Monday, February 20, 2006

Hail to the Chief

Today is President's Day, that day when we mix together the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and George Washington, stir, add paprika, shake well, and distill them into one 24-hour period. Actually, it's a day set aside for honoring and remembering all the presidents of the United States.

I wonder when the last time half of America came upon a President's Day (or the individual birthdays before this particular holiday existed), looked at whichever president was currently in office, and didn't curse under their breath?

Since 2000, half of America has hated George W. Bush. Between 1992-2000, half of America hated Bill Clinton. I think George Bush, Senior pretty much got a pass during his four years, especially since the (limited) success of the Gulf War. Reagan was despised by almost all Democrats, and Carter was despised by most Republicans. And it goes on and on.

But I wanted everyone to read the lyrics to the national song of the Presidency, "Hail to the Chief":

Hail to the Chief we have chosen for the nation,
Hail to the Chief! We salute him, one and all.
Hail to the Chief, as we pledge cooperation
In proud fulfillment of a great, noble call.

Yours is the aim to make this grand country grander,
This you will do, that's our strong, firm belief.
Hail to the one we selected as commander,
Hail to the President! Hail to the Chief!


Do we believe that, as a nation? Do we, as Americans, "pledge cooperation"? Do we all, no matter who is in office or how we feel about his political affiliation or actions, "salute him, one and all"?

Is respect for the Office of the Presidency just a pipe dream in this day and age, or is it something we should strive for - putting the partisanship and pettiness behind us, to honor the office that once held men like Lincoln, Jefferson, Washington, Jackson, Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt, Truman and Kennedy?

If not, what's the point?

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