For most Americans the Constitution had become a hazy document, cited like the Bible on ceremonial occasions but forgotten in the daily transactions of life.
– Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., The Imperial Presidency (1973)
Today, we honor George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, two of the most significant figures in American history.
No. 1 and No. 16 wouldn’t recognize No. 45. Nor would they recognize any “chief magistrate” of the 20th century, much less anyone else who’s “administered the executive branch of the Government” in the 21st.
Teddy Roosevelt made the “bully pulpit,” while FDR set the stage for new superpowers to replace the old. And Ike teed up the “military-industrial complex” for his successors – including JFK, Tricky Dick, my old boss, both Bushes, Slick Willy, and Barry the Bomber – to make it an “imperial presidency.”
But nobody brings the kingly authoritarianism like the Donald.
Washington, who set the template for executive primacy over the legislative and judicial branches, and Lincoln, who oversaw the biggest expansion of federal power in American history, were both flawed men. These are not deities to whom we must genuflect. At the same time, they led with a sense of the common good, not for self-glorification.
So, let’s be reminded, today, of the humility and the dignity that used to grace the office.
Here are opening and closing paragraphs from President George Washington’s “Farewell Address” and the “Bliss Copy” of President Abraham Lincoln’s “Gettysburg Address”…
September 19, 1796
Friends and Fellow Citizens:
The period for a new election of a citizen to administer the Executive Government of the United States being not far distant, and the time actually arrived when your thoughts must be employed in designating the person who is to be clothed with that important trust, it appears to me proper, especially as it may conduce to a more distinct expression of the public voice, that I should now apprise you of the resolution I have formed to decline being considered among the number of those out of whom a choice is to be made.
I beg you at the same time to do me the justice to be assured that this resolution has not been taken without a strict regard to all the considerations appertaining to the relation which binds a dutiful citizen to his country; and that in withdrawing the tender of service, which silence in my Situation might imply, I am influenced by no diminution of zeal for your future interest, no deficiency of grateful respect for your past kindness, but am supported by a full conviction that the step is compatible with both.
Though in reviewing the incidents of my Administration I am unconscious of intentional error, I am nevertheless too sensible of my defects not to think it probable that I may have committed many errors. Whatever they may be, I fervently beseech the Almighty to avert or mitigate the evils to which they may tend. I shall also carry with me the hope that my country will never cease to view them with indulgence, and that, after forty-five years of my life dedicated to its service with an upright zeal, the faults of incompetent abilities will be consigned to oblivion, as myself must soon be to the mansions of rest.
Relying on its kindness in this as in other things, and actuated by that fervent love toward it which is so natural to a man who views in it the native soil of himself and his progenitors for several generations, I anticipate with pleasing expectation that retreat in which I promise myself to realize without alloy the sweet enjoyment of partaking in the midst of my fellow-citizens the benign influence of good laws under a free government–the ever-favorite object of my heart, and the happy reward, as I trust, of our mutual cares, labors, and dangers.
It’s not some crazy conspiracy theory… the Deep State DOES exist. And Trump can’t defeat it alone. That’s why the father of Reaganomics and the swamp’s worst nightmare is finally doing something. Exposing their lies… Protecting our freedoms… and bringing us all together with the power of one voice. Get the details on how to join him, right here.
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.
November 19, 1863
A Basic Approach to a Complex Problem
Desperate times call for… “common sense” measures.
And these are desperate times… Markets are corrupted by monetary central planning. They’re confused. And the road back is going to be treacherous.
We’re looking at a major re-pricing for all financial assets. And thousand-point intraday or day-to-day swings are part of that equation. Those can be frightening… for “buy and hold” investors.
I have a different approach, one that combines strategy and tactics into a plan flexible enough for you to survive and thrive amid the coming chaos. It’s called “The Stockman Model.”
All we’re after is a little stability, perhaps a chance to pocket a windfall when opportunity presents…