Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Was Warren G. Harding Great?

                    Warren G. Harding is ranked among the ten most conservative Presidents of the United States.  He campaigned on the promise of "Less government in business and more business in government" and won the presidential election by a landslide.  During his administration wartime controls were eliminated, taxes were slashed, a Federal budget system was established, a high protective tariff was restored, and tight limitations on immigration were imposed.

                    In spite of these conservative measures, President Harding has been consistently ranked by polls of historians and scholars as one of the worst Presidents.  They judged him on his presidential record and his accomplishments in office; they also judged him on the corruption during his administration due to the Tea Pot Dome Scandal, "one of the most notorious government scandalsin United States history."    President Harding was not part of the corruption, but members of his administration were involved in it.          His administration was also damaged by a "short but severe depression" in 1921.  This depression was short because conservative principles were followed and prosperity returned, bringing in the Roaring Twenties. 

                    President Harding apparently was a true conservative as shown by the following quotes.  

                    President Harding could have been describing our nation right now when he said, "America's present need is not heroics but healing; not nostrums but normalcy; not revolution but restoration."

                    This quote definitely shows the importance of choosing friends wisely:  "I have no trouble with my enemies.  I can take care of my enemies in a fight.  But my friends, my goddamned friends, they're the ones who keep me walking the floor at nights!"

                    Here are some more quotes from President Harding showing his true conservative nature: 

                    This quote shows that President Harding believed in God, "It is my conviction that the fundamental trouble with the people of the United States is that they have gotten too far away from Almighty God."

                    Again, President Harding was describing our day and our entitlement mentality:  "Our most dangerous tendency is to expect too much of government, and at the same time do for it too little."

                    This quote sounds very much like the famous one of John F. Kennedy:  "In the great fulfillment we must have a citizenship less concerned about what the government can do for it and more anxious about what it can do for the nation."

                    This quote is very true!  "There is something inherently wrong, something out of accord with the ideals of representative democracy, when one portion of our citizenship turns its activities to private gain amid defensive war while another is fighting, sacrificing, or dying for national preservation."

I can see why President Harding was ranked among the ten most conservative Presidents, but I can clearly see also that his ranking did not come from his leadership.  He was apparently a poor leader who brought his "friends" into his administration but then failed to lead them properly.  People lost faith in his administration because of the behavior of his "friends", not because of his own personal behavior.  This is a good example of why leadership and conservative principles are important.  Can we consider Warren G. Harding to be "great" in spite of his inability to control his "friends"?

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