Happy Presidents’ Day, Mr. Coolidge!

In celebration of Presidents’ Day, here are links to three articles – f i r s t , here’s historian, Coolidge scholar, and occasional reader and commenter on this blog Jerry Wallace with an all-new article on the timeless values of Calvin Coolidge,

s e c o n d, one of my all-time favorites by economist Robert Higgs, cautioning against the notion of presidential greatness,

and t h i r d, a short vignette by Amity Shlaes, highlighting Coolidge as a paragon of the forgotten virtue of thrift.

 

And what did Coolidge himself have to say? I’ve always loved his quote, “It is a great advantage to a president, and a major source of safety to the country, for him to know that he is not a great man.” I read this to mean that Coolidge had a healthy appreciation of his own shortcomings, and a wise understanding of the Founders’ conception of a president’s function – not as a supreme visionary and great mover and shaker of things, but as a more humble functionary “doing the day’s work” and letting the people go about their own business.

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