Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Honoring the President; what holiday?

Another holiday – President’s Day – has come and gone. Yet I doubt many of us noticed a thing.

Monday was supposed to be the day we paid tribute to the many men (not quite four dozen) who have served as U.S. president during our nation’s history. But I wonder how many of us worked our way through the day.

OR IF WE had the kind of government-related post where work actually shut down for the day, did we just waste it away sitting in front of a television set watching whatever mindless junk happened to be on for our viewing?

Personally, about the most impact the day had upon me was the fact that there was no mail delivery. Not that I was expecting anything of significance. Although I did notice one of my neighbors got a package delivery; courtesy of United Parcel Service.

I don’t think many of us gave a thought to those people who have served our nation with the ultimate ego-boost of a political position – that of president of the United States.

As in the guy who in theory is in charge of the country (and often is referred to as “the most powerful man in the world”), but whom we often see can easily be thwarted by Congress and the Supreme Court.

PERSONALLY, I WOULDN’T have the ambition to run for president – I’d feel like I had to make too many ideological concessions to have any chance of getting a significant number of votes.

Plus I’d have to kiss way too many behinds to come up with the kind of campaign cash it takes to run a credible electoral effort. Personally, I don’t see the point of running for political office if one is only capable of taking 1 percent or so of the vote.

So what should we think of the men who have made the effort to be the chief executive of U.S. government? It’s a thankless job, and one that probably draws way too much hostility and abuse from the opposition.

And there’s always opposition! Someone is always going to think you are wrong. And someone is always going to think that the world would be better off without you in it – even if they don’t have the nerve or intelligence to carry out such insane thoughts!

PERHAPS THE CONCEPT of a President’s Day (instead of the old-fashioned notion of celebrating the birth of George Washington – the first president) isn’t the most absurd holiday we offer.

It’s more practical than trying to honor all 43 men who have held the office (and you just know some people would go out of their way to ignore the holidays of those presidents they want to disrespect.

It reminds me of an old “The West Wing” episode where actress Allison Janney’s “C.J. Cregg” character was appalled to learn of a religious group that devoted a day to its members praying for her soul – because they were convinced that as a Democrat who sided with liberal causes, she was going to Hell.

Most people, however, aren’t willing to put that much thought into the day. In fact, I really believe most people let Monday pass by without any thought.

IT WAS A day for retailers to hold weekend-long sales – the one that caught my attention was held by the Guitar Center chain. Fifteen percent off selected items, and it was possible to get a Stratocaster make of guitar for $99.

No, I didn’t go out and buy a discount guitar on Monday. Or a new mattress or sofa or even a car (the latter of which I could use these days). I didn’t give in to commercialism on this day where we’re supposed to honor the concept of our government – although not as intensely as we do on Independence or Memorial days.

Although I have to admit what I actually did do during the morning hours isn’t something I’m proud of – I watched the one-millionth (or so it seems like) airing of the Sandra Bullock film “Miss Congeniality,” a film I'd never seen before, where the attractive actress has to play the part of a frumpy FBI agent who has to disguise herself as a beauty queen to undermine a plot to disrupt the “Miss United States” pageant.

So what’s my punishment for wasting away a federal holiday morning – perhaps I should have to sit through several hours of tapes of George W. Bush’s incomprehensible presidential rhetoric without actor Will Ferrell to translate?


No comments: