THE GIPPER ON THE $50 BILL?
Posted by Andrew Roman on March 3, 2010
From the “Selective Reasoning” file …
A bill was introduced in the House of Representatives yesterday that, if passed, would put the face of America’s 40th President – Ronald Wilson Reagan – on the $50 bill. Congressman Patrick McHenry, Republican from North Carolina, introduced legislation that would replace the likeness of Ulysses S. Grant – celebrated Civil War general and 18th President of the United States – with that of Reagan’s.
From Fox News:
“Every generation needs its own heroes,” McHenry said in a written statement. “One decade into the 21st century, it’s time to honor the last great president of the 20th and give President Reagan a place beside Presidents Roosevelt and Kennedy.”
FDR’s likeness in on the dime and Kennedy’s is on the half-dollar.
McHenry pointed to a polls of presidential scholars that show Reagan consistently outranks President Grant, including a Wall Street Journal survey in 2005 that ranked Reagan sixth and Grant 29th.
But one Democrat on the House Financial Services Committee said he’s not ready to grant that honor to “someone whose policies are still controversial.”
“Our currency ought to be something that unites us,” Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Calif., told the Los Angeles Times.
I could be wrong on this, but I’m guessing that Ulysses S. Grant is similarly regarded in some sectors of the South as General William Techumseh Sherman is, although probably with less disdain. To be sure, Grant’s likeness wasn’t a common sight in too many American homes south of the Mason-Dixon line after the war.
And how exactly did John F. Kennedy unify America? By his death? Nearly half of America did not vote for the man in 1960. Apart from his murder, what did he accomplish that warranted his face on a coin? The escalation of America’s involvement in Vietnam?
Indeed, Franklin Roosevelt helped lead America to victory in World War II, but to suggest that his nearly four terms of unprecedented government expansion – along with his creation of the modern entitlement state – wasn’t (and still isn’t) controversial is to deny that water is wet. Outside of World War II, there isn’t much that “unifies” the American public today about the hyper-progressive, Franklin Delano Roosevelt. And yet, there he is on the dime.
Hell, Abraham Lincoln’s decision to suspend the writ of habeas corpus during the war to this day is controversial.
Why didn’t Congressman Sherman just say, “Reagan was too conservative to be on my money.”
We all know that’s what he means.