theater, WWII

The Things We Remember Most About Our Presidents

I am fiercely patriotic.

I am proud to be an American and proud to have a dad who fought in three wars and taught me to love freedom and everything it stands for.

My dad’s funeral. Arlington National Cemetery.

This last year has not been a pretty one for the United States. We stood up for what we believed, but in the process we have been petty, hateful, and violent. I am not here to debate the rights and wrongs and how far it is ok to go when repaying evil with evil… but why don’t we just look at what the Bible teaches about that?

We have  seen death. Lots and lots of death. We have heard the horror stories of bodies piled up in New York City because they literally had no place to put them.

We saw a mob of Americans invade the Capitol.

We saw murder hornets.

Relief finally began to appear as a vaccine for Covid 19 was developed in record time.

Trump lost the election, but refused to admit defeat…..ever.

We’ve seen ugliness in our land, and we’ve seen it in each other.

But I’m still proud to be an American.

Here are my thoughts about the men who have served our country as President…well, the ones I can remember.

The first president I really remember was John F. Kennedy. I was in the second grade. I will never forget how I felt when they announced over the intercom that we were all being sent home early because evil had killed our President. We watched TV the rest of the day and evening devouring every bit of information we could. Our nation mourned.

1963-1969 Lyndon B. Johnson
Let’s face it. I remember Lady Bird Johnson better.
But if pressed, I’d say my memories are made up of the Vietnam War. Maybe that’s because my dad left us to go fight in that horrible war in 1968. I know Johnson didn’t start America’s involvement, but it seemed to escalate and divide our country under his leadership.

1969-1974 Richard Nixon
My memory starts to get a little better as I got older. Nixon lost his first bid for President to Kennedy. Many people blame his loss on how he appeared on TV. (This should have been our first warning as to how much the media would play into our decision making) He got American troops out of Vietnam. The Watergate Scandal. He resigned because he was facing impeachment.

1974-1977 Gerald Ford
He was the first man to become President in US history having  not been part of a presidential campaign, instead being appointed vice president by Nixon after Spiro T. Agnew resigned.  Ford pardoned Nixon for any crimes he may have committed as President.
Note: There was great controversy over this decision, but Ford said that our nation’s future hinged on ending the ordeal of Watergate and beginning the process of healing.
Great words. I wonder if anyone will lead us with those same sentiments or continue to accuse and point out failings and continue to stir up bitterness.

1977-1981 Jimmy Carter
He was a peanut farmer. He wanted to be known as a man of the people. There was high unemployment, rising inflation and an energy crisis. The Iran hostage crisis.

1981-1989 Ronald Reagan

Actor.

Reagan was fiercely opposed to communism and the spread of it. He was known for calling the Soviet Union an evil empire. When he took office the economy was in double-digit inflation and interest rates were near 20%. His approach to tax cuts and economic expansion became known as “Reaganomics”. The hostages in Iran that were held for 444 days, were released. The Iran-Contra affair happened reporting that Reagan authorized the sale of arms to Iran in order to free the hostages in Lebanon. I loved his speeches. Literally the man could convince me to buy snow. He was known as the “Great Communicator” for a good reason.  I wish all Presidents were like him. I know other people wouldn’t agree with me, but I loved the Reagan years.

1989-1993 George H. W. Bush

I admired him most for his military service. He won the Distinguished Flying Cross for bravery. He picked Dan Quayle to be his running mate…..need I say more? Operation Desert Storm.

1993-2001 Bill Clinton

He was impeached for perjury and obstruction of justice in connection with the relationship he had with Monica Lewinsky. “I did not have sex with that woman.”

2001-2009 George W. Bush

September 11, 2011. A day we will never forget. Terrorist Attacks against America in which over 3000 people were killed. In response American troops invaded Afghanistan. Hurricane Katrina devastated  the gulf coast and Bush was criticized for his slow response to the disaster.

2009-2017 Barack Obama

First African American President. “Obamacare”. The killing of Osama bin Laden. Legalization of Gay Marriage.

2017-2021 Donald Trump

Real Estate Developer and Reality TV star, but nothing like Reagan. Ran the campaign under the slogan “Make America Great Again.”  Beat Hillary Clinton. Entire Presidency was served with allegations of election interference, constant firings of his staff. He was impeached then acquitted and then impeached again. Our Economy did quite well and business enjoyed the take charge Trump, but with Trump came his mouth. If only he would have learned to keep it shut at the right times. COVID.  Trump refused to admit defeat after his campaign for reelection. Trump accused states of voter fraud. To end his four years he made a speech outside the Capitol where he vowed to never concede. After his speech a mob stormed the Capitol and five people died.

January 20, 2021–?? Joe Biden
Only time will tell.

If you are still with me and managed to read my musings I hope you will notice that even though the last four years were more rough than others, we have had a history of Presidents that made bad decisions.  Presidents who were impeached. Presidents who didn’t manage well or lead our country wrongly into wars or even managed to lead us into high inflation and unemployment.

If you look back through history you will see a group of men who were willing to serve and try to lead our country. Some failed.

But you know what I see? I see a group of Americans who God allowed to be in office.
We are “a nation under God.”

He rules.

Take comfort in this thought. God will rule these next four years as well.  I take comfort in the fact that God–not man–is in control. “The heart of the king-is in the hand of the Lord.”

I am proud to be an American.   What about you?

What do you remember about our Presidents? I’d love to know what you think! As always please share and comment!

Until next time–this is just me–talking to you– from the wings!

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