Presidents' Day usually passes for most Americans as a day off if they’re lucky or maybe a visit to a local store for a mattress sale. Mostly, President’s Day matters little to most Americans.
For me, the presidency still holds allure.
Granted, I don’t have a favorite commander-in-chief. Nobody rises to my level of excellence.
George Washington and Abraham Lincoln offer the best shot although I must admit that I know less than more about their lives than I should. I should pick up biographies of these two but likely won’t.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt is probably my favorite although he pulled some horrid stunts that were so egregious that his bad judgment should make all his good judgment moot.
I’m all for the WPA and the CCC and the fight against poverty and malaise during The Depression.
But I lived in a community in Central Coastal California that suffered the sheer ignorance of FDR’s Japanese-American internment policies and know more about that than most people.
Then there was Nixon.
That’s what I call him.
That’s all you need to know.
Nixon’s the one.
And I still believe that he stole that helicopter when he lifted off from the White Hose lawn that fateful day in 1974 after bringing us Watergate and all the sordid related aftermath of Vietnam and Kent State and the rest.
One’s as bad as the other.
I didn’t even care for mother and wife Barbara and gave her a hard time when she visited a Wilkes-Barre high school some years back. By hard time I mean that I refused to fall over myself as she passed by like a British queen and threw her a hard question rather than a nice little soft-boiled inquiry.
Mrs. Bush glared.
And I felt good.
Actually, better than most.
Then there are all those presidents whose names I’ve forgotten and could not recite even if my life depended on it.
I’m in good company.
Ignorance so much permeates our nation that I wouldn’t be surprised if the current batch of high school seniors in Northeastern Pennsylvania would be hard pressed to identify JFK, Marylyn, Clinton, Monica, FDR, Nixon, Watergate, Kent State or Vietnam.
Nixon? That’s out near Harveys Lake, right? Right.
On second thought, they might know Clinton but only because of Monica.
Then there’s Barack. Everybody knows Barack. Right? But not everybody believes he has a U.S. birth certificate and if what the Internet says is true he can’t be president.