Monday, February 20, 2012

More on Presidents' Day reruns in writing an almost 16 year old speech by its Editor-in-Chief. Mr. Rockwell writes:

Teachers used to tell school kids that anyone can be president. This is like saying anyone can go to Hell. It's not an inspiration; it's a threat.
I might add the difference in the threats. The latter is a threat to the one who might go there. The former is a threat to everyone else.

Mr. Rockwell continues:
The presidency is presumed to be the embodiment of Rousseau's general will, with far more power than any monarch or head of state in pre-modern societies.
And even further:
When there is a low ebb in the accumulation of power, it is seen as the fault of the individual and not the office. Thus the so-called postage-stamp presidents between Lincoln and Wilson are to be faulted for not following the glorious example set by Abe. They had a vast reservoir of power, but were mysteriously reluctant to use it. Fortunately that situation was resolved, by Wilson especially, and we moved onward and upward into the light of the present day. And every one of these books ends with the same conclusion: the US presidency has served us well.
And even more:
Less well known is how Wilson revived Lincoln's dictatorial predilections, and added to them an even more millennial cast. Moreover, this was his intention before he was elected. In 1908, while still president of Princeton, he wrote a small book entitled the President of the United States. It was a paean to the imperial presidency, and might as well have been the bible of every president who followed him. He went beyond Lincoln, who praised the exercise of power. Wilson longed for a Presidential Messiah to deliver the human race.

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