I am sitting in my room 131 waiting for the next speaker at the Democratic Convention and I’m reflecting on the men who have been President in my lifetime. I started going back through the names and, ye gods, when I got to the President who was in office when I was born I felt much older than 88.
Why, you ask? Because Calvin Coolidge was president!
Next came ‘the chicken in every pot” and president Herbert Hoover, who my grandmother referred to as the chicken man. She said “I hope we survive until a good man is elected.” She passed away in 1930 and did not get to see the election of one of the greatest Presidents of my lifetime, Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
My mom and I sat by the radio and listened to every Fireside Chat. She said he would take us to the promised land. I remember that confusing me, having heard about the church’s promised land, and it made me wonder where his promised land was. Regardless, he seemed to give my mom hope of good things to come. He made good on just about every promise.
President Roosevelt was followed by Harry S. Truman, who made some tough decisions. I have to admit I got a little tired of Bess and also of daughter Margaret hitting the high note, trying to be an opera singer, but Harry S. was just a proud daddy. Dwight D. Eisenhower (forgot to take his boots off) followed President Truman, John Fitzgerald Kennedy (so easy to love, gave us the Peace Corps), then Lyndon Baines Johnson (a gruffly bear, tamed by a Lady Bird–under his watch the School Lunch Program was started), Richard Nixon (he did Crook, real well–he did improve relations with China; he probably should have moved there…), Gerald Ford (a kind and REAL person), Jimmy Carter (he was too nice for Washington-a man of Peace), Ronald Reagan (once a ham actor, always _____), and George Bush (fathered “little” George, put up with Barbara).
Next was one of my all time favorites, William Jefferson Clinton. George W. Bush (War-War. Let’s go to war!), of course, followed and now, our current President Barack Obama, who embodies the American Dream and, I hope, will be our President for four more years.
When you go back as far as Calvin Coolidge and you still have faith in our system of government, you must have a firm grip on trust. There is no place for cynicism in our great country. There is no place for disrespecting our leadership in Washington. It has and will continue to serve us well. For what may go wrong is always corrected with that which is right. Just have and keep the faith.