Christmas on the Mountain

Thomas Jefferson celebrated Christmas… but not with stockings and Christmas trees- modern incarnations of the season didn’t take hold in America until after the Civil War. Jefferson’s Christmas was a time for family, friends, and as he described it, “merriment.” Family was all important to the Sage of Monticello, and he described the day” “theContinue reading “Christmas on the Mountain”

Jefferson on Love

A periodic look into the mind of Jefferson Jefferson loved two women in his life… both brought him periods of blissful happiness and profound sadness.  Through all the sadness, Jefferson’s optimism could always be felt-  He told his second love, Maria Cosway in 1786: “Heaven has submitted our being to some unkind laws.  When thoseContinue reading “Jefferson on Love”

Carry a Big Stick

Theodore Roosevelt spelled out a clear foreign policy… built on strength, defending interests, and standing with allies.  People rarely look past Roosevelt’s quoting  an old African proverb to describe his foreign policy approach.  However, TR not only carried a big stick, but altered American foreign policy forever.  Later Presidents would use the example set in 1904Continue reading “Carry a Big Stick”

Jefferson’s Birthday

  Further proof that the trend of combining different commemorations into banker’s holidays… is truly foolish, look no further than Thomas Jefferson. Upon entering the executive mansion… citizens began petitioning him for the use of his birthday as a holiday, he gently reminded them, ‘The only birthday I ever commemorate, is that of our Independence,Continue reading “Jefferson’s Birthday”

Electoral Protections

The Electoral College was designed by…. Madison and Hamilton to help guarantee that Federal cooperation was protected in the election of the President.  Fearing that plurality would bring nationalized power to the executive branch, Madison argued that the mixed authority of Federalism was the best protector of republican virtue: The executive power will be derived fromContinue reading “Electoral Protections”

Jefferson on our Resilience

Jefferson offered an optimistic assessment of our republic’s fortitude. Words that we should turn to today; “I know, indeed, that some honest men fear that a republican government can not be strong, that this Government is not strong enough; but would the honest patriot, in the full tide of successful experiment, abandon a government whichContinue reading “Jefferson on our Resilience”

Truman’s Wit and Wisdom

Truman on firing General Douglass MacArthur – “I fired him because he wouldn’t respect the authority of the President. I didn’t fire him because he was a dumb son of a bitch, although he was, but that’s not against the law for generals. If it was, half to three-quarters of them would be in jail.”Continue reading “Truman’s Wit and Wisdom”

Censure of a President- The Senate’s Voice

Whig opposition to President Andrew Jackson did not have enough votes in the House of Representatives to impeach Jackson for his Constitutionally suspect attacks on the Second Bank of the United States. Jackson’s rival, Senator Henry Clay took matters into his own hands and censured Jackson’s conduct in the Senate. “Resolved that the President inContinue reading “Censure of a President- The Senate’s Voice”

Lincoln and Majority Rule

Abraham Lincoln succinctly explained the insanity of secession in his First Inaugural Address. The majority rules in our democratic-republic. Failure to accept this is not patriotism, it is anarchy. “From questions of this class spring all our constitutional controversies, and we divide upon them into majorities and minorities. If the minority will not acquiesce, theContinue reading “Lincoln and Majority Rule”