Mount Rushmore

Donald Trump Totally Delusional, Comparing Himself To Lincoln, And Suggesting Mount Rushmore For Himself!

Donald Trump is totally delusional, and he is becoming more embarrassing by the day.

He is telling us now that he is more “Presidential” than any President except the “great” Abraham Lincoln, who would not give him the time of day if he were to have met him, as he would see that Trump is simply an egotist, a narcissist, a braggart, a bully, a BS artist, a misogynist, a racist, a xenophobe, a nativist, a liar, a homophobe, an Islamophobe, an obnoxious personality, and innumerable other adjectives, all which would cause Lincoln to reject him, as he was a man of character.

Trump has no historical knowledge, so he thinks he has accomplished more in six months than anyone ever has, when he has accomplished less than any President ever in American history!

He seems not to know about Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal, or Lyndon B. Johnson and the Great Society, or Woodrow Wilson and the New Freedom, or others who had a dramatic and positive effect on the nation and very rapidly.

And Trump imagines himself, as he said in a speech two days ago, that he might be a future candidate for Mount Rushmore, because he is on the level of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt in his own delusional mind!

One can imagine the rolling eyes and shaking heads of these Presidents in the afterlife as they look at Donald Trump, and the total embarrassment he is to the institution of the American Presidency!

Republican Party, The Party Of Conservatives Abraham Lincoln And Ronald Reagan: Really, Lincoln A Conservative?

As the Republican Party is imploding, we are hearing Florida Senator Marco Rubio and others talk about how Donald Trump is not a conservative, like Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan, and that Trump cannot be allowed to inherit their conservatism.

Really?  Abraham Lincoln  a conservative?  Give us all a break!

Lincoln was NOT a conservative, as he challenged the Establishment of his time in so many ways, including opposing any expansion of slavery!

Lincoln waged war on the South, to prevent their successful secession from the Union, and that is NOT conservatism!

Lincoln moved to promote freedom of the slaves, via the Emancipation Proclamation and the 13th Amendment, and that is NOT conservatism!

Lincoln promoted a major national government commitment to a transcontinental railroad, and that is NOT conservatism!

Lincoln promoted creation of a national banking system; a national currency; the first federal income tax; the first land grant colleges; the Department of Agriculture added to the Presidential cabinet; the Homestead Act; and set up the first military draft; and all of this list is NOT conservatism!

Lincoln was a Liberal, a Progressive, who believed in the use of Presidential power and authority!

Lincoln became the inspiration for another Republican President, Theodore Roosevelt, who is condemned by conservatives, because he believed, as Lincoln did, in in expansion of federal authority, and assertion of Presidential authority and Social Justice, a la Abraham Lincoln!

That is why it is two Liberals, two Progressives, Lincoln and TR, on Mount Rushmore, because they were NOT conservatives!

 

Political Correctness Gone Mad: The Attack On Historical Figures’ Monuments And Statues Because Of Their Racism And Bigotry!

Face the facts, racism and bigotry is part of human history, whether we like it or not!

Many great leaders in government were racists, bigots, and should be denounced for that part of their historical record!

But to say that Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Andrew Jackson, Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Lyndon B. Johnson, and innumerable others who have been important figures in American history should, therefore, be wiped out of history–have all statues removed, all monuments destroyed, all buildings renamed, all streets and schools no longer reflect their historical significance, much of it good,— is CRAZY and distorting history!

We can condemn the fact that many Presidents were slave owners; that Lincoln had a mixed record on racial matters; that Confederate leaders were out to defend slavery; that many 20th century Presidents had a prejudice toward various religious, racial and ethnic groups in American society; and recognize there is much to do to overcome racism and bigotry.

But all of the people mentioned are an important part of history in ways and on issues other than negative ones!  They had positive contributions that affected the long run of history!

So should the effect of Woodrow Wilson on Princeton University be wiped out; and should the Jefferson and Lincoln Memorials and Washington Monument; and should Stone Mountain in Georgia and Mount Rushmore in South Dakota; and endless other monuments and sites named after imperfect people— be destroyed because some people are affronted about our past?

The answer is ABSOLUTELY NOT, and instead use the truth of the past as a teaching moment, and strive to make America a better place now and in the future!

Democratic Party Rejection Of Thomas Jefferson And Andrew Jackson A Denial Of Party History, And Wrong!

The Democratic Party of 2015 is pursuing a dangerous trend, that of denying history.

Many Democratic state groups have decided to change the name of their annual dinners, which have been called the “Jefferson-Jackson Day” dinners.

This is political correctness to the extreme, and totally wrong.

The point that is made is that Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson both were slave owners, which is certainly true.

Somehow, Arthur Schlesinger Jr, who wrote the acclaimed “Age of Jackson” in 1945, and who passed away in 2007, must be turning over in his grave at the denial of the importance of Jackson, and the political correctness, better known as ignorance, that is being promoted. And many who have published on Jefferson, while realizing his many shortcomings, must feel that trying to wipe out his memory is inappropriate.

Both Jefferson and Jackson have faults and shortcomings, and this author and blogger is the first to admit that.

But to wipe out memory on their founding of the Democratic Party simply because of their stand on race 200-250 years ago is totally wrong.

Both Jefferson and Jackson were crucial to the development of the concept of democracy, even if it had terrible limits in their era.

Both had major contributions to make, which cannot be wiped out, and should not be written out of the history of the Democratic Party.

One can criticize the negative legacy of anyone, but also, one must acknowledge the positive legacy of these two significant Presidents, and early founders of the Democratic Party, which has made great strides since their lifetimes!

This is the same narrow mindedness that leads to many saying all Confederate statues and memorials should be removed, when it is part of our history.

We are not the old Soviet Union, or other dictatorships, past and present, which try to rewrite our history, and sanitize it, when we need to have understanding of what our past was, and destruction of memorials and statues is not the answer, anymore than taking Thomas Jefferson and George Washington, both slave owners, off of Mount Rushmore!

This is the promotion of ignorance and denial of the truth of history!

The Most Overrated and Underrated Presidents, According To The American Political Science Association Presidential Poll

Further study of the American Political Science Association Presidential poll of 2014 reveals the following:

The most overrated Presidents are John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, and Andrew Jackson.

The most underrated Presidents are Dwight D. Eisenhower, George H. W. Bush, and Harry Truman.

These consensus judgments seem legitimate, as this author thinks those listed are an accurate assessment.

However, also underrated, and not even making the top 24 Presidents, with a 50 percent rating or above as deserving to be on the list of significant Presidents is Jimmy Carter.

Additionally, Lyndon B. Johnson will, over time, make it to the top ten, above Eisenhower and Bill Clinton, both of whom seem higher than they should be, and also above Jackson.

If any Presidents were to be added to Mount Rushmore, it is clear that Franklin D. Roosevelt is easily the most deserving, and really, no one else qualifies on legitimate grounds, even though there are supporters of Kennedy, Reagan and Eisenhower to join him, if there were additions made, which is, realistically, not going to happen!

George McGovern: The Most Decent Politician Of Our Lifetime, Dies At Age 90

Former South Dakota Senator George McGovern, the Democratic Presidential nominee in 1972 against Richard Nixon, has passed away at age 90 this morning, and his death brings back memories of the Great Society and the Vietnam War.

McGovern, a great supporter of Lyndon B. Johnson’s reforms, and the quintessential liberal Democrat in the nation, was a strong anti war advocate who used that issue in his 1972 Presidential campaign, against the most unethical and crooked President in history, and was smashed by a 49 state defeat by Richard Nixon.

Despite that massive defeat, McGovern kept his dignity, his decency, and his principles, and his 18 years in the Senate were among the most heroic and exceptional we have seen in that body which includes too many opportunists.

McGovern was an inspiration to the author when he was a young man, and he was, without question, the most decent politician of my lifetime, a man of peace and tolerance, and yet a man who had fought combat missions in World War II. and knew the horrors of war.

This author once wrote a post suggesting a “Progressive Mount Rushmore”, more in jest than expecting it to happen, with McGovern joining fellow Democrat Hubert Humphrey of Minnesota, and Republican Senators Robert La Follette, Sr of Wisconsin and George Norris of Nebraska, on that hallowed concept of a monument to great progressives and liberals who have impacted our nation and our lives.

It is hard not to be a bit emotional, hearing of McGovern’s death, but we know he was a man who, to the end of his life, affected the nation in a positive manner.

And we know that three future Democratic Presidents were impacted by McGovern’s idealism and principles–two directly (Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton)—and Barack Obama more in a learning manner about a man who ran for President when our President was just starting to think about public affairs at age 11.

George McGovern will be part of the broad story of American history, and when people read about and learn about him, a smile will appear, as he was the epitome of what a decent politician is all about, and makes the word politician have new meaning.

90th Birthday Of George McGovern: A Case For National Celebration For A Great Statesman!

Today is the 90th birthday of former Senator and 1972 Democratic Presidential candidate George McGovern, and should be a reason for national celebration.

A truly great statesman, the former South Dakota Senator had a distinguished career of national service, including his efforts as a pilot in World War II, and is a true inspiration to many Americans for his principles, his values, his ethics, his commitment to public service, and his great decency and compassion for others.

At a time when we have a political party which has no compassion or concern for the average citizen, George McGovern stands out for his courage in opposing the war in Vietnam, and being a major advocate of the New Frontier of John F. Kennedy and the Great Society of Lyndon B. Johnson!

McGovern has continued to be active, writing and speaking on issues that matter to him, supportive of President Barack Obama, and continuing to advocate the liberal and progressive tradition, of which he is such an exceptional advocate all of his life.

When this author wrote recently about the concept of a “Liberal-Progressive” Mount Rushmore as a thought, he included McGovern, along with Robert La Follette, Sr., George Norris, and Hubert Humphrey, as the rightful faces which should be on such a monument.

Let all good people salute George McGovern on his 90th birthday, and wish him many more years of health, happiness, and contributions to the liberal-progressive cause!

A Liberal-Progressive Mount Rushmore And A Conservative Mount Rushmore: Who Would Be On Such Mount Rushmores?

Last Friday, Joe Scarborough and MORNING JOE on MSNBC had distinguished historians assess which Presidents might be on a new, second Mount Rushmore, if such a monument were ever built.

This brought to mind the idea of who might be on a Liberal-Progressive Mount Rushmore, and who would be on a Conservative Mount Rushmore, if such were ever constructed anywhere in America.

This is mostly just interesting scholarly speculation, but here goes my suggestions for such honoring on both sides of the political spectrum.

LIBERAL/PROGRESSIVE MOUNT RUSHMORE

Robert La Follette, Sr.–Republican Governor (1900-1906) and Senator (1906-1925) of Wisconsin–Mr. Progressive of the early 20th century and 1924 Progressive Party nominee for President.

George Norris–Republican Congressman (1902-1912) and Senator (1912-1942) of Nebraska–the most creative reform figure and longevity of the first half of the 20th century, a bridge between the Progressive Era of Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson and the New Deal of Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Hubert H. Humphrey–Democratic Mayor Of Minneapolis (1945-1949), Senator (1949-1964, 1970-1978) of Minnesota, and Vice President of the United States (1965-1969) and Democratic Presidential nominee in 1968, who had the most creative record of promoting reform in the years after World War II throughout the 1960s.

Ted Kennedy–Democratic Senator (1962-2009) of Massachusetts, the fourth longest serving US Senator in American history, and the most creative reformer in the years from the 1970s until his death in 2009.

A possible alternative would be Democratic Senator George McGovern of
South Dakota (1922-2012), who ran for President in 1972, and was a major critic of the Vietnam War, one of the most decent men ever in American politics, serving in the Senate from 1963-1981.

CONSERVATIVE MOUNT RUSHMORE

Arthur Vandenberg–Republican Senator (1928-1951) of Michigan, who opposed the New Deal and was an isolationist in foreign policy through World War II, but then became an internationalist in support of the United Nations and President Harry Truman’s Cold War policy against the Soviet Union after World War II, and potential Presidential candidate twice.

Robert Taft–Republican Senator (1939-1953) of Ohio, son of President and Chief Justice William Howard Taft, promoted the anti labor union Taft-Hartley Act, promoted an isolationist foreign policy, and considered Mr. Conservative by his party, and a potential Presidential candidate numerous times.

Barry Goldwater–Senator (1952-1964, 1968-1986) of Arizona, succeeding Robert Taft as Mr. Conservative, and 1964 Republican nominee for President, becoming the hero of conservatives long term, and having an effect on President Ronald Reagan.

Ronald Reagan–Republican Governor of California (1966-1974), and President of the United States (1981-1989), after a career as a movie actor, influenced by the principles and ideas of Barry Goldwater, who he publicly backed in a famous speech in 1964.

The author welcomes commentary on these selections!

Which Presidents Would Belong On A Second Mount Rushmore?

This morning, on MORNING JOE on MSNBC, there was a fascinating three hour discussion on the American Presidency, to commemorate the Fourth of July national holiday.

Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski had many distinguished guests, journalists and historians, to analyze the office and the 43 men who have held that position.

Three distinguished historians–Doris Kearns Goodwin, Jon Meacham, and Evan Thomas–gave their view of which Presidents would be appropriate for a second Mount Rushmore, if such a momument were ever to be built in South Dakota or elsewhere.

Their selections were certainly fascinating, controversial, and highly debatable.

Goodwin’s list was Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Lyndon B. Johnson, and Ronald Reagan.

Meacham’s list was Andrew Jackson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy,and Ronald Reagan.

Thomas’s list included Franklin D. Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Ronald Reagan, and George H. W. Bush.

So FDR and Reagan are on all three lists, and would certainly please progressives and Democrats on the one hand, and conservatives and Republicans on the other hand.

But there the disagreements begin, and lead to a total of six other Presidents being listed–Jackson, Truman, Ike, JFK, LBJ, and Bush No. 41.

One wonders if there has been disrespect shown toward Woodrow Wilson, who had such a long range impact on the office of the Presidency, although there has been a lot of criticism directed toward him over the years.

One also wonders about the famous “obscure” President, James K. Polk, who gained more territory in his one term than anyone other than Thomas Jefferson.

Also, the question arises whether Bill Clinton will see his historical stock rise as the years go by, to the point of possibly being a candidate for a second Mount Rushmore.

If this author and blogger were queried about his choices, the Presidents he would select would be to agree totally with Doris Kearns Goodwin: FDR, Truman, LBJ, and Reagan!

But now the reader can chime in with his or her views about a second Mount Rushmore, and the more the merrier!