Haitian Earthquake

13 Former Presidents And Public Service After The Presidency

With Presidents Day upon us, another interesting point of investigation about the American Presidency is the extent of public service of former Presidents.

The Presidents who remained active public figures after their Presidency, chronologically, were:

President John Quincy Adams (1825-1829), who served as a Congressman from Boston from 1830-1848, dying on the House floor during a debate over expansion of slavery into the territories gained from the Mexican War.

President Martin Van Buren (1837-1841), who after his difficult term in office due to the Panic of 1837, attempted to come back to the Presidency in 1844, failing at that venture, but running as the Presidential candidate of the Free Soil Party in 1848, the forerunner of the Republican Party.

President John Tyler (1841-1845), who renounced his American citizenship, and served for one year in the Confederate Congress before his death in 1862, which was not officially acknowledged by the United States government, due to his treason, as Americans saw it.

President Millard Fillmore (1850-1853), who after completing Zachary Taylor’s unfinished term without much distinction, came back and ran as the Presidential candidate of the American (Know Nothings) Party, an anti immigrant party, in the 1856 Presidential election, winning only Maryland in the Electoral College, and then went back into obscurity.

President Andrew Johnson (1865-1869), who served a few months as US Senator from Tennessee in 1875, serving alongside many of that body who had voted to remove him from office in the Impeachment trial of 1868, but died after those few months in the upper chamber.

President Theodore Roosevelt (1901-1909), who remained active, and ran for President on the third party Progressive Party line in 1912 against his own successor, William Howard Taft, and by running, helped to elect Woodrow Wilson as the next President. He also wrote and made speeches incessantly on every public topic imaginable!

President William Howard Taft (1909-1913), who was appointed Chief Justice of the Supreme Court by President Warren G. Harding in 1921, served nine years, and helped to plan the construction of the Supreme Court Building, which opened five years after he left the Court.

President Herbert Hoover (1929-1933), who served on the Hoover Commission on Organization of the Executive Branch of Government under appointment by President Harry Truman after World War II. Hoover also kept active in writing, and speaking up about public affairs.

President Richard Nixon (1969-1974), stayed active, writing about ten books and doing a lot of traveling around the world, and was an informal adviser to every President after him, including Bill Clinton in whose first term he passed away.

President Jimmy Carter (1977-1981) remained extremely active in his post Presidential years, writing over 20 books, forming the Carter Center to promote peace and diplomacy, and the fight against many diseases, and working for Habitat for Humanity in the construction of housing for the poor. He also had innumerable interviews and constantly spoke his mind on all kinds of domestic and foreign policy issues, and that continues today.

President Bill Clinton (1993-2001) followed in the steps of Jimmy Carter, promoting regular activity through his Clinton Global Initiative, and also promoting earthquake relief in Haiti in 2010 in tandem with President George W. Bush (2001-2009). Also, Clinton was involved in promotion of relief for victims of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004 with former President George H. W. Bush (1989-1993). He also has been interviewed regularly and published many books and articles.

So these are the contributions, after being President, of 13 Presidents, and it is highly likely that President Barack Obama will continue that tradition, leaving office, whether in 2013 or 2017, as one of the youngest retired Presidents in our history as a nation!

Bill Clinton Becomes 65: A Former President Who Continues To Have Impact!

Former President Bill Clinton hits 65 years old today, and in many ways, although out of the White House now for eleven years, he still has a major impact on America!

Considering that he had open heart surgery in 2004 due to bad eating habits, Clinton has slimmed down and become a vegan, and he has been active with his Clinton Initiative and Clinton Foundation and the Clinton Presidential Library.

The former President has been engaged at times in diplomacy, along with fundraising for disasters such as the Haitian earthquake, and also been a spokesman on human rights.

Clinton has great respect internationally, and has become the most active former President along with former President Jimmy Carter. Both have given back to their nation and the world after the honor of serving in the White House!

While controversial for his past actions and statements, and still debated as to his effectiveness as President, today is a day to celebrate and say: Happy Birthday, Mr. President!

Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh, Pat Robertson And Their Ilk: Despicable Human Beings! :(

Here we are in the midst of the greatest human crisis caused by nature–the Haitian Earthquake–and the hate mongers, the right wing religious and ideological conservatives–are doing nothing but make the situation worse by their rhetoric.

Pat Robertson’s earlier reported comment about Haiti having made a pact with the devil was already commented upon by the author a few days ago. Rush Limbaugh exploits the situation by claiming it is a way for Barack Obama to consolidate support among darker skinned blacks! Now most recently, Ann Coulter, who loves to issue outrageous statements with a smirk, says that she wonders why Bill Clinton, who she insults with sexual innuendo, has to be involved in Haiti relief. Indeed, it would be better to send Jimmy Carter, since there are next to no Jews in Haiti that he could insult, according to her statement!

So rather than contribute to the Haiti relief, these three despicable human beings instead exploit it, with Limbaugh and Coulter using it as an opportunity to trash Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, and Jimmy Carter, all of whom are involved in active efforts to help the needy and the poor. This is particularly the case for Carter and Clinton in their private lives in the years after the White House. Instead of applauding this, Coulter ridicules it!

There is an old saying, that what goes around comes around, and somehow one has to believe that God will punish these despicable human beings for their outrageous lack of concern for the Haitian victims, and willingness to exploit the issue for their own advantage!

Kudos To Dr. Sanjay Gupta Of CNN For His Courage And Dedication To Duty!

Dr. Sanjay Gupta, the Medical Correspondent for CNN, should be hailed and celebrated for his courage and dedication to duty in the Haitian Earthquake disaster.

UN doctors were told to leave because of security problems, leaving their patients, many of them just gone through surgery, absolutely without anyone to take care of them, except for Dr. Gupta, who was reporting the situation, and decided, with threat to himself certainly possible, to stay and tend to all of the patients overnight, going without sleep, but refusing to abandon the people who, without him, would have been left totally alone.

Dr. Gupta truly followed the Hippocratic Oath, while those UN doctors failed to meet their responsibilities, no matter what they were told to do. One should NEVER leave patients untended, but these men and women were unwilling to sacrifice possible danger to do their duty, while Dr. Gupta took his chances, but demonstrated just how much of a great professional and human being he is!

Wonderful To See Former Presidents Clinton And George W. Bush Working Together On Haitian Relief!

In a moment of human tragedy at the greatest level, it is wonderful to see former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush cooperating, working together with President Obama to promote a Haitian relief agenda.

The Haitian earthquake may be one of the ten greatest natural tragedies in the history of the world, and this is the time for all of us to implement efforts to alleviate human suffering and rebuild Haiti’s society and infrastructure, despite its imposing challenge.

This is not the time for mean spiritedness as expressed by the so called Christian evangelist Pat Robertson, or political exploitation as expressed by the right wing talk show hosts, such as Rush Limbaugh seeing what Obama is doing as political, to make himself look better than George W. Bush after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005.

It would be very nice to see the right wingers in Congress–such as James Inhofe and Tom Coburn of Oklahoma and James DeMint of South Carolina–and also former Vice President Dick Cheney–who spend their time dividing America, devoting time and effort on dealing with the Haitian relief effort, but predictably they remain silent!

Pat Robertson Rears His Ugly Head: The Haitian Earthquake

Lately, I had been thinking about what happened to Pat Robertson, who has been out of the news recently. It was a relief that he had not spouted his hypocritical brand of evangelical Christianity that promotes hate and prejudice instead of the true Christian spirit.

But lo and behold, Pat has just spoken up on the tragedy of the Haitian Earthquake, possibly the worst earthquake of modern times in the Western Hemisphere, and the latest natural disaster to hit the poor country of Haiti, coming on top of four hurricanes in 2008.

Robertson’s poison was to say that the Haitians two hundred years ago had made a pact with the devil by fighting against French control of their country, with many adopting Voodoo in opposition to French Christianity.

Robertson needs to be silenced, as he is promoting hate and racism, nothing new for him, but despicable in the midst of such a great national crisis. But then, one must remember that it was the same Pat Robertson who, after September 11, blamed the event on gays, feminists, environmentalists and liberals.

That other notorious evangelical Christian leader, Jerry Falwell, has been taken from us by his God,with no loss to mankind. Let’s hope that Pat Robertson soon will be silenced by a loving God who realizes how Pat has distorted the message of true Christianity: to be thy brother’s keeper and promote love and tolerance, not hate and prejudice and division! 🙁