Child Welfare

President Warren G. Harding Love Letters Revealed After Nearly A Century!

This author and blogger has taught at the college level now for 42 plus years, and one of his favorite discussions was of the Presidency of Warren G Harding (1921-1923), generally acknowledged as the worst President of the 20th century, and close to the bottom of all Presidents on any ranking, sharing that with James Buchanan, Andrew Johnson, and Franklin Pierce.

Harding is not remembered for very much, but he was the President who appointed former President William Howard Taft to be Chief Justice; pardoned Socialist leader Eugene Debs from prison; had his Secretary of State, Charles Evans Hughes, who had been the Republican Presidential nominee in 1916 against Woodrow Wilson, negotiate the Washington Naval Conference that promoted naval disarmament; established the first federal child welfare program; supported the idea of an eight hour work day; advocated an anti lynching bill to protect African Americans; and created the Bureau of the Budget.

He also had the greatest popular vote victory for a first term President in American history, and the percentage of the vote was only later surpassed by Franklin D. Roosevelt, Lyndon B. Johnson, and Richard Nixon after already residing in the White House!

Despite these accomplishments, Harding is best remembered for the scandals of his administration in the Justice Department, the Interior Department, and the Veterans Bureau (all of these generally known as the Teapot Dome scandals); and also, even more notably his sexual liaisons in and out of the White House years, most notably with Nan Britton, with whom he had an illegitimate daughter; and with Carrie Phillips, who he shared love letters discovered in the 1960s, but banned from revelation and publication at that time to avoid embarrassment.

Well, now those love letters, originally held by the Ohio Historical Society, are opened to scholars and journalists, and are the most extensive set of love letters ever discovered about any President! Much of it is x rated, and a bit shocking to many, as he describes his private parts as “Jerry”, and is extremely descriptive in his sexual language.

So one of the stories I told my students, that they would have to wait decades to learn about in detail, is open and available, revealed this week at the Library of Congress!

It will bring more attention to the 29th President, but is unlikely to raise him from the basement of rankings of Presidents of the United States!

The Republican Condemnation Of The Poor: Adding Insult To Injury!

The Republican Party has become more venal, more disgraceful, than ever in their 157 year history, with their new tactic of condemning the poor, bringing back reminders of the nineteenth century Gilded Age and the philosophy of Social Darwinism.

Not only are poor people already subjugated by poverty with inadequate or no housing, poor food supply, lack of decent living conditions, and little hope and optimism about the future, with two thirds of the poor being children unfortunate enough to be born into the “wrong” families, but now they are being condemned with the old conservative belief that they are lazy, shiftless “losers” who don’t wish to work for a living, and instead wish to be supported by taxpayers with “luxurious” welfare packages, including Medicaid and Food Stamps, and support for each child born to them.

The fact that Medicaid provides inadequate medical care; that Food Stamps do not provide the means for a nutritional diet; that the amount given for each child’s support is miniscule, and that living in slums, often rat infested and crime ridden, has a psychological effect on children is not considered.

Also, the fact that three out of four adults in poverty actually work, but cannot make enough to get out of poverty and give their children hope for the future, is not pointed out by the critics.

To be poor is a terrible thing, but to be condemned and denounced by people who claim often to be “religious” is enough to make one wish to vomit at the disgrace of many people’s false beliefs and terrible attitudes toward those less fortunate. To kick one symbolically when they are down is reprehensible beyond belief! And it brings up the old saying: “There but for the grace of God go I!”