Presidents’ Day Is A Sham Holiday! We Should Celebrate Individual POTUS Birthdays

Mount Rushmore National Monument near Keystone, South Dakota

Monday, February 15, has been designated as Presidents’ Day, another fake holiday seemingly meant to tear down American heroes and replace them with a meaningless day off work (for some). But I urge you, America, to reject this sham holiday. President’s

In New York, where I grew up, we celebrated the birthdays of two of our greatest presidents in February, Abraham Lincoln on the 12th and George Washington on the 22nd. Lincoln’s birthday was never a federal holiday (southern states still weren’t happy about losing the Civil War). In 1968 congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, which moved Washington’s big day to the third Monday in February and changed it to Presidents’ day. A celebration of all presidents.

It’s right to celebrate the presidents individually, sure, but not all 46 of them on the same day. I mean, it isn’t celebrating any of them if you are celebrating all of them. After all, we don’t celebrate our siblings’ and parents’ birthdays on the same day, do we? Wouldn’t each feel slighted if none were given their special day?

Naturally, it isn’t about any particular president’s hurt feelings if we didn’t give them a special day. It’s about us. It’s about our feelings for the country. Celebrating a particular president for all he has done is an important part of our civil “religion. The individual celebration of each of our greatest leaders separately is a way to keep us all together as a society and teach about why America is so exceptional. Except in San Francisco, which just voted to replace the names of some of our greatest leaders like Lincoln, Washington, from their schools

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The problem with President’s Day is that it homogenizes all the great deeds done by individual presidents into a meaningless mélange. By celebrating all the presidents at once, we are necessarily negating the important historical works of the father of our country, George Washington (February 22), or the man who saved the union and freed the slaves, Abe Lincoln (February 12). Like most liberal creations, President’s Day mixes the achievements of all our leaders into one giant mediocre nothing.

By celebrating President’s Day, we are also saying that the worst presidents, like Obama, Carter, and James Buchanan, or do-nothings like Franklin Pierce, are all equally deserving of the same praise as the greats such as Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, Truman, Eisenhower, and Reagan.

They are not.

Take George Washington. These days, George Washington has been relegated to that “truth-telling guy” we see on the one-dollar bill and on TV commercials at the end of February. Or he’s that guy lumped in with Lincoln on President’s Day. And that is a shame, indeed, for, without George Washington, our presidency, indeed our very nation might have become a far different and lesser thing (see the video below).

Today the people are quick to call Presidents great communicators, and some were, Reagan for example. But no other American President could have said so much with so few words as Abraham Lincoln.

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate—we can not consecrate—we can not hallow—this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

It’s nice to honor the people who served this country as president. However, Lincoln and Washington deserve their own days. But until then, from all 50 states (all 57 according to a former president), A belated Happy birthday Abe. Happy birthday, George. You guys deserve your own day, just like the rest of us.

[mashshare]
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