Thursday, April 13, 2006

Grover Cleveland

I admit it. I was watching a history channel presentation on the Presidents. In my defense, I was tired after some yard work. Anyway, it struck me that we need more men like Grover Cleveland.
Cleveland actually won the popular vote for President in three straight elections. He is best known for being the only President to get a second term after sitting out of office for four years. However, he should be known as a prophet, a statesman, and a man to emulate.
Cleveland vetoed twice as many bills in his first term than all of his predecessors combined. He vetoed draught assistance to farmers, pensions for Civil War vets, granting disabilities for Civil War vets for disabilities suffered after the war. He vetoed just about every spending bill that came across his desk, especially Federal Handouts. He stated, Federal aid in such cases encourages the expectation of paternal care on the part of the Government and weakens the sturdiness of our national character. . . .. He was against high protective tariffs. He defended the gold standard even in tough times. He had a heavy hand in foreign policy, and sent the army in to brake up a union led strike in Chicago that affected mail delivery. In most of these things he was right.
Franklin Roosevelt should have listened to Cleveland. Cleveland was President during the worst depression in America’s history to that point, just like Roosevelt. Cleveland’s was caused by the high protective tariff enacted during his four year absence from the Presidency. Cleveland refused to remove or replace the gold standard of US money. He would not even add silver to the standard. Roosevelt removed the gold standard and by all accounts made the depression worse because of it. Cleveland refused for the Federal Government to get involved in the aid to the poor, unemployed, farmers, or help out failed businesses. Roosevelt did all of those things. Cleveland knew that not only would was it not the job of the Federal Government, but he knew it created dependence and that weakened the economic fiber of America.
Sadly today we have the legacy of FDR and not the responsible legacy of Grover Cleveland. We have men who give away money in hope of votes. Instead we should agree with President Cleveland who said, What is the use of being elected or re-elected unless you stand for something?
I am looking for a good biography on Cleveland. Suggestions are welcome.


Matt Powell said...

One question- draught assistance for farmers? Is that like help drinking beer? If so, how could you possibly support such a man? Who could be against a bill providing help with beer?

Lee said...

You have seen how bad the government messes up everything they touch like the mail, can you imagine what government beer would be like? We would all have to drink Coors Light or something worse.