“Looking for Calvin Coolidge” by Grace Olmstead

Calvin Coolidge, the official White House portrait by Charles Hopkinson, completed after Cal's retirement from public life, 1932. His years of fighting the Washington establishment were said to be evident on his face in this depiction.

Calvin Coolidge, the official White House portrait by Charles Hopkinson, completed after Cal’s retirement from public life, 1932. His years of fighting the Washington establishment were said to be evident on his face in this depiction.

Author Olmstead over at The American Conservative raises some interesting questions, as she reads through Garland Tucker’s new book, Conservative Heroes: Does the American electorate even want presidential leadership in the mold of Calvin Coolidge? Has America become comfortably conditioned to a flashy and domineering White House presence in politics and culture? What would Coolidge’s kind of executive look like today and could that modern Coolidge succeed in a Washington that has apparently decided deliberately and conclusively to live and make decisions entirely at odds with the interests and outlook of the rest of the country?

Considering today’s crop of leaders, most of them given over fully to an elitist way of living that severs any vestige of reliance on the people, is it even possible for a Cal Coolidge to take on the “Leviathan of centralized government we have today”? If not, what will it take to slay the Monster? If not Coolidge’s principles and example, what can? What do you think, readers?

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