April 4, 2011
Who was the greatest American President?
That is really easy, if you break it into centuries. The greatest president of the 18th century was George Washington, of the 19th; Abraham Lincoln, and of the 20th; why Ronald Reagan, of course. But who will be the greatest American President of the 21st century? No one yet knows. But whoever it is they must defeat Barak Obama in 2012.
The greatest President of the 21st Century must have 5 non-negotiable characteristics:
1. This person must be tried and developed in the fires of personal adversity:
- George Washington’s was a life of endless activity. He was a frontiersman, farmer and a soldier. His early years were marked by toil and tragedy. His father died when he was 11. He was sent to live with his half-brother, Lawrence who also died from a bout with tuberculosis. Washington contracted smallpox, which left him sterile, when he was in his teens. He was ridiculed during the French and Indian War as the American assistant to General Braddock when, during the Battle of the Monongahela, Braddock’s forces suffered devastating casualties and Braddock himself was mortally wounded. Perhaps the most formative of George Washington’s experiences was the Winter of 1777 at Valley Forge when upwards of 2500 of his men died of disease and exposure. Because of the suffering and meagerness of sustenance at Valley Forge, Washington felt that it would be a battle of the will of his men, not a battle of weapons, that would win a new nation.
- Abraham Lincoln was born in the backwoods of Kentucky. His brother Thomas died in infancy. Their family was forced from their farm in Kentucky by a lawsuit and then moved to the wilds of southwestern Indiana. They lived as squatters on public lands until they built a permanent cabin. Young Abraham was once kicked in the head by a horse and survived what was likely a coma. Lincoln’s mother died when he was only 9 years old. His parents were almost completely illiterate and his family lacked many of the basic necessities. He taught himself to read, and having spent his youth in constant frontier tasks, failed, as a storekeeper and then lost his first election as a state legislator. In 1835 his partner in the store died and left him with heavy debts, and his sweetheart, Ann Rutledge died at the age of 22. Prior to and during his marriage to Mary Todd, Lincoln suffered with severe bouts of depression. Their third son, Edward, died at the age of 3 of “consumption”. They then lost a second son, Willy, who died of Typhoid Fever at the age of eleven. Lincoln’s married life has often been portrayed as unhappy and full of painful emotional problems and discord.
- Ronald Reagan’s early life was as typical as any American boy could hope for. Many of the painful trials of his life would not come until he had attained the office of President. But the courage and perseverance that helped him excel in the world of communication and entertainment is not unlike the faith-born tenacity that has sustained others through personal loss and tragedy. Reagan failed at his first run for the White House in 1975 when he lost in the GOP primary. He became President when America was at it’s nadir economically, socially, and militarily. Jimmy Carter had weakened the economy and the military to such an extent that to many in the world considered America a laughingstock. While in office, on day sixty-nine of his first term, he was struck by an assassins bullet. The bullet ricocheted off his limo and lodged in his chest, no more than an inch from his heart. He faced his near death with buoyant charisma and humor. While in office his children, Patty and Ronnie, often openly opposed Reagan and spoke out against his policies. Ronald Reagan was vilified in the extreme and portrayed wrongly by a national media, who hated him, as “senile, incompetent, doltish, and dangerous.” This undeserved antipathy for Ronald Reagan has never relented among many in the mainstream media.
2. This person must be a uniter. Washington, Lincoln, and Reagan, each during times of terrible national strife, were able to coalesce support from the majority of vested Americans for their causes.
- George Washington literally united, for the first time, a swath of disconnected colonies and formed an army of untrained and ill-equipped commoners who were able to overwhelm and defeat the greatest military force the world had know up to that time. He united colonial sentiment under the ensign of liberty. Although he neither participated in it’s formulation nor it’s signing, Washington read The Declaration of Independence to his troops in the field who responded with a hearty affirmation. Later, after he had presided over the ratification of the Constitution and was elected as the first President of the United States, George Washington, having served two terms (the second reluctantly), was so loved and admired by Americans that they united in a call for him to serve permanently as their leader. He declined, reminding Americans that they should never again have a king, and then retired to his former life as a gentleman farmer.
- Abraham Lincoln helped form the Republican Party, in part, to create a political body united against slavery. After being elected to the presidency, Lincoln used force in a paradoxical effort to unite his feuding nation and thus waged a war on secession. He did so, not to punish slave-holding states, but to repair the Union and ensure the perpetuation of a United States. Lincoln abhorred slavery and believed that all men should be free, but his justification for the Civil War was unity. Abolition and the Emancipation Proclamation were gladsome by-products of the War Between the States, but, in Lincoln’s mind, secondary to preserving the Union.
- Ronald Reagan united the nation not through force but with his “gift of gab.” The “Great Communicator” eschewed an irksome national media and leap-frogged over their pens and microphones and spoke directly to the American people. His self-effacing disposition, friendly accessibility, and frank assessment of the evils that confronted our country at the time won the hearts of most Americans. Ronald Reagan united a nation once fractured by the Vietnam War and civil uprisings that pitted generations and ideologies against one another in bitter conflict. But Reagan was able to overcome much of the rancor and pain of the preceding decades, and in the 1980’s reminded Americans that our country is good and great, a land of opportunity, and the “Last, best hope of man on Earth.”
3. This person must have faith in God, believe that America was founded with the help of Divine providence and for a high and godly purpose. And this person must be humble, regarding him or herself as a servant to the people of the United States of America as well as to God and His will. The role of Divine protection in the lives of the greatest American Presidents cannot be dismissed.
- George Washington once said, “It is impossible to rightly govern a nation without God and the Bible.” His opinion that scripture and religion are indispensable to a free country comes in part from his Christian upbringing. After the death of his father, his mother strove to raise him to be an observant believer in God. She taught him to pray and to study the Bible. Washington once wrote in his daily journal, “Almighty God, and most merciful Father, who didst command the children of Israel to offer a daily sacrifice to Thee, that thereby they might glorify and praise Thee for Thy protection both night and day … I beseech Thee, my sins, remove them from Thy presence, as far as the east is from the west, and accept of me for the merits of Thy Son Jesus Christ….” At a later time he also wrote, “Let me live according to those holy rules which Thou hast this day prescribed in Thy holy word … Direct me to the true object, Jesus Christ the way, the truth and the life. Bless, O Lord, all the people of this land.” It is clear that Washington had a clear vision of the importance of a free country to God’s children. He also felt deeply the imperative that he, and each individual, live their faith in a continuous effort to become more holy. Divine protection and fortification was evident in many instances during the Revolutionary War. When the Americans were about to be savagely beaten at Dorchester Heights, a terrible storm occurred during the night which ultimately drove the British forces back, and prevented them from burning the city of Boston as they had planned. During the incursion at Monmouth Courthouse Washington and his officers made themselves targets for the British sharpshooters as the rode their horses back and forth in an attempt to rally the colonists. His officers had minor wounds and George Washington was seemingly protected by God, sustaining nary a scratch. There are numerous examples of Divine protection and intervention which served to help Washington lead his scraggly troops to the greatest victory over tyranny to that time.
- Abraham Lincoln never formally joined any religious denomination, not because he was an irreligious man, but because he could not find satisfaction with the dogmas presented by the large churches of the time. In 1846 he wrote, “That I am not a member of any Christian church is true; but I have never denied the truth of the Scriptures; and I have never spoken with intentional disrespect of religion in general, or of any denomination of Christians in particular….I do not think I could myself be brought to support a man for office whom I knew to be an open enemy of, or scoffer at, religion.” As he grew older and the afflictions of body and spirit began to weigh heavily upon him he grew more concerned with matters of faith and the will of God. The following is an excerpt from his powerful second inaugural address. “Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled up by the bondsman’s 250 years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another draw with the sword, as was said 3000 years ago, so still must it be said, ‘the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation’s wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan–to do all which may achieve and cherish a just, and a lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations.” Abraham Lincoln often prayed for Divine Intervention to turn the tide of the Civil War and save his beloved Union.
- Ronald Reagan’s family belonged to the Presbyterian church, and enjoyed a dose of Irish Catholicism from his father’s side. They studied the Bible and were opposed to racial discrimination, which was accepted in his hometown when he was a boy. One of his favorite scriptures is found in the Old Testament: 2 Chronicles 7:14 “If my people which are called by my name, shall humble themselves and pray and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from Heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” His quips regarding religion in public life as well as the assertions that Communism and all totalitarian regimes were “evil,” reflect Reagan’s profound belief that it is God’s will that all me be free, and that it is America’s role to defend the God-given rights of all men against tyrants. He once said, “If we ever forget that we are One Nation Under God, then we will be a nation gone under.” He also said in a speech, “The Bible and its teachings helped form the basis for the Founding Fathers’ abiding belief in the inalienable rights of the individual, rights which they found implicit in the Bible’s teachings of the inherent worth and dignity of each individual. This same sense of man patterned the convictions of those who framed the English system of law inherited by our own Nation, as well as the ideals set forth in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.” Ronald Reagan’s love of and faith in The United States of America largely derived from his belief that God and the Bible were instrumental in the founding of this country. Finally, the role of Divine protection is clear in the account of the attempted assassination of Ronald Reagan by the reprobate John Hinckley. Ronald Reagan was spared from certain death by an intuitive secret service agent who, even though there was no outward sign of injury ordered the driver to take him to the hospital instead of the White House, skilled surgeons, and an an inch of space between a .22 caliber bullet and his heart.
4. This person must be fully devoted to the Constitution of the United Stats, its preservation as an unchanging document, and the restoration of it’s parts that have been so altered and abridged that it often bears no resemblance to its original form.
- George Washington vowed: “The Constitution is the guide which I never will abandon.” And he also warned: “Should, hereafter, those incited by the lust of power and prompted by the Supineness or venality of their Constituents, overleap the known barriers of this Constitution and violate the unalienable rights of humanity: it will only serve to shew, that no compact among men (however provident in its construction and sacred in its ratification) can be pronounced everlasting and inviolable, and if I may so express myself, that no Wall of words, that no mound of parchment can be so formed as to stand against the sweeping torrent of boundless ambition on the one side, aided by the sapping current of corrupted morals on the other.”
- Abraham Lincoln said of the Constitution: “We the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution.”
- Ronald Reagan believed in the Federalist model which was the primary influence for the drafters of the Constitution: “I believe that part of our troubles are because back over the years, the leadership of the opposing party has step-by-step taken us away from the constitutional principle that we are a federation of sovereign States, and they have tried to reduce the States to administrative districts of an all-powerful Federal Government. And the Federal Government has tried to do things that the Federal Government is not able to do.” He also believed in the ability of a free people to govern themselves, with the rule of law as their guide. In his farewell speech of 1989 he said, “Almost all the world’s constitutions are documents in which governments tell the people what their privileges are. Our Constitution is a document in which “We the people” tell the government what it is allowed to do. “We the people” are free. This belief has been the underlying basis for everything I’ve tried to do these past eight years.”
5. Finally, the Greatest President of the 21st Century must unequivocally support a strong and sovereign Israel:
- Israel is a nation whose people are patient and restrained. They want simply to preserve the inheritance of their homeland for their posterity so that their cultural and religious traditions may be observed in peace. Our American history is a parallel to their sacred history, with our greatest shared ambition to break the bonds of tyrants and slavery and make our promised lands homes for the free.
- Israel is our only ally who will defend the world from the nuclear-state mad men in the Middle East.
- Israel is our only ideological and strategic hedge against a Middle Eastern Caliphate. If Israel is destroyed and a Caliphate is established, it will quickly spread into parts of Europe, Africa, and Asia. This will result in a World War of inconceivable proportions, and America will be fighting a jihad within her own towns and cities while trying to defend little pockets of democracy around the world from an Islamic force which will neither surrender nor retreat. It will lead to deaths of millions here and abroad and will not end until the entire Caliphate is wiped out or all infidels are conquered.
- Israel is our friend and has relied upon us to defend its interests, which are our own interests. Israel has been restrained in their reactions to the incessant terroristic and military attacks from the Islamist states which literally surround them. Their government waits patiently for a nod from America so they may act in their own defense. They have trusted us. If the greatest President of the 21st Century does not unequivocally support and sustain Israel with diplomatic, military and humanitarian resources, then shame on us, and we will pay the price for betraying a necessary and loyal ally.
The greatest President of the 21st Century is somewhere now, being honed, refined and prepared to lead the United States of America out of the abyss. And they must win in 2012.
By Marjorie Haun 4/4/11
If American turns its back on Israel, God will turn His back on America