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Presidents' Day
The Lamest Holiday on the Calendar
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  • rheddles

    Hear, hear.

  • Anthony

    “We have never needed civic education more than we do now; we have never stood in greater need of reflecting on and rededicating ourselves to our founding principles than today.” (Walter Russell Mead)

    • Arkeygeezer

      I think we are getting a civic education this President’s Day. Consider:
      1. The executive branch is challenging the unelected self proclaimed “Fourth Estate” i.e. the fourth branch of government also known as the “media” by communicating directly to the public, and diminishing their power;
      2. The executive branch is also challenging the federal court system in their overreaching power grab of immigration control;

      3. Federal government employees i.e. the bureaucracy, is challenging the chief executive by refusing to follow directives and leaking confidential information to the press; and
      4. The minority political party in congress is encouraging revolt and rioting against the government of the United States.

      I think we are into a long period of civic education.

      • Anthony

        And your point is? Is is difficult to to parse your partisanship – I tend to let your contribution stand alone (you wrote about a Rasmussen poll that only surveys “likely voters” rather than a Gallop showing 40% of current voters). Your biases are to be weighed carefully. Thanks for reply.

        • Jim__L

          Anthony, please do not complain about other people being “difficult to parse”, or critique their “biases”.

          • Anthony

            You neither understand context nor history of which I reference – tea & snark as well as: https://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusives/2017/02/our-faint-hearted-nationalists

          • Fred

            You’re asking a bit much Jim. If he did what you ask, he’d have absolutely nothing to say. He’s utterly incapable of constructing or refuting an argument and equally incapable of adducing evidence (other than linking to sources of wildly varying quality, reliability, and relevance) to support a point. Ad hominems and obfuscation are all he’s got.

          • Jim__L

            I’ve decided to try asking politely, just out of curiosity as to what would happen. Hey, sometimes it works. =)

          • Fred

            Ever the optimist. I admite that about you. =)

        • Arkeygeezer

          Weigh a way!

          • Anthony

            I always do when you opine politically.

  • Eurydice

    Well, it wouldn’t be a bad thing to also consider why certain presidents were unsuccessful or downright awful, but I suppose that would require civic educatiom. Still, President’s day is of some use for selling cars.

  • Palinurus

    Perhaps the greatness of Washington and Lincoln demands nothing less than a truthful telling of their tales, but who will — or even can — do it? It’s not just that democratic envy everywhere disparages and would deny the greatness of Washington and Lincoln. Even those who are inclined to be their friends might find that the prejudices and opinions of our day obscure Washington’s and Lincoln’s untimely – and for that reason, exceedingly timely – virtues. Ours is an age impatient with and contemptuous of politics; Washington and Lincoln were above all political men.

    Fortunately, we have Lincoln himself to emancipate us from our enslavement to our times. In his Lyceum and Temperance speeches, Lincoln mediates upon the wisdom of Washington’s example. In the Lyceum address, Washington is the anti-Caesar, the exception who shows that surpassing excellence and soaring ambition need not be, as they were with Caesar, Napoleon, and Alexander, the wreakers of republics. In the Temperance address – to the Washington Temperance Society – Lincoln invoked the political moderation and realism of Washington to wickedly parody the utopian impulses of the temperance reformers, those intemperate do-gooders whose impatience with human imperfection and misguided public opinion smacked of petty tyranny and threatened even worse.

    In his great debates with Douglas, Lincoln gave a master class in political prudence and democratic persuasion. Lincoln’s carefully calibrated speech showed a deference to and respect of public opinion — even when odious – while at the same time it undermined unsavory popular prejudices and recast them in a more favorable form. Finally, in his reading of Shakespeare Lincoln gives an example how these virtues and an education in politics can be gleaned from the well-told tales of political men and the compelling drama of their trials in the crucible of political life.

  • FriendlyGoat

    We’d be better served to study civics from the Trump era backward than from the Washington era forward.

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