I grew up with teachers bending my ear and school books extolling the virtues of the various Presidents of these United States. As with most school kids, there were those that immediately caught my imagination, and many ended up in the Ho-Hum can. Regardless, all were said to be the epitome of a First Class American Citizen was. The Prime Example of THE Public Servant. The Zenith of Human Example.
Well, as the years passed, these bubbles one by one were burst asunder by the various advances in media distribution. Now, as I advance toward my “Gold Years” (Golden Years, my butt!), with history literally available to me at my fingertips and cable television channels, etc., I look at the personages the people of these United States has given such control over their lives, and in many cases the lives and fates of people the world over. I look at them, and in some cases I simply shake my head, while in others I stand aghast at the lives of some of these Presidents led and at their actions or non-actions while in the Office of the President of the United States.
It has come down to this: Within my limited knowledge, only two Presidents stand out as being worthy of the office; George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, and as time passes I am not all that sure any more of even them. However, given the times, etc., I give them the benefit of the doubt and yet hold them both in esteem.
Still, I honor the Office of the President, and stand by our Government, screwed up as it is, it still is the only one we have, and surely better than what else is left to choose from. Yet, this does not mean I have to stand by in mute stance letting my dissatisfaction go unspoken.
For, if the KKK’ers, the Neo-Nazis, the various other not so live and let live factions, such as the skinheads and boneheads, can shout from the rooftops with perfect impunity screaming their right to do so under the guise of the Constitution and The Bill of Rights while denying the very same to other fellow Americans – then, I can lay forth my own opinions. For surely, the trials and tribulations; the blood and lives lost through ensuing years to ensure those yellow and aged pages holding such inspired ideals and goals must by the very nature of their being, be applied to one and all of those who are considered “Americans”.
I confess, that while I must and do, stand by “my” President, whether I voted for this person or not, I am losing confidence whomever it is holding that office at any given time, and perhaps to a greater degree, the credence in what I can lend forth to words and actions emanating from there. Why?
Well, I am glad you asked. Here are a couple of reasons that have come forth with the passage of time, and the Freedom of Information Act, which has lessened the choke hold over the awareness of the Common American.
I shall endeavor to keep these “notes” brief, however it must be said that what I do mention is hardly the end of the matter.
Thomas Jefferson a great man in many respects, against Slavery, yet I notice he did not free his own slaves until he was on his Death Bed, or in his Will, I forget which.
President Jackson. Basically, this President was responsible in some areas, and knowingly looked the other way, as Treaty Bound Cherokee Native Americans were virtually as gun in the back robbed of their very identity, possessions and all else; as well as ignoring Congressional Implemented Laws which favored the Cherokee.
President Taft. Now this is NOT an indictment against obesity or those that are, however, Taft was a hefty individual before he gained the Presidency. After he gained the office, he grew even heavier…some have said 300-400 pounds. Certainly large enough to get stuck in his bath tub and need the Secret Service to get him loose. It makes one wonder, just how much effort did he put forth to the leading and betterment of this Country, if he had time to gorge himself to that extent.
President Wilson. Great idea, no idea how to implement and most assuredly no backbone to make the idea “live”. The first United Nations was his baby, world peace his goal. Result? Right after creating it, World War I came into being.
Franklin D. Roosevelt.
By nearly all accounts a hugely successful and great President.
Does not his election record show this?
Does not the American Voter record prove it?
Then why did such a great humanitarian and leader, allow…yes,
allow!…Pearl Harbor to happen?
This man had over 30 distinct and viable
warnings well ahead of
the attack. He needed,
truth be told, the world needed the United States into the Pacific
portion of World War II. But
did he have to go this
route to do it?
He also knew very well that the sinking
of the Lusitania would occur.
In fact, by “authorizing” this ship to carry forbidden
munitions, then managing to “leak” this information to Germany in
one way or other, virtually insured that the
ship would be sunk.
Voila! Just like that, great American backed reason to get into
World War II on the European Front.
Granted, we needed to be there, and for all the right reasons
but surely there is never a valid reason to bury one’s Honor and the
Honor of their Nation by using such a nefarious connotation to the in
error adage: The Ends Justify the Means?
Harry S. Truman. I used to really admire this man. Then, I found out that at one time Ho Chi Minh, recall him?, wrote to President Truman directly, and asked him to bring Viet Nam into U.S. control as a territory or protectorate. Truman ignored him and the letter. What an amazingly different path would have been born had Truman but listened to this one man. How many lives would have been saved and others allowed to be born? And while General MacArthur was indeed an egotistical warlord, as it were, Truman would have done well to listen to this man as well and put his own ego aside for a bit.
Dwight D. Eisenhower. Great American General, at the right place at the right time…until he decided to become President.
John F. Kennedy. Another great man, in many respects. His messing up of Bay of Pigs fiasco borders on the criminal, however; and the fact that he had the FBI, the CIA AND the Mafia ticked off at him at the same time says that he surely was in the position of having the right hand having no idea what the left hand was doing at any given time. I mean, who in their right mind, either comes up with the idea or goes along with the idea of “hiring” the Mafia (whom he is supposed to be totally against and striving to eradicate), to assassinate the leader of another country? Do I believe in The Conspiracy Theory as to Kennedy’s Assassination? You bet I do. Do I have any idea who is/was in it? Yeah, all the above and more…many more.
I used to wonder, from time to time, about the phrase, in the interests of National Security, such and such is not allowed to be known to the very people who make up the country. Not any more, were I any of those and other Presidents, I wouldn’t want the American Public to know either! Its not the National Security the government is worried about: 'tis their collective butts!
We can go on, but why bother? The knowledge is out there, find it. The fact remains, we Americans are so lazy that we allow our elected officials to do our thinking for us, and then act outraged when we do not like the outcome.
Now, at first I see a man, that prior to the election, I was not impressed in the least by. In recent times, that began to change. Then, I saw him go to a country that too darn recently was condemning the United States, and meeting not only with this particular head of government there, but also meeting with “an old enemy” head of state, which in turn, is a historical enemy of the host country; and I wonder, huh?! Global coalition against international terrorism? Somehow, nice as this sounds and as great a theater platform has been provided for it, I can not accept this as the real reason for this tri-meeting. Russia, China and the United States in the same room at the same time, and no one emerging with a black eye? Hardly. What has the American people lost this time, that we as yet, do not know about?
More and more the old adage/quote comes to be as real as real gets: Those who do not learn from history are condemned to repeat it.
The American People had best begin to learn to see behind all the glitter and flag waving, strive to see what is, in fact, beginning to happen in “their world”.