Sunday, March 14, 2010

Put Reagan on the $3 bill

Republican Rep Patrick McHenry wants to replace the likeness of U.S. Grant with that of Ronald Reagan on the $50 bill. This is a terrible idea, as is pointed out eloquently and accurately by Sean Wilentz in the (global) NY Times.

Lincoln, Grant and Sherman have special places in my heart as leaders in the fight against the Confederacy. If only Sherman could have extended his march to go through certain parts of New England as well: burning mansions and otherwise gutting wealth built by, and in support of, the slave trade. However, I'm glad that he at least did it to Georgia and the Carolinas -- couldn't have happened to a nicer group of states.

It's ironic that the modern Republican party -- not "Grand" but Party for The Rich -- should now embrace so many groups sympathetic to the Confederacy. The "Southern Strategy" may have started with Dick Nixon, but Ronnie Reagan loved to honor groups sympathetic to the Confederacy and to its flag -- he even felt compelled to visit a cemetary in Bitburg Germany which contained plaques honoring SS dead. The man was either a fool or a knave -- probably a bit of both.

If you want to read some really interesting history, get Grant's wonderful autobiography -- bravely composed while he was painfully dying of cancer and facing disastrous family economic hardship. He had one of the most difficult assignments an American general ever had, and he carried it through to an "unconditional" success. Grant belongs among our most highly-honored presidents -- put Reagan's puss on the $3 bill.

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