of the Nazi warfare camps, praising him for his braveness, whereas he continues to order the incarceration of youngsters torn from the arms of their dad and mom at our southern border.
In that very same speech, he conjured up a really Nixonian concept: cease investigating me. And for very related causes as Nixon. And, standing within the nicely of Congress, the president threatened that in the event that they did proceed to analyze him, he wouldn’t signal any laws till it stopped.
Trump’s presidency will likely be remembered to make sure, maybe for all the fallacious causes. And it’s historic. Nothing like this tragic presidency has ever occurred to our nation earlier than. And we should be diligent to make sure that it by no means does once more.