The EFM Feature
President & Mrs. Calvin Coolidge, from Flickr user Boston Public Library, used under a Creative Commons license

I am a fan of the last former Massachusetts governor who lived in the White House, that being President Calvin Coolidge.  He controlled spending, retired debt, cut taxes, and all sorts of other good things.  As a result, the next book on my reading list is a collection of his speeches called Have Faith in Massachusetts, and I just finished his Autobiography.  President Coolidge’s manner was often criticized, for some of the same reasons as Governor Romney’s is today.  But I think he knew what he was doing.

For instance, here’s a passage from The Autobiography of Calvin Coolidge that I wish Speaker Gingrich, he of the seemingly infinite self-regard, would read:

It is a great advantage to a President, and a major source of safety to the country, for him to know that he is not a great man.  When a man begins to feel that he is the only one who can lead in this republic, he is guilty of treason to the spirit of our institutions.

Here’s one I wish President Obama, he of the endless stoking of class warfare and resentment, would read:

The words of the President have an enormous weight and ought not to be used indiscriminately.

It would be exceedingly easy to set the country all by the ears and foment hatreds and jealousies, which, by destroying faith and confidence, would help nobody and harm everybody.  The end would be the destruction of all progress.

And one more, just for kicks:

While there are times when the people might enjoy the spectacular, in the end they will only be satisfied with accomplishments.

Here’s to President Coolidge, and here’s to another Massachusetts man who, in my humble opinion, abides by his old-fashioned, non-flashy, and eminently wise ideas.

About Charles Mitchell

EFM's resident Yankee, Charles Mitchell, works in the non-profit arena in his native Pennsylvania. He and his wife, Charissa, live near the state capital of Harrisburg with their daughter, Adeline, and are members of a congregation of the Presbyterian Church in America.

Comments and Discussion

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One Response to Have Faith in Massachusetts Men?

  1. Terry says:

    Corrected and Updated Version of the “In-Chief” Article

    Charles–How very fitting an article. Several times I’ve heard talk show hosts describe Romney as “boring”, “plain”, “not very exciting”, and other similar labels–as if those supposed traits render him unfit for the title of Commander-in-Chief. Had I access to a phone at the time, I would have called and asked the label assigners what they want in a Commander-in-Chief. If what they are really looking for is an Ego-in-Chief, then Newt Gingrich fits that bill (he’s already declared that he will be the GOP nominee).

    If they want a Blamer-in-Chief, Rick Perry’s the man, in my opinion (he’s suing the state of Virginia, supposedly because their tough rules kept him from getting his name on the primary ballot there).

    The Who’s-He-in-Chief goes hands-down to NM Gov. Gary Johnson (who withdrew from the race on Dec 28th. I was barely aware that the man was running).

    Rabid-Following-in-Chief is no contest of course. Ron Paul has held that spot for decades now.

    For Yo-Yo-in-Chief, my vote goes to Rick Santorum (he shot up in the polls very quickly, and fell just as quickly).

    Nice-Try-in-Chief is a three way tie between Rep. Michele Bachmann, former Gov Jon Huntsman, Jr., and former Gov. Tim Pawlenty (one has to admire their confidence in the face of the no-way-in-hades landscape they currently find themselves standing on). If I were them, I’d drop out, take the money, throw a big party for the staffers, then call a press conference and endorse Mitt Romney.

    And who could forget Herman Cain, who seemed to be running for Shallow-in-Chief, or perhaps Not-Much-Substance-in-Chief (he had a lot of good sounding talk, but little knowledge in a majority of the areas the next president will need to deal with).

    The soon to be Commander-in-Chief honor should go to Mitt Romney of course (if Nancy’s “An Honest Letter to Iowa Evangelicals” doesn’t convert a good share of the Romney hold-outs, well, then, *mutter, mutter*…)

    Oh…and their’s one more “in-Chief” title to be awarded–the one Barack Obama currently holds: Disaster-in-Chief.

    (Author’s note: One more flub of an article where I have to repost, and I’m going to take a silver spoon and commit Hara-kiri on a large bowl of vanilla bean ice cream.)

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