Throughout the year there are eleven of these days and they normally have something to do with an important historical event or the recognition of a person (or persons) responsible for putting the country on the right path.
Today, we are thinking about Presidents. Mainly the ones who shaped the USA into the force of nature that it has become while also considering some of the men who may not have done the job quite as well as their election promises had claimed they would.
Officially, this federal holiday on the third Monday in February was originally conceived to honor George Washington. He was the first President of the United States, was the bloke who led the country to victory over the colonial oppressors from the tiny island across the pond and now stares impassively out from the one dollar bills that I always find in my back pocket after a night out.
To put it simply, Washington was the blueprint for all presidents since.
He straddles American history like a colossus, there are statues of him in every town and he is considered to be the Father of America. Hugely influential and respected, George is in the top ten of fancy dress costumes and the Hall of Presidents attraction at the Magic Kingdom in Disney World wouldn’t be the same without his inspiring rhetoric.
Of course, any discussion about Presidents Day would be incomplete without briefly mentioning that there is a race to be the next one still going on. The current occupant of the chair is patiently waiting to see which one of the four remaining Republican candidates will be the one to experience a possible shellacking in November.
The smart money is on Mitt Romney, the candidate that nobody really seems to want. Recent events have thrust a very religious candidate to the front of the anti-Mitt lobby but surely Rick Santorum is not the man to lead the GOP to any sort of victory – especially for those of us that don’t believe in an all-singing, all-dancing religious deity with the capacity to reward some of his followers with death or an ever-increasing set of financial worries.
The sensible option would Ron Paul. But that won’t happen. Because it would be sensible.
Newt has huffed, puffed and tried to blow the house down but it is hard to take seriously any American president with the same name as a slimy,aquatic creature with the ability to spit venomous toxins at predators. Although Mr. Gingrich does share many of the same properties as the creature, President Newt sounds less like a leader of the free world and more like a character in Spongebob Squarepants.
So on this Presidents Day, spare a thought for the original. Not so much the first among equals but the first one who took on the job and actually did it because a stable government was what the country needed. If he was alive today…well we wouldn’t need Mitt, Rick, Newt or perhaps even Obama.
It was Ben Parker (Spiderman’s Uncle) who said that “with great power comes great responsibility”. George Washington had both, it is a shame that we can’t clone his DNA and make a President that the country could actually get behind as a nation.
Happy Presidents Day…from someone who won’t even be able to vote for the next one.