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Monday, February 18, 2013

President's Day's Meaningless and the Lincoln Myth

Today is Presidents' Day, which in the US means to people...

Umm...

No banking.. no mail.. sales on linen.. and..

Umm..

Oh yes, honoring our Presidents.  Of course prior to the 1980s, there was no such thing as President's Day--  Lincoln's birthday was observed on Feb 12th and this day today was to honor Washington who was born Feb 22nd..

But because 'Obviously' Martin Luther King Jr is Far more important to celebrate than 'ole George and Honest Abe (really-- its not like those two 'bozos' did anything for the betterment of this nation is it?), the politically correct powers that be squished all Presidents under one literal 'roof'..

This means today we now get to celebrate the corruption of Nixon, the utter incompetence of US Grant and the deviousness of Warren G Harding...
Sings:  "And I'm proud to be an American.. where at least I am free.. To revise history and holidays, all for political expediency.."

So.. who are the greatest Presidents in US History?

Pretty much all historians and everyday folk agree in the following six, though may differ in order of ranking:   Washington, Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt and FDR.

For the most part we agree though one of them we believe is Far, Far overrated... we won't say which but you can guess...

But that still leaves 39 others who have or currently sit in the Oval Office..  Certainly we have had others who've shined and served with distinction?

Well if you're Republican, you put Reagan on the list..  If you're Democrat, you put LBJ for his social programs...   Truman?  He's gained respect over the years, helped in large part by historian David McCullough's fine biography.  We certainly give him credit for dropping the bomb twice..
But overall its difficult to judge modern Presidents-- too much emotional baggage and blind loyalty clouds the mental corpuscles.

Take JFK for instance-- forever canonized because he was assassinated..  More specifically, because it was the first time people ever visually witnessed such an occurrence who weren't actually there at the moment...

So it took people's breath away, and certainly not in a positive... And policy decisions and party ideologies didn't matter -- he became a symbol.  And its just too difficult to judge Presidents with any lack of bias when a person is exalted to the status of angel or saint.

In the 19th century, people did that with Lincoln.. and God did they distort that man's Presidency!!  Almost 150 years later and myths are still taught as fact..

Oopsie, I guess we gave away which of our previous list of ''greatest' Presidents we deem very over-rated.
Quick trivia Q:  Guess which President once said the following:

"I  will say, then, that I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races -- that I am not, nor have ever been, in favor of making voters or jurors of Negros, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which prevents them from living together on terms of social and political equality.

And inasmuch as they can not so live, while they do remain together there must be the position of superior and inferior, and I as much as any other man, am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race"

Yep..  The Great Emancipator during the 2nd Lincoln-Douglas debate when he was running for Senator in Illinois, August 27, 1858.
Funny, they don't teach that in government-run public education... Guess it doesn't fit the narrative of him as a great guy..  And yet he's loved by people who need symbol in their lives more than substance...

Yes we know.. Washington & Jefferson had slaves.. yawn

Neither man fought a needless war costing over 600,000 deaths while using a race of people actually despised as mere political and moral cover to force a shotgun-marriage between a booming industrial sector Desperate for southern textiles and an economically stable agrarian sector who was able to generate greater profits exporting abroad...

And neither man suspended habeus corpus and threw political dissenters into jail without trial, set fire to opposition newspapers and ignored completely the Supreme Court when ruling such actions were unconstitutional...

Washington and Jefferson were Presidents..  Lincoln was a politician..  in every connotation that word sludges...
~ Caption underneath: "The Death of the Martyr President Abraham Lincoln" --  See folks-- propaganda isn't merely a 20th century invention..

And do we find fault with Lincoln?   Nope.. 'Ends justify the Means'.  Blessed be the ability to rationalize...

Oh well.. people believe what they will.. history as its taught today-- its all emotional comfort food.  So utterly dumbed down with simplification and hero/villian narrative.  And the History channel-- the epitome of spoon-fed, sugar coated shit.. the 'nourishment' of candy corn..all fed to a deeply short attention spanned public
~  Gee, which sketch is the accurate depiction?  Both?  How about Neither..

But that's just how things are..  And we need our heroes to be just that.. We need and want to admire on our terms.. on our agendas.. And if we find them not to be who we believed or were taught, then..  Ehh'....

An educated person self-educates.  An educated society motivates others to question.. to delve in..  to research..  to sift through the fables and tall-tales..

We're nowhere close to being an educated society..

But thank goodness we still have motivated individuals.
Happy President's Day..  and Happy Shopping!