My friend Steve Stone wrote this for what some call “Presidents Day” on Monday, but you’ll see from his column why I am proud to run it today, on George Washington’s birthday. As usual with guest columns, there are parts of it with which I certainly disagree, but I think you’ll find it interesting, informative, and wise. — Quin
HE’S MY PRESIDENT!
20 Feb. 2017
Dear Friends and Patriots,
Today is President’s Day, an official national holiday. Today we’re taught that on this day we’re supposed to honor our past Presidents as well as our current one. Supposed to, but we aren’t very good at doing what we’re supposed to, are we? Besides, what we think we’re supposed to be doing isn’t right anyway. It’s essentially an urban legend.
President’s Day is an evolutionary holiday. When I was young the country celebrated Lincoln’s Birthday on 12 February and Washington’s Birthday on 22 February as national holidays. Those two were considered by most as our greatest Presidents, and as children, who were we to disagree? Every year it was the same February. Saint Valentine’s Day was on the 14th. It wasn’t a national holiday, so for five out of every seven years we kids enjoyed swapping Valentines with all our classmates while we were at school. Saint Valentine’s Day hasn’t changed dates, but its name was shortened. The “Saint” was dropped. I’m not sure that wasn’t some kind of secular-humanist thing, but it could be that Hallmark Cards just wanted to save on ink costs and dropping a word off every single Valentine would certainly do that.
People don’t often recall, but it was our most progressive President, Lyndon B. Johnson who was responsible for changing our February celebrations. He signed a piece of legislation into law that most people don’t recall anymore. The Uniformed Holidays Act of 1968 was to forever change our Februaries and other months as well. That act changed federal holidays so they would thereafter be celebrated on the nearest Friday or Monday to the actual holiday. It was an act that was designed to benefit federal employees, creating regularly occurring three-day holidays. Most of the nation worked on most holidays, so moving them around was seen as of little importance to the majority of the citizens. But the Uniformed Holidays Act was to create a lot of confusion every February. It started the year the act went into effect, 1971. That year President Nixon declared “President’s Day” as a day to celebrate every past President, to one day include himself. That declaration was in spite of the fact it was Nixon himself who signed Executive Order 11582 on 11 February 1971, which specified the third Monday of February not as President’s Day, but identified it in the EO as “Washington’s Birthday.” The truth is, President’s day as originally established axed old Abe Lincoln, kicking him to the curb. Regardless of what it says on your calendar, and regardless of anything you might hear from the media, the official name of today’s holiday is “Washington’s Birthday.” That’s truly ironic, too, because the holiday falls on the third Monday of each February, which guarantees the latest it will ever occur is on the 21st, and never on Washington’s actual birthday. George Washington’s birthday was hijacked by progressivism. At least, that’s how I see it.
Martin Luther King’s birthday became a national holiday in 1986. That new observance set off an underground firestorm within the community of presidential historians. It wasn’t that they had anything against MLK or his day, but the appearance of replacing old Abe with MLK was more than those people could take. They lobbied for some kind of reinstatement of an observation for Lincoln. They wanted his good name restored into the pantheon of greatness he was so rudely booted from. But, even though Congress has made several attempts to put Abe back in the official limelight, no bill has been passed since 1968 to officially honor Abe Lincoln’s birthday again.
Now, let’s review for a bit. Lincoln’s birthday is no longer recognized officially by the United States government. Washington’s Birthday is an actual federal holiday, but was moved on the calendar and can no longer be celebrated on his actual birthday. There is no President’s Day, but there is still a Washington’s Birthday, even though almost no one actually knows it. Is that all straight? I hope so. Our government has gone to great lengths to confuse us about facts of history, and now it confuses us about actual facts of law. But, the facts are the facts. We just need to know them ourselves so we don’t stay ignorant and confused.
Now, to this Washington’s Birthday, the one celebrated today. Do you want to know what the media focus will be on today? You can bet it will be on the many “Not My President” demonstrations being held in cities across the country. Is that just insane or what? The media continues with its self-declared war on our 45th President by maintaining its focus on those who oppose him instead of those who don’t, and is guaranteed not to pay any attention at all to George Washington, arguably the greatest President we’ve ever had. It’s truly shameful. We need to fight back. When the focus of Washington’s Birthday is so inartfully hijacked by paid demonstrators, useful idiots, fellow travelers, malcontents, socialists, anarchists, perverts and naysayers of all description it’s time for real Americans to have their say. We all need to let our legislators at both the state and federal level know what we think of what’s going on in this country; what we think of the anti-Trump media campaign, the Purple Revolution, and the continuing domestic chaos that’s resulted. If we don’t do that, we should expect those things to continue for each and every day of Trump’s administration. Who among us wants that?
President Trump himself does need to learn some presidential discipline. While part of me admires his rough and ready demeanor, another part is tired of telling all the naysayers, “Just you wait and see!” Heck, I want to see, too. And I don’t want to be constantly bombarded with copies of Trump’s latest Tweet, accompanied with declarations of how stupid, fascist-like, deranged, dangerous, dictatorial, thin-skinned, etc. his latest Tweet is. My job is not “Defender of Donald J. Trump.” I have a real job, and even doing part-time defense of the President is too taxing and distracting. Listen Up, Mr. President! You’re really stressing me here! I don’t know how long I can hold out!
Well, maybe not. I’m pretty tough, I think. I didn’t go crazy for the past eight years, and regardless of what happens in the next four or eight, and regardless of any peculiarities of personality Donald Trump manifests during that time, I’m pretty sure I’ll keep doing what I do, and will be okay. But, that doesn’t mean I’ll like it.
Meanwhile, back in Washington, I’m actually pretty encouraged. Trump’s take-no-prisoners approach seems to have all but a few Senators wary of crossing swords with him. Paul Ryan is actually starting to sound like a conservative Republican for once. So is Mitch McConnell. Gee, I never thought that would happen. It surely wouldn’t if Jeb Bush had been elected, and definitely wouldn’t if Hillary had managed to keep a couple of erstwhile blue states and win the Electoral College outright. It could just be that the Republican version of “Hope and Change,” which Trump rebranded to “Make America Great Again,” is truly going to give us hope, and will actually change the course of the nation. I pray to God it is so.
Today I’m going to celebrate George Washington’s birthday. While I’m doing so I’ll be contemplating some of my other favorite Presidents: Coolidge, Eisenhower, Reagan, Madison, Jefferson, and Monroe. Those were great men who did great things for America. If Donald Trump wants to join them in that roster of greats, he would do well to study their times and their actions and learn how to be great. He has the makings, but I’m not yet sure if he has the personality and discipline. But, one thing is certain, Donald Trump will pursue his agenda like a bulldog. He won’t back down no matter what is thrown in his path. He will try every day to keep his first pledge to Make America Great Again. We all just need to find creative ways to help him. We have to find ways to neutralize his radical opponents. We have to let the press know we abhor their campaign to undermine Trump and that we consider their unrelenting attacks to be against the interests of the people of the nation. We don’t need chaos. We do need change.
Thank you all for being the patriots you are. WE are the ones who will actually make America great again. Donald Trump is our principle enabler, but he’s only one man. Once he give us the tools, it’s truly up to us. We have to succeed just as much as he does.
I’m ready. Are you?