#54) Presidents’ Day

I hope that you have the day off. I do, but am as busy, if not more so, than I am on a usual Monday. But I’ve been reflecting on this day.

It was made a holiday in order to keep from having two, one for each of the birthdays for Washington and Lincoln. We are presently in an age when we analyze people from the past through a modern-day lens, which disturbs me. I also want to avoid discussing polarizing politics on this forum. I’ll stick to facts born out of rigorous scholarship.

No one sacrificed more more his country, both in leading our Continental army AND by becoming our first president, than Washington. We also now know that he may have been directly responsible for events leading to the outbreak of the French and Indian War. He never said the apocryphal, “Father, I cannot tell a lie.” Lincoln kept our country from dividing, ended slavery (as a tactic to win the Civil War), but also presided over the largest mass execution, thirty eight Lakota Sioux, put to death for defending their land. Jefferson was a great thinker, a Renaissance man, wrote masterfully, but also took advantage of his master/slave relationship with Sally Hemmings. Kennedy and Clinton were dynamic and charismatic, but that led them to being philanderers. I could go on. Let’s just summarize to say that people (men included) are complex, multifaceted, both for good and bad characteristics. Which is the point I was trying to make about types of Tops in my previous post. We’re all just trying to get through life. It might be worthwhile to bring this down to the personal; I couldn’t (nor want to) run for and win political office. As the divine Bette Midler said, “I have standards. They’re low, but I have them.”

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