Monday, May 04, 2015

Mister We Could Use A Man Like Calvin Coolidge Again

The latest course offering from Prager University trumpets the virtues of Calvin Coolidge, an underrated president who accomplished much by doing less:

These days, many voters want the president to "do something" -- often, it seems, anything. But what would happen if a president decided to do...nothing? Nothing, that is, except actively shrink the size of government. In this week's video, award-winning author Amity Shlaes tells you about just such a president: Calvin Coolidge. Under his administration, Americans earned higher wages, experienced fewer strikes, and were introduced to new, affordable technology in the form of cars, phones, and radios.

I recently finished reading Shlaes’ recent biography on Coolidge. While I found her writing to be uneven and at times unorganized, the story of Coolidge is a fascinating one that most Americans are woefully unfamiliar with (I know I was until I read the book).

It’s probably too much to hope for a leader with the temperament and economy of Coolidge today, but Republicans vying for the chance to run in 2016 would do well to understand the approach he took to governing as previous GOP leaders have. Ronald Reagan was said to be a big fan of Silent Cal and it’s hard to imagine a better endorsement than that.