Trump puts Rushmore in the news, so let's play
Recently, it was reported that President Trump had inquired about the possibility of getting his face carved into Mount Rushmore. I know about half of y'all think that's about the funniest thing you've heard since the pandemic started, something bordering on blasphemy, and the other half wonder why the plans to do so haven't yet been drawn up.
Rushmore is a magnificent place, one of the coolest man-made creations ever. If you haven't been there, go.
It's also become a trademark, Rushmore has, for the Top 4 of anything. The "Mount Rushmore" of actors, of musicians, quarterbacks, candy bars, you name it. The "Rushmore Game" is a fun one and can be applied to just about anything.
But the actual Mount Rushmore, as wonderful as it is, only takes in about half of our nation's history. The choices of faces were next to inarguable — Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt, with Washington and Lincoln the most prominent.
Wouldn't it be great to mark each century or so of our nation's history with a carving into a mountainside honoring the four most deserving presidents of that specific 100 years?
How about for the 1900s? That sounds like a perfect transition into a game of Rushmore. Let's get to it.
Here are my choices for the Rushmore of the 20th century: two Democrats and two Republican. Slanting it one way or the other would lead to rioting in the streets, wouldn't it, and we wouldn't want that.
The foremost of the four faces for the second Rushmore would have to be Franklin Roosevelt. The four-term president who led the nation through both the Great Depression and World War II, the selection has to start with FDR.
The top Republican would have to be Dwight D. Eisenhower. Ike led the Allied Command through World War II and then became a two-term president during one of the most prosperous times in our history, the 1950s. The "American Century" blossomed under Ike, and the freeway system that was established in that decade opened and modernized the nation.
The second Democrat, to me, is an easy call: John F. Kennedy. JFK inspired a new generation. Like Ike, he was an effective Cold War-rior, set high bars for our nation to reach, like the moon, for instance. He will long inspire men and women to serve.
The second Republican? That's easy for me as well: Ronald Reagan. Reagan rejuvenated a nation hungover after the '70s and Vietnam. His campaign famously said it was "morning in America again." To a large extent, he indeed made it so. His military spending hikes pushed the Soviet Union to an economic brink. His leadership was key to the USSR's demise. Without a bloody battle, the Cold War was won, it can be argued, because of Reagan's leadership.
So that's my Rushmore of the 1900s: FDR, Ike, JFK and Reagan.
Maybe, someday, Trump will realize his Rushmore dream. Maybe he'll surprise the pundits again and win re-election and be a two-term president. Maybe he'll indeed wind up carved into stone. And maybe he'll be up there with another two-term president of the 2000s: Barack Obama.
I could see it now, Trump and Obama, on facing cliffs — snarling at each other for eternity.
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