With today being Presidents’ Day, there has been some presidential talk in the Campbell home recently. Last night at dinner, in fact, one question asked of the children was, “Who is your favorite president?”
The responses, which I clarified again this morning, were as follows:
Cam, age 4
George Washington! (Said with staggering confidence!)
Emma, age 5
“George Washington.” Then, after a very slight pause, “And the president who slept under his horse!” (Ulysses S. Grant, according to Alex and his presidential trivia.)
Julia, age 7
George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. (Washington, because he was the first president, and Lincoln “because he’s the only other one I know!”)
Kirsten, age 9 (almost 10!)
Ronald Reagan, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Thomas Jefferson. Reagan made her list because, “He’s one of the presidents I know the most about, and because he liked horses.” And Jefferson was a late addition because… we visited his house. 🙂
Alex, age 12
Grover Cleveland, Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, and Grover Cleveland. (The reason Cleveland is on the list twice is the reason he’s Alex’s favorite president.) 🙂
Ian, age 15
Thomas Jefferson: “He liked gadgets, and the Louisiana Purchase. (That was cool) And he was just smart.”
Dad, age Old
Ronald Reagan, Calvin Coolidge, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington. And, George W. Bush, because he has the BEST quotes/sound bytes.1 He was fantastic. (Really! Are there any better?)
Mom, age Older 🙂
George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Calvin Coolidge, and Ronald Reagan. (Hmmm… eerily similar to the Dad!) The Mom gave the most thorough reasoning behind her selections: All of them because they were ‘real’, humble Americans, and “George Washington, because he was humble and didn’t even want to be president. Jefferson because he wasn’t a follower. Coolidge because he didn’t need to say much, and Reagan because the further we get from [the founding of the country] the harder it is to have (and live) those principles.”
(She’s smart.) 🙂
We celebrate this Monday in February two of the men who held that office that had probably the greatest impact on our nation: George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. Their birthdays both right around that day. (Lincoln on February 12th, and on Washington February 22nd.) But since we call it “Presidents’ Day”, often we lump in other presidents, worthy of laud.
Now, who is your favorite president?
There are forty-four possibilities (or, forty-three, if you’d prefer not to count Cleveland twice, like Alex). Leave your answers in the comments below, with as much reasoning as you’d like. We’ll add your favorites to tonight’s dinner discussion!
Happy Presidents’ Day!
This page has some of the best, but just search the web and there are likely hundreds of hilarious quotes from the 43rd president of the United States of America. ↩
Some posts here at GregsHead.net are visited many times every day. One of those posts was originally published on January 30th, 2005—nine years ago this day! But it’s not the one I chose to highlight today. (It certainly gets enough views on its own; if you’d like to read that short post about the word “Hiccough”, click the link at the end of this post.) In 2012, I wrote out some thoughts about the election process for the office of President of the United States (and our government in general). If you live in this country, it’s important to think about, and know what you think. So, it’s not a presidential election year (2014), but read on, and add your thoughts in the comments, if you wish. (Thanks!)
“I’ve grown weary of the Republican primary campaigns.”
I think I may have spoken those words even an entire year ago.
Aren’t you? Or are you not even following along?
A friend asked a couple times recently what I thought of the presidential election race and I hesitated to offer my thoughts both because they are honestly not that well-formed, and equally because I am just a bit tired of thinking about it already!
But, as we are a republic, and we are electing one third of our governmental structure in about ten months, I suppose we all must pay attention at some point.
(But over a year before the election?!?)
Wearied by all the banter I see in articles (and subsequent reader comments) as well as things I hear on radio, and see in the multiple email forwards I receive from my politically-astute Dad, I decided to look up that website I had discovered a year or two ago.
VoteSmart.org has their VoteEasy tool up and running again (I’d guess it never comes down) and it’s a great way to start out gathering information and narrowing down who might be a candidate that would best represent you in Washington.
Please note that I said start out. It is critical that we investigate all claims made by reporters, political ads (especially these), and even friends. Whenever possible, go to the source.
I can’t emphasize that enough. (I did the best I could with the <strong> and <em> tags…)
I answered all the questions that VoteEasy uses to help you figure out which candidate might be the “best match” for you. I believe it’s clear that the site creators know they are just a good starting point because they don’t just tell you who to vote for. You can click on the picture of your Best Match and read their voting record, bills they authored, read/hear speeches, and see tons of information in their public record. Plus, you can of course click on all the other candidates, too, and do the same.
But, as I intend to do, verify the claims of any resource. And it’s best to verify by going to the original source as much as possible. The closer the information is to original (not filtered through several reports) the more reliable. (The reliability of the source should be gauged as well.)
It’s a lot of work, but I think we have a pretty messed up situation at all levels of government because for too long nearly all of us have neglected to actually verify the information we are fed; especially the crap that you hear from almost every political ad. Yuck.
(Ads in general greatly annoy me, but…. that’s a subject for a future post. It’s in my Draft folder…)
I’d love to know what your resources are for information on the candidates for President. Please add your thoughts and—most helpfully—links to the comments below.
The condition of our government is really always a reflection of the condition of us: We The People. After all, our elected officials—corrupt, greedy, power-hungry, disconnected, slimy politicians though they may be—are indeed pulled from the pool of us.
I believe that for so long we’ve been trained that our votes don’t matter. Conditioned to think we should leave government and “politics” up to the professionals. Sure we can vote, but since it’s not “our thing” we vote for the party our parents or our friends like (sometimes simply to avoid scorn) and we are quite easily swayed by the propaganda-like ads that bombard us for nearly a whole year before a “big” election. And so, we go on barely paying attention while money and power determine who “represents” us and the big-picture direction our country will take in the near and long-term future.
And it will only continue to get worse as long as we think that the government dictates to us, rather than represents us. We are the vehicle for change in a republican government (note the small ‘r’) and that goes beyond a vote cast every four years.
Get involved. Know what’s being done with your tax money. Both in your town and state, locally, and on the federal level as your state is represented in Washington. Information and knowledge go a long way; wield a lot of power.
But most of all, be a person of integrity. Character matters. You probably know that. You probably live that. But one reason we so disapprove of our representatives in government is that for so long in this country, character and integrity have not mattered. And, since our elected leaders are us… well… it’s a rather bleak picture.
The only way to reverse the trend is to know what you believe and live it. Honor life, freedom, liberty. Consider others before yourself. Live at peace with everyone.
It is indeed we who abide in Jesus who could (if we would) most affect the political landscape of our country.
I’m not talking about elections. I’m talking about living lives of integrity, loving justice, and treating everyone with the grace and mercy we’ve known so deeply we taste it.
That’s the only way we will truly change our country. No politician, no elected official, no representative can do anything as monumental as a concerned neighbor. You will most likely live your entire life not residing at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, as will I. But if each one of us treated the other like we’d want to be treated, then our country—even in Washington—would be the light on a hill our founders dreamt it could be.
Lastly, I’ll leave you with this. Watch this video. I posted it a while back. It’s a really neat way to see the current condition of our republic. Just depends on your perspective.
This will probably surprise you, but … no one cares much about President Millard Fillmore. At least, not according to this article.
Since we’re just a week past President’s Day, I figure it’s still appropriate to honor one of the men who served in that capacity for this great nation of ours.
Did you know that Millard Fillmore is somewhat revered in Buffalo, one of his and my “hometowns”. President Fillmore was born in Moravia, NY—and I in Springfield, OH—but we both spent many years of our lives near the home of the Buffalo Bills. (Hmm… not sure if they were around when he lived there, though…)
His name can be frequently found around Buffalo. My wife was born at Millard Fillmore hospital! He helped to found the University at Buffalo! (One of the universities to which I matriculated!) There’s even a statue at City Hall! (Along with fellow former President—and Mayor of Buffalo!—Grover Cleveland.)
And the hits keep coming… He was the last President from the Whig party, though not elected to that position. (He assumed office upon the death of Zachary Taylor, with whom he served as Vice President.)
He was the only president to have the same double letters in both his first, and last name. (Fellow Whig party member, and 9th president of the US, William Harrison, is the only other to have double letters in both names, but as you can see, they don’t match.)
Actually, I did enjoy reading about this president. He had some very interesting accomplishments in foreign affairs, and sounds like a pretty decent fellow. He is least-remembered and often ranked as one of the worst presidents in US history, partly (or mostly) as a function of the time in which he served. He was president during the decade prior to the Civil War. Things in our Union were at a boiling point, and thus, I don’t think many of his accomplishments are remembered. (Well, I know they are not.)
History is so fascinating in this way. Fillmore fell out of favor with the public, and his party (and his party also fell out of favor to the point of dissolution shortly thereafter) and so he was unsuccessful in his bid for election following his first and only term as president. And with all of the massive changes in our Union that followed his presidency, much about him is forgotten.
History is written by the victors.
Thankfully, there are still records, and there is still history to be read and learned.
He may not have been the greatest, but he was lucky number 13!
Next time you’re in Buffalo, look him up, and you might be surprised by what you find.