Happy Presidents’ Day, TPP Readers! To honor Presidents’ Day, here is a reading list. Enjoy with your morning coffee on a day off (or, for those of you that have to work, enjoy while engaging in rampant time-theft as you sit unnecessarily at your desk for eight hours):
- Practically Historical (a fine history blog) posted about George Washington’s farewell to his officers (a reblog of a piece from Presidential History Blog): https://practicallyhistorical.org/2019/02/16/george-washingtons-farewell-to-his-officers/
- My 2018 #MAGAWeek piece on President Washington: https://theportlypolitico.wordpress.com/2018/07/02/magaweek2018-george-washington/
- Articulating Ideas has a whole series on US Presidents. Here’s an excellent post from 2015 about President Grover Cleveland’s veto of the Texas Seed Bill: http://articulatingideas.blogspot.com/2015/04/grover-cleveland-vetoes-texas-seed-bill.html
I particularly like the story of the Texas Seed Bill. Farmers in Texas were struggling through a difficult drought, and requested money from Congress to buy new seeds. When the bill hit President Cleveland’s desk, he vetoed it, arguing that the federal government was not in the business of helping out folks with their financial problems, no matter how deserving they might be.
That was political suicide for the Democrat, who already had friction with the party’s base of Western and Southern farmers over his endorsement of the gold standard (farmers wanted “free silver” or bimetallism to inflate the currency by adding silver to it). But, there was a silver lining: once the Texas farmers realized they weren’t going to get the money, they worked among themselves to raise ten times the requested amount.
Once again, Americans solved their own problems. That’s an important lesson to remember this Presidents’ Day.