Monday, June 18, 2018


Calvin Coolidge was the 30th President of the US.    He served as Warren Harding's Vice-President and assumed the presidency in 1923 when Harding died in office.   He was elected in his own right in 1924 in a landslide victory and retired in 1928 after declining nomination for a second term which he would have surely won.

There was nothing pretentious about Coolidge.   His exhibited the traditional New England Puritan virtues of honesty, industry, thrift, taciturnity and piety and presided over a strong and burgeoning economy.   He is perhaps best remembered for his saying "The business of America is business".

But I particularly like this story ... his son, Calvin Jnr learned of his fathers ascent to power working as a field hand on a New England tobacco farm.   Honest work in the fresh air was considered a needful thing by the family, which was still very much connected to its middle-class roots. There would be no fake resume-padding jobs or summers spent lolling on sailboats or golf links.

The story goes that when young Cal opted to stay cutting tobacco, one of his co-workers was incredulous that he was staying despite his elevated status. “If my father was President, I wouldn't work in a tobacco field” the other boy said.

 Calvin responded, “If my father were your father, you would.”


David said...

New England Puritan virtues

Not something to admire, the New England Puritans emigrated because the England of the day would not allow them to persecute others the way they wanted to persecute them. They also commenced the genocide of Native Americans, a policy that continues to this day. Nice guy, you admire.

presided over a strong and burgeoning economy

That tanked in 1929 and did not recover until 1942. Yep, a great manager you've got there. It was his laissez-faire policies that led to the crunch.

still very much connected to its middle-class roots

When did dirt farmers become middle class? It seems to me that middle class embodies any group you like.

summers spent lolling on sailboats or golf links.

And here I was all along thinking you admired the capitalist system. What use is being rich if you can't loll on sailboats, golf courses, or strip clubs?

Here is a man of similar vintage whose work is far more admirable and led to the saving of countless lives.

The Veteran said...

Gueez David ... do you try hard at being an arsehole or does it just come naturally?

Coolidge restored a degree of faith in the Presidency which had become tainted by the antics of Warren Harding ... rated the fourth worst President (behind Franklin Pierce, Andrew Johnson and James Buchanan.

I do however understand why you might consider honesty, industry and thrift as nothing to be admired.

The Wall Street crash recurred fully ten months after Coolidge left office ... but I thought you knew that.

I see nothing to admire in the dissolute lifestyle exhibited by many chardonnay socialists and their offspring.

Gueez ... and I thought the story had much to commend and wuz worth repeating. Your response reinforces the old adage that you can't cast pearls before swine and expect much.

David said...

Seems you've been drinking from Adolf's sherry bottle, ad hom easier than responding to points made.

The Wall Street crash recurred fully ten months after Coolidge left office...

It's called cause and effect. But you always prefer looking at events in isolation, rather than seeing the whole.

I see nothing to admire in the dissolute lifestyle exhibited by many chardonnay socialists and their offspring.

Neither do I, but then we both know that "chardonnay socialists" are as close to socialism as Trump is to xtianity.

I guess you saw the word "communist"and bailed on my link. There was nothing chardonnay about Dr Bethune, it was all humanity. He was a man who put his life on the line for the benefit of others, and that ultimately led to his untimely death. We need more such humanitarians and far fewer New England Puritans.

The Veteran said...

David ... as I said ... lighten up. This was a good story, nothing more, nothing less and you, bless your cotton pickin sox, chose to wander off into never never land and I responded accordingly.

What Dr Bethune has to do with Calvin Coolidge and their family values fair escapes me.

Coolidge never set himself up to be a humanitarian any more than your Dr Bethune could be considered 'Presidential'.

The record shows Coolidge is rated 26th out of 44 Presidents. Not particularly good, not overly bad so I suggest we leave it there.

I said in my post that he was taciturn ... another story. At a dinner he was seated beside a Matron who said to him ... 'Mr President, before I came here I had a bet with someone I could get more than two words out of you'. Coolidge looked at her and said ... 'You lost'.