Sunday, October 28, 2012

The Ohioan: President Grant & the Republic

            In an interview given on August 29, 1877 to curious Europeans during his trip overseas, President Ulysses S. Grant explained his view of Americans:

You can always depend upon the good sense of the people of the United States.  They believe in the Republic.  Their flag is to the fore, with strong arms behind it always, and they are sentimental, loyal and brave.  They will never elect a high official except upon a common sense basis.  For that reason I believe – the republican and democratic parties of late being so evenly divided – that the people will be compelled to vote in large majority for the republican candidate, no matter who he may be, because the democrats will do some silly thing that will drive the thinking people from their ranks at the last moment.[1] 

Could Grant have known that just over100 years into the future, his words would resonate with Americans struggling under the worst democratic administration in United States history?  To be sure, in 2008 Americans elected a Democrat, Barack H. Obama, to become President of the United States.  Some Americans would argue today that Obama has successfully taken America further away from the “Republic” Grant once envisioned.  For example, our enemies who once feared us now freely attack and kill Americans abroad because they consider us powerless.  Our currency has lost the strength it once enjoyed; instead, we now live under the heavy burden of debt so enormous that it will continue to affect our children in the future. 

            If re-elected, the future of America under this President would only become worse.  For instance, instead of enjoying a free market enterprise system that would encourage competition and growth, ideas that once built this nation, Americans will need to share their wealth or pay penalties.  Americans will need to forfeit their right to choose basic needs such as healthcare and education because Obama will continue to encroach upon our liberties as he has already done for the last 4 years.  Indeed, Americans will do well to remember that under the Obama administration, the only “pursuit of happiness” which will occur in America will be at the disposal of the President himself.    

            As we edge closer towards Election Day, we must consider our future and choose our President wisely.  Are we using our “common sense,” as Grant suggested, in voting for a candidate who best represents our interests at home and abroad?  Are we voting for someone who carries our “flag to the fore, with strong arms behind it always?” On the other hand, are we voting for a leader who bows his head to lies and apologizes to our enemies?  Does he watch casually as our enemies tear down and burn our flag even as they kill our brethren?  Does he have the courage and character to accept responsibility for his failures in leading the nation or is he quick to blame others around him for his shortcomings?  Indeed, does he place the needs of Americans before his own selfish pursuits? 

            Careful analysis of the last 4 years shows that the democrats have had the opportunity to try many “silly thing[s]” and given another chance, their silliness will only result in more troubling times for all Americans.  Now is the time to rise up from our “ranks” and make a clear choice.  President Grant once called us the “thinking people” and showed a high level of faith in Americans.  Now, we the people must put that faith into practice for ourselves, our children, and for the future of our national Republic.

[1] Ulysses S. Grant, The Papers of Ulysses S. Grant, Volume 28:  November 1, 1876-September 30, 1878 (Carbondale:  Southern Illinois University Press, 2005), url:


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