When Gutzon Borglum began to carve the heads of the four presidents into Mount Rushmore and later, following his death, his son, Lincoln Borglum, finished the enormous project it was intended to honor leaders of America who had done great things.
Washington was selected because he led this group of colonists into battle against the greatest army and navy in the world and was the leader of the war effort against Great Britain. He served as the first president and as such is referred to as “The Father of our Country.”
Thomas Jefferson wrote our birth certificate, the Declaration of Independence and with the Louisiana Purchase expanded our western border to the Pacific Ocean.
He sent Lewis and Clark out west to see what he had purchased for 4 cents an acre. Abe Lincoln was selected because he helped hold the Union together and ended slavery.
Theodore Roosevelt was selected because of his trust-busting of monopolies as well as his leadership in expanding the American abilities and “know-how” not only in this country but in other parts of the world. Other nations had tried but it was the Americans that built the Panama Canal.
This weekend we celebrate President’s Day. We used to celebrate Lincoln’s birthday and then a week later we celebrated Washington’s birth but when we added the holiday to honor Dr. King the government took one of those national holidays away and combined Lincoln and Washington into one.
Many schools still celebrate both days but the federal government only celebrates Presidents Day as a day to honor all 43 men who have occupied the office.
Barack Obama is our 44th president but Grover Cleveland was our 22nd and 24th president. Benjamin Harrison served in between Cleveland’s two terms.
We have had some great presidents and we have suffered through the terms of some not-so-great presidents as well as enduring some really bad presidents. In the great presidents list one would have to include the other Roosevelt, Franklin, for his keeping us together during the Depression and World War II.
Certainly Ronald Reagan would be on that list for his rebuilding of American confidence and world leadership position following the debacle of the Carter Administration.
Nixon has to be one of the worst because of the scandal of the Watergate saga, and he is in the same bad company with Harding. John Kennedy inspired many but most of his legacy was really fulfilled by Johnson after JFK’s assassination.
The two Bushes are still too early to be judged and Bill Clinton, while beloved by the left-wing media who saved him from political ruin, will be remembered for that blue dress, philandering, not knowing the meaning of the word “is” as well as being impeached.
Many of the presidents names are not even known by the average American today.
Ask 10 folks what role in American history was played by the following: Wm. H. Harrison, James Polk, James Buchannan, Millard Fillmore, Franklin Pierce, or Chester Alan Arthur.
Sadly, as I write this column, I find myself having to reflect on the dismal legacy that appears to be developing for our current commander in chief.
His being elected as the first African-American president was hailed as historic. It helped break the glass ceiling. Too bad his presidency won’t be seen as one of greatness.
Sadly our man in the oval office will be remembered for not being transparent when scandal-after-scandal developed. His legacy for handling world affairs will be the fodder of many a history class as an example of America’s fall from prominence on the world stage which will serve as a textbook example of snatching defeat out of the claws of victory.
Minorities will finally realize that they were not better off after his two elections but had lost ground that had been gained up until the end of the Bush presidency.
He will be remembered for seemingly to have contempt for this nation and many of our values. The “angry insurgents” will use him in their propaganda themes for calling Christians out for the Crusades and for sending terrorists back into the fields to fight us again so that he could close Gitmo.
He will be remembered for, blaming Bush for everything, trillion’s in debt, spying by NSA, Solyndra, Sgt. Bergdall’s release, inability to say the phrase, “Muslim Terrorists”, political games by the IRS, Socialized Medicine (AKA Obamacare), the Keystone pipeline, growing racial animus, disdain for Israel, his apology tour and his failure to even recognize the enemy of this nation as they try to attack us.
At least he helped Sandra Fluck to get the American taxpayers to cover the costs of her contraceptives.
Sad really - here was a man with such great promise who will find that his real legacy will be this: he replaced Jimmy Carter as the worst president.