- With increasing numbers of young Americans knowing embarrassingly little about our nation’s past, the wrong-headedness of President’s Day rankles worse than ever. Rather then designate the February birthdays of our two greatest presidents—Washington, the “indispensable man” who made the United States a reality, and Lincoln, the brilliant leader/philosopher who kept it from tearing apart—as yearly commemorations of their remarkable lives and our debt to them, Congress lumped them into a generic “Presidents Day,” thereby demonstrating that it deemed a three-day weekend and consumer merchandise sales more important than our heritage. Worst of all for ethics fans, George, who “wouldn’t tell a lie,” and Honest Abe are the only U.S. Presidents remembered for their truthfulness. Yet here they are, forced to share their “day” with the likes of Woodrow Wilson, Harding, J.F.K, L.B.J., Tricky Dick and Bill Clinton. The right thing to do would be to go back to celebrating February 12 and 22. Washington and Lincoln deserve it, and so do the values they stood for.
- Speaking of ethics icons, one of my wife’s favorites,”To Kill A Mockingbird’s” Atticus Finch, has been under attack in some quarters for being passively acquiescent in the Jim Crow morality that convicts his black client despite overwhelming evidence that he is innocent. Continue reading