It’s President’s Day! And you know what that means!
…LAWL, no, you don’t. To you, this is just another day off! The only reason I knew was because my sister posted “Oh, hey it is Presidents’ Day. How about that?” on Facebook. For most, this is an excuse not to go to work or school, or to sleep in, or whatever it is that you do to feel lazy. I’m going to go out on a limb and wager that unless you’re reading this, no dead presidents were really going to be on your mind today.
And that’s ok! Because there are apparently only three worth worrying about anyway! I ran across a poll on Yahoo! today asking which dead president, if any, people would bring back if they could. Of only three options (out of 39 total options), Abraham Lincoln had 26%, Franklin Roosevelt had 27%, and Ronald Reagan, of course, has 47%.
ABRAHAM LINCOLN! The “Great Emancipator”! Sniffing around half of Reagan’s total haul. FDR! The man who brought us out of the Great Depression and fought World War II! In a wheelchair! Also begging for scraps from Reagan’s numbers’ table. And what did Reagan do again? End the Cold War? Oh no, sorry, that was George H. W. Bush.
So what is it exactly that Reagan did that everyone loved? I’m honestly asking. If any of my more conservative readers would like to come on and enlighten me, please! I’m open to enlightenment! Because all I can think of are:
- the massive amounts of deregulations (of the airline industry, banks, and other federal bureaucracies) that resulted in their eventual re-regulation, which took decades, and was extremely expensive in the long run
- the trickle-down economic policies and other aspects of “Reaganomics” that only managed to worsen the socio-economic divide that so notably cripples this country and ignites those ideas of class warfare that good ol’ “Reagan conservatives” like to pretend do not exist
- harmful social policies like opposing the Equal Rights Amendment and vetoing the Civil Rights Restoration Act, ridiculous policies like trying to pass legislation for organized school prayer, and pointedly prejudiced behaviour like not even acknowledging the AIDS epidemic until late into his second term.
And let’s not even get started on Lincoln! The fact is, none of our presidents were perfect. They all had their problems. Even people like (my sister’s personal favourite) Thomas Jefferson, who owned slaves, are not above reproach!
Now, as many people have pointed out, Jefferson was kinder to his slaves than most slaveowners of his time, and certainly moreso than the ones succeeding him. And as my sister pointed out, excavations have been conducted at Monticello during which high class china was found in the slave quarters, meaning that the slaves ate off the same china as the family did. And as we all know, Jefferson did have a particular fondness for his slaves, which resulted in the other half of his family tree. That all being said, however, he still owned slaves! Our most perfect Presidents were still far from perfect.
Take my personal heroes for example, FDR and Woodrow Wilson. I will always contend that Wilson was one of the least appreciated men ever, because he was not appreciated at the time, and he’s not appreciated enough now. However, I still have to come to terms with the fact that he was a big fan of Griffith’s Birth of a Nation, a (by all rights, brilliantly-made) film that depicts the Klu Klux Klan as national saviours. He staged a private screening of the film at the White House, an act that caused much controversy. This is not an acceptable thing for our leaders to be doing, whatever his reasons may have been.
But I guess it’s not as bad as rounding up all the members of a particular race and sending them to live in interment camps a la Adolf Hitler (who we had literally JUST been fighting)! Seriously, what was Roosevelt thinking? I have to say, in all of our country’s history, the thing I find the most appalling right behind Native American relocation, has been Japanese internment. Now, I realize that nothing even remotely similar to Auschwitz was going on there, but still. Not ok, by any stretch of the imagination.
And finally, this brings me to the Great One himself. The Messiah. The Chosen One. He That Will Lead Us Out of the Darkness and into the Light. Yes, I’m talking about Abraham Lincoln. Our 16th President. A brilliant mind atop a bearded stick of string cheese, barreling right on through the examining lenses of history as no one stops to really check out his record… See, the thing is, even though all that “Emancipation Proclamation” stuff sounds really nice on paper, the “law” itself carried no actual weight. The 13th Amendment abolished slavery in the United States of America, people, not the Emancipation Proclamation! There were better reasons to say all those pretty words when he did than simply because slavery is wrong:
- Freeing the slaves would encourage them to fight for the North
- No slave labor means no Southern economy
- No Southern economy means no foreign trade/recognition
- No foreign trade/recognition means no legitimate sovereignty
- Slaves eventually voting for Lincoln/Republicans
- Slaves eventually earning wages, which means
- Slaves eventually paying taxes
Lincoln may have been an “abolitionist” for almost all of his career, but that was mostly because he believed in democratic principles like popular sovereignty and didn’t like the idea of slavery being forced onto people who didn’t condone it. At the time, when a new state entered the Union, it had to even out the number of free and slave states. This is why Lincoln opposed slavery, not because it had much to do with slavery itself being wrong. No one was that enlightened back then. At least, very few were, and they weren’t career politicians. They were Frederick Douglass.
And ultimately, when it comes right down to it, I don’t care who you free. Racism is racism. And when you string up a massive amount of innocent people without asking them what they did wrong, you’re either racist or psychotic — and neither variety of person deserves to be canonized as Lincoln has been.
And yet, both types seem to get elected fairly often!
Look at the polls right now, for example! Rick Santorum, the man who said gay soldiers deserve to be court-martialled and that the Crusades were not a display of Christian aggression, is ahead in the polls. I’ll repeat it so you don’t have to go back: HE’S AHEAD IN THE POLLS. He’s beating Mitt Romney. He’s… I can’t even… trying to… wrap my brain around the… And nope. It just exploded.
The man whose name is synonymous with anal crap syrup! So to go with that whole psycho-racist-presidential theme, we’re changing Santorum’s name again. But not his last name because it already has the greatest definition ever. This time we’re changing his first name to Sanatorium to represent his family roots and the fact that he’s insane. Sanatorium Santorum 2012: both a crazy racist presidential candidate AND frothy ass juice you’d find at a nut house.
So there you have it people, my official endorsement of Shit-Lube-Mixture Man for President of the United States in 2012. Because let’s be honest — even the best of them have been kind of shitty in their own ways. May as well elect someone who’s named for it!
– THE DUEL CITIZEN