By Marvin Baker, a new weekly column in The Kenmare News
Posted 8/30/16 (Tue)
Somebody asked me a while back, if I could go back in time, when would I choose.
For me the most intriguing part of our history was the Colonial period for a lot of reasons, most notably that a fragile experiement in democracy was establishing itself and because there was a lot of interest in shaping a political system.
I’d like to take Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump with me on this time warp and introduce to them leaders who could most likely step into the political arena today and prove why they were so far ahead of their time in the late 1700s.
This would be an uncomfortable ride because I despise both of these candidates for what they’ve done and how reckless they have been with American values.
They could both learn something from George Washington who was chastized often during his presidency.
He was criticized by members of numerous political parties and newspapers that suggested he wasn’t true to the new America.
But he was. He worked for the American people, regardless of their party affiliation, regardless of the dissent and without fail, his presidency took the right steps to make sure the nation would continue into the 1800s.
John Adams carried out the presidency in a similar fashion.
As political parties became deeply divided at the time, president No. 2 was the glue that kept the young United States together.
He worked hard, he traveled a lot and was away from his family, he was concerned about the colonies, the United States, the immigrants and yes, the native people of Massachusetts.
Ben Franklin to this day is perhaps the best front man the United States has ever had.
He was the cheerleader. He was the one who insisted the glass was half full. Franklin was the clever one who created more inventions than we could imagine. He was also the one who willed some money to the city of Philadelphia before he died, money that he documented couldn’t be cashed in for 200 years.
In 1990, Philadelphia became the recipient of more than $1 billion thanks to Franklin who many said was 100 years ahead of his time.
Who’s our front man today, Bill Clinton, Newt Gingrich, not?
Thomas Jefferson was a younger man at the time, but look what he did for the United States. Think about all the knowledge he provided to others who would succeed him.
Jefferson was a strong proponent of what became today’s Republican Party. He also acquired the Louisiana Purchase, which ensured the United States would expand westward.
These men were all white and all wealthy, but they all had one goal in mind, to make this nation a better place to live and work.
And what do we have today? Two candidates who are making a mockery of each other rather than talking about what’s important to voters. Listening to Trump and Clinton is much like listening to two bullies in a school yard.
When we think about the 1700s and various periods throughout the 1800s and 1900s, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are setting a new precedent in despicable.
This isn’t professional, it isn’t good for this democracy, the rest of the world is wondering what has happened to the United States, but most importantly, it shows the true self of Clinton and Trump and that neither is presidential.
A lot of women support Hillary Clinton simply because she is female. Unfortunately, that’s a bad decision because of all the bad decisions Clinton has made.
The uneducated support Trump in a big way because he’s playing on their fears and making all kinds of gargantuan promises that will never be kept.
Abraham Lincoln got this nation through its breaking point, Woodrow Wilson steered us through World War I, Franklin Roosevelt, who had polio, knew exactly what to do to get the United States through the Great Depression and World War II, Harry (the buck stops here) Truman wasn’t a puppet for anybody and John F. Kennedy stopped what could have been nuclear proliferation between the U.S. and the Soviet Union.
James Buchanan is regarded as the worst president in history because he refused to acknowledge and stave off the growing confederacy. Warren Harding was right behind him because of his gambling and drinking in the White House during Prohibition.
If Trump gets elected, do you suppose he will mock Roosevelt because he was crippled? Will Clinton have a corrupt White House like Harding? Yes and yes!