Glenn Beck, bless him, has opened the gate for American conservatives to finally appreciate and learn from a man who should have been one of their greatest heroes; President Obama needs to learn from that great man too.
I am of course referring not to the vastly overrated Theodore Roosevelt (If he'd been President in 1914, at least 2 million American boys would have been sent to useless deaths in World War I - but more on that another time.), but to the sainted Warren G. Harding.
American conservatives revere Calvin Coolidge, but are embarrassed by his predecessor. Yet Coolidge literally Did Nothing -- nothing good at all. He inherited a booming economy from his far greater predecessor, and then he didn't raise a finger to cool it down when speculation reached dangerous levels in 1927-28.
Harding, by contrast inherited a series of crises from the appalling Woodrow Wilson that were as serious as the Great Depression. America was in the middle of the worst depression in its history in 1920. Harding had full prosperity back and roaring within less than a year.
It took Franklin Roosevelt eight years of failed and bungled big government policies before he finally gave up and let the industrial demand of World War II and the restored confidence of Big Business rescue him in 1940-42.
Harding inherited race riots in American cities. He inherited a Department of Justice that under the infernal Woodrow Wilson had thrown the Bill of Rights and due process out the window. Harding restored those old fashioned standards.
American soldiers were bogged down in weird, nation-building activities in Siberia and Wilson even wanted them to create an independent Armenia, a policy that would have set off a major war in the Middle East with Turkey and lots of other people. Harding pulled the plug on that too.
He also defended the civil rights of black Americans more robustly than any other president between Ulysses S. Grant and Dwight D. Eisenhower -- and of course they were conservative Republicans too.
Warren Harding could show Barack Obama how to create millions of jobs. He could show him how to restore business confidence. He could show him how to make the investors of the world flock back to America. He could show him how to make Wall Street boom.
But of course, Obama will never stoop to learn anything from President Harding. Failure will continue to sneer at Success. After all, what can Obama possibly learn from a man who only brought peace and prosperity to the American people? Warren Harding never went to Harvard Law School.
Martin Sieff is a former senior foreign correspondent for The Washington Times and the former Managing Editor, International Affairs, for United Press International.
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