Judged by his beliefs, he is the most conservative president in American History. Judged by his record, he's one of the best president's period.
Amity Shlaes, one of America’s most interesting and influential public intellectuals, has just published Coolidge, a biography of that laconic president.
For years, most Americans' vision of history has been shaped by the New Deal historians. Writing soon after Franklin Roosevelt's death, Arthur Schlesinger Jr. and others celebrated his accomplishments and denigrated his opponents.
I am indebted to Amity Shlaes for gently correcting a joke of mine that dates back to July 8, 1972. On that date in the New York Times, I joshed that President Calvin Coolidge "probably spent more time napping than any president in the nation's history" and therefore was a successful president.
"There is no right to strike against the public safety by anybody, anywhere, any time." -- Calvin Coolidge, responding to the 1919 Boston police strike.
Two of my pundit colleagues -- David Brooks of The New York Times and Peggy Noonan of The Wall Street Journal -- have written about this "boring" and "inconsequential" presidential campaign.
Reviving American values won't come by criticizing the media or railing at the intrusive nature of big government. It will come when parents once again take on the critical role of raising their children to be responsible citizens. Training children is time consuming and requires creative repetition and consistency in a world deluged with competing values.
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