Monday, February 19, 2018

Presidents' Day 2018

Presidents' Day is a bit weird this year- I worked an overnight double shift because my co-worker and I swapped shifts so I wouldn't have to travel to work in a snowstorm on Saturday night for the Sunday graveyard. We decided that the best course of action for both of us was to stay off the roads. Tonight, I will be celebrating Presidents' Day in traditional fashion- traveling to Brooklyn to hear a smart, funny Frenchman lecture about army ants and highway infrastructure.

Presidents' Day is the combination of Lincoln's and Washington's birthdays. Like most Americans, at least in the Northern and Western precincts of These United States, venerate both of these badasses. It's important, though, not to venerate these flawed men as demigods- Washington in particular had some glaring character flaws (I highly recommend this book to everybody). Lincoln, though not perfect, was one of the more enlightened white males of the 19th Century (along with Charles Darwin), and the one thing that he can be legitimately criticized for was, in my estimation, necessary. Yeah, Washington and Lincoln were flawed, but I feel that their virtues outweigh their flaws, indisputably in the case of Lincoln.

That brings me to the current occupant of the White House... I can't think of any virtues that the guy embodies. Wisdom, temperance, mercy, eloquence- all are foreign to him. Hell, one could say that he loves at least one of his children, but even that has a creepy vibe. Hell, one can't even say that the guy is making the trains run on time. All flaws, no virtue... I might have to drink more tonight than is usual.


mikey said...

Heh. I really like George Washington the man. He was a big man, especially for his time, big and strong and fearless. As a farmer, he was kind of rough hewn, always ready to fight with fist or saber, always comfortable on horseback, always ready to lead the men to do the things that needed to be done.

Rober Heinlein (speaking as Lazerus Long) said in Time Enough for Love:

A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.

It's hard to think of someone who fits this kind of description more than George Washington...

Tom Shefchik said...

Remember way back in time to 2016 when we all expected knowledge, honesty, honor, stability, decency, tolerance, respect and good judgement in government? We were pro-law enforcement and pro-intelligence community. The GOPers have shown that none of those things matter to them anymore. If they ever did. But then they are all filthy liars.

And of course we had all that with Obama, and would have had with Hillary, but the GOPers are too childish and stupid to admit that. Instead we have an ignorant lazy egomaniacal thieving authoritarian thug.