Monday, February 15, 2016

Honoring the Best President on Presidents Day

Washington's inauguration as depicted by artist Mort Kunstler
The third Monday in February is set aside each year by federal law to honor the father of our country, but culture has hijacked the February holiday, calling it "Presidents Day" and lumping the first President in with all the rest. Today, most Americans see Presidents Day as a day to honor all our Presidents, in spite of the fact that it's not the holiday's original nor official intent. What's more, the idea that Washington should share his holiday with Martin Van Buren, William Henry Harrison, Joh Franklin Pierce, James Buchanan, and Andrew Johnson is a bit ridiculous, to say the least.

Setting aside the fact that George Washington's accomplishments outside of the presidency warrant a holiday in their own right (like, say, his generalship in the Revolutionary War and his presiding over the Constitutional Convention), President Washington nevertheless ranks as the most important and significant Chief Executive in our nation's history. Yes, there's Lincoln who presided over the Civil War and FDR who led us through the Great Depression and World War II, but these men (and all the others) followed in Washington's foot steps. They operated under his shadow. It was George Washington who defined the presidency and who made it work. To steal a phrase from Tina Turner, Washington is "simply the best, better than all the rest."

On this "Presidents Day," let's remember the President who stands head and shoulders above all other American statesmen and who, more than any other, made the United States possible.