Abraham Lincolncare – A realistic way to remember US Presidents

Hi readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read this morning.

I keep hearing about something called WossnameCare, which I don’t know what is and honestly don’t want to know.  Anything that names itself after a US president tends to arouse suspicion for me.  Strikes me as an attempt by someone who sees himself as the most powerful person in the world to inject his name into history books, along with a particular slant.  The fact an enormous lot of US citizens are opposed to is suggests it would be worthy of a lot of careful study before anyone formed an opinion.

But it also brings to mind something I believe is a flaw in the way we remember US presidents of the past, figuring out whether they did anything good, and remembering them for that.  The entire world and the citizenry of the US would probably be better served if we all remembered US presidents for the absolutely awful, terrible, long-range disasterous things they did and decisions they made.  An object lesson to anyone holding that office as a warning he’ll be remembered by history for his follies.

A few examples, in case I’m not expressing myself clearly.

Franklin Rooseveltcare might be a good place to begin.  Roosevelt gave us the Manhattan Project and the nuclear bomb.  Franklin Roosevelt can be said to be responsible for the Cold War Mutual Assured Destruction, that whole nest of horrors, as well as all that damned radiation contamination the Japanese are dumping into the sky and the Pacific Ocean.

Harry Trumancare.  The endless serious of undeclared presidential wars he began.

Lyndon Johnsoncare.  The Vietnam War legacy and more importantly, the welfare state.

Richard Nixoncare.  A Chinese toaster in every kitchen and a dead US toaster-making industry.

Ronald Reagancare.  Generations of an endless War on Drugs, a prison industry and the US becoming the country with more prisoners held in prisons than any other country in the world.

Bill Clintoncare.  The careful planting and nurturing of the US police state.

Father and Son Bushcare.  Endless wars and military adventures in the Middle East.

US presidents are in office because they are attracted to the thought of being the most powerful person in the world.  US presidents want their names in history books.  Naturally most of them are functionally illiterate and haven’t spent a lot of time reading history books.  They just have to ride along on gut feel and what they think previous presidents are praised for doing, remembered for doing.

And if US presidents are remembered for the ways they’ve managed to convert the United States to the country it has become, is still becoming, they might well take a deeper look at what they are about.  Give a few thoughts to consequences.

Old Jules

2 responses to “Abraham Lincolncare – A realistic way to remember US Presidents

  1. Simplifying history doesn’t make for accurate observations. FDR can hardly be blamed for creating the Cold War or MAD. He started his presidency focused on mitigating the worst aspects of the Great Depression. Hitler, Tojo and Mussolini decided they had an alternate way to solve the Great Depression….lebensraum, Greater East Asia Prosperity, and a new Roman Empire. Both Germany and Japan began programs to build an atomic bomb and the U.S. reacted with FDR ensuring that if anyone was going to create this weapon it certainly wasn’t going to be the Nazis or the militarists of the empire of the Rising Sun. And the paranoia of Stalin led to the onset of the Cold War and MAD.

    As for Truman he may have given a thumbs up to dropping atomic bombs on Japan. But after finishing that war no more a-bombs got dropped on anybody else. When you consider the confrontation between Soviet Russia and the West in the post-War years and the rise of the People’s Republic in China, one could argue that Truman’s restraint ensured no World War Three would break out and that no atomic war would happen. Instead we had proxy wars which may have killed hundreds of thousands rather than millions.

    LBJ was probably among the most disappointing presidents because he bought the falling dominoes doctrine established under Eisenhower’s foreign policy and saw Vietnam as the line in the sand. What a waste of life and a misdirection of what could have been the greatest era in American social progress. Instead it became the age of protest and led to the revival of Nixon as president. And Nixon was both a progressive and a reactionary. His reaching out to China was pure political theater to distract from the failings of his Vietnam strategy and the looming crisis of Watergate.

    I would think Reagan will be remembered not just for the endless war on drugs, a total failure, but also the ballooning of the deficit largely through a massive increase in military spending. The pork barreling he started with military contractors continues to this day.

    Bush senior played the oil game and his son got the U.S. into a mess in Iraq as an act in response to a grievance done to his dad. Clinton just rode the crest of the telecommunications boom with both the good and bad that came from it. And today Obama continues the legacy of Bush senior and junior internationally while attempting to establish universal domestic policies to bring the U.S. in line with the rest of the Western World.

    I don’t know why some people want to be President of the United States. The attraction and aphrodisiac of power is certainly one explanation. Another may be inertia. You run for local office to solve problems there and you win. Then you run for a state office because those around you tell you that you’re making a difference. You win again. Now you have an entourage and advisers who push you to the next rung while riding your coattails. You go national to the House or Senate and then the White House beckons. Did you start off thinking this was the end result? I wonder. And of course there are those who are nakedly ambitious from the get go and believe they can make a difference in running the country and the world. Is there a megalomaniac in some of us? Absolutely. That can get you a Churchill or an FDR who use power to save their nations, or a Hitler, Mussolini or Tojo, who destroy theirs. That can get you a Gorbachev who recognizes that the walls have to crumble, or a Stalin or Mao who build police states based on paranoia or Edenistic notions of a perfect communal state.

    Anyway that’s my feedback to your posting. By the way, as always an enjoyable read.

  2. Hi Lenrosen. Simplifying history is already there, in practice, in evitable. My thought is that recognizing the reality of it puts the onus into the question of which simplification stands the best possibility of causing a pause for the person on the surfboard. He’s not going to remember the complexities. All he’s going to care about is what might get him damned and demonized. And the only way to accomplish that is to do some damning and demonizing. Thinks I. Gracias, J

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