Archived Story

Write Again … My favorite four

Published 12:05am Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Even as I write this I can honestly say I’m not completely sure I’ll submit it. Delving into the political realm is something, at this point in my journey, that holds little attraction.

Perhaps my pen will take me more into the history aspect than the current tawdry world of confrontational politics. For those who like the red-meat, in-your-face, derogate and demean style, then your tastes should be met quite well by one of our county commissioners. (Please note, I comment only upon manner, not beliefs.)

This leads me where I really intended to go. That is, unsolicited and probably of less than paramount interest to most of my reader friends, let me tell you who my favorite presidents are. (Well, it seemed like you were never going to ask.)

First, let me qualify my favorites a bit. I place our country’s founding fathers in a very special, unique niche. They are all my favorites. How blessed we are to be the beneficiaries of their uncommon character and vision.

My “favorite four” came well after our founders.

Some who know me might be a bit surprised at the political affiliation of two of my four: That is, two were Republicans and two Democrats.

As do all men, my favorites had blemishes. Perfect human beings they weren’t. That really should go without saying, but I say it lest some think I’m looking at them purely subjectively. Well, not so. Not entirely.

In chronological order they are Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, and Franklin D. Roosevelt.

There is, of course, nothing I might say about Lincoln that hasn’t been written about him many, many times. He led our union in its most perilous time in its history. And now, he belongs to the ages. Thank God for Abraham Lincoln.

Theodore Roosevelt. Teddy. A larger than life public figure. The champion of the average man. “Big Business” despised him.

Woodrow Wilson. A true academic. He brought a balanced approach to governing. That our country never ratified his (yes, his) League of Nations was a sad day in our history.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt. FDR. Ah, yes. Even today there are those who castigate his approach to using government to create employment and to right the wrongs within our social structure. These initiatives were undertaken during a dark, dark time in our history. Then, he grew as a national and world leader in war time. And those were “no ordinary times.”

The few words I used in regard to my favorite four are truly exiguous. Meager. Believe me, I could — as perhaps could you — talk about each of these men at length. Almost ad finitum about two of them.

About the only really political opinion I’ll offer is that I don’t think the party of Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt would make them feel very welcome today. That’s a whole ‘nother matter, one which I’ll “pass” on.

We’ll all agree, I believe, that regardless of one’s personal political perspective we are very, very fortunate — blessed — to be Americans.

For this I am grateful beyond measure.

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