Is The Day Of Great Leaders Past?
By Chuck Baldwin
A recent column co-authored by John Eidsmoe and Ben DuPré struck me. They
titled their column, "What makes a 'great' president?"
See it at:http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=114683
The basic thrust of the column was to examine the qualities that make one a
"great" President. They start by examining the Presidency of our 11th
President, James K. Polk. They note that Polk is commonly regarded as being
one of America's top 12 greatest Presidents. To use their words, "between
eighth and 12th among our greatest presidents."
Eidsmoe and Dupré note that Polk was undoubtedly a man of outstanding
Christian character and faith. They say that Polk was "the only president
who kept and fulfilled every one of his campaign promises." They observe him
to be a man "with a Puritan work ethic, [who] literally worked himself to
death as president, retired from office in broken health and died 103 days
But Polk also greatly expanded the power of the Presidency. "In 1846,
President Polk sent American troops into disputed territory where they were
almost certain to become embroiled in hostilities, and then demanded that
Congress recognize that a state of war already existed. Increasingly with
Polk's presidency and thereafter, the president set national policy and the
Congress rubber-stamped the president's decisions."
Eidsmoe and Dupré note that the people who are charged with rating our
Presidents are commonly academicians, "and as such they tend to be left of
center. They believe in centralized power, and they therefore admire
presidents who increased federal power and concentrated it in the
In this regard, Eidsmoe and Dupré are 100% correct. Look at the heroes of
liberal historians and who do you find? Abraham Lincoln, Woodrow Wilson, and
Franklin Roosevelt. Not by accident, these same historians will extol the
virtues of Hammurabi, Alexander, Julius Caesar, Charlemagne, and Napoleon.
All these men have one thing in common: they were responsible for expanding
(either by force or fraud) a centralized government.
Eidsmoe and Dupré correctly challenge the standard by which greatness is
determined and offer alternatives to the avant-garde, politically correct
formula. They proffer that "the truly great men of history are those who
have defended and preserved individual liberty by resisting the increase and
centralization of government power."
To that I say a hearty "AMEN."
Eidsmoe and Dupré then offer their own list of great men, which includes
Judas Maccabeus, Cato and Cicero, Hermann the Liberator, Archbishop Stephen
Langton of Canterbury, William Wallace and Robert the Bruce, and George
Washington and Patrick Henry.
This brought to mind the fact that, several months ago, I had asked my
friend, Howard Phillips, to rate his favorite US Presidents. This was his
1) George Washington: for the standard he established during his Presidency.
2) Thomas Jefferson: for his commitment to religious liberty and for
recognizing the role of the states as he spelled out in the Virginia and
3) Andrew Jackson: for his opposition to the second bank of the United
4) John Tyler: for his role in the admission of Texas to the Union.
5) James Polk: for advancing America's "manifest destiny."
6) Grover Cleveland: for his fidelity for the Constitution of the United
7) Calvin Coolidge: for his commitment to low taxes and limits on Federal
spending as well as for his good character.
As for my personal list of greatest Presidents, it would largely mirror
Howard's list, with one deviation. I would suggest:
1) George Washington: America's greatest President, without whom this
republic would not exist. His "Farewell Address" is the greatest political
speech ever delivered on American soil and should be regarded as
"must-reading" for every American citizen.
2) Thomas Jefferson: America's greatest defender of individual liberty and
3) James Monroe: for his leadership in establishing America's strategically
important "Monroe Doctrine."
4) Andrew Jackson: for standing up against the bankers.
5) John Tyler: for defying his own party (Whigs) and twice vetoing the
incorporation of the US Bank. And also for supporting the Southern cause for
6) Grover Cleveland: for his honesty and devotion to the US Constitution.
7) Calvin Coolidge: for his dogged determination to limit taxes and federal
As for my suggested list of personal heroes, those are already chronicled on
my Wikipedia page. See it at:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chuck_Baldwin
Interestingly enough, Dupré and Eidsmoe's hero candidates, William Wallace
and Patrick Henry, also grace my list of heroes as posted on my Wikipedia
One will notice that there are hardly any modern-day heroes mentioned on my
list. I also observed that there were no modern-day heroes mentioned by John
Eidsmoe and Ben Dupré in their column. Indeed. Where are the real heroes in
national public office today?
Our national leaders (from both parties) seem to be shortsighted
opportunists, possessing little regard for their oaths to the US
Constitution, the principles of decency, or even plain, old-fashioned common
sense. Both major parties in Washington, D.C., offer the American people
varying degrees of socialism. Neither party demonstrates even tacit devotion
to constitutional government. Federalism and limited government have all but
disappeared under the oversight of both Republican and Democratic leaders.
These disastrous Presidents (from Johnson, Nixon, and Carter to Clinton and
Bush I & II) calmly leave office with no regret or remorse for the
devastation, death, and deception that they inflicted upon the country. They
live in the lap of luxury and comfort without the slightest tinge of
conscience as to the massive destruction done to our Constitution, not to
mention our economy, security, and way of life. Beyond that, our congressmen
and senators are mostly miscreants in the similitude of Nancy Pelosi and
It's hard to imagine there was a time when giants once lived among us. It's
hard to recall a day when the word "hero" really meant something. Today,
everyone is called a hero. Well, as one Marine Corps veteran recently said,
"If everyone is a hero, no one is a hero." Amen!
Perhaps more than anything, America needs great leaders once again. Men who
are not enamored with power and wealth. Men who are more concerned with
honoring their word and preserving the Constitution than they are being
reelected and receiving a government pension. Men who really do respect the
people that elected them. Men who are willing to be unpopular, if that is
the cost of honesty and integrity. Men who know the difference between the
eternal and the temporal. And, yes, men who know the meaning of the word
Is the day of great leaders past? With few exceptions, it would appear so.
And that--more than anything else--is why we are in the mess we are in
So, while you are saying your prayers tonight, don't forget to ask God to
give us some men like Washington and Jefferson. We could sure use them about
P.S. It's not too late to cast your vote for me (or someone else) as Ron
Paul's running mate in 2012 at:http://tinyurl.com/yfmndfr
P.P.S. THE FREEDOM DOCUMENTS will be ready to ship in a few days. To get
ahead of the Christmas rush, go here:http://www.chuckbaldwinlive.com/products.html
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(c) Chuck Baldwin