This moniker is so prevalent, so popular, so ubiquitous that I realize my criticism is futile and will mostly fall on deaf or uninterested ears (or, in this case, eyes).
But for those who care....
This is not Presidents Day Weekend.
I know, I know. Everyone CALLS it “Presidents Day Weekend.” But.... it’s not.
Not officially anyway.
Again....not that anyone cares. And not that our society is going to change this moniker anytime soon. After all, “Presidents Day” has a nice “ring” to it. It rolls off the tongue much more easily than would be the case if we actually used the PROPER and LEGAL name for this weekend’s holiday.
We all know that, given the choice between Proper or Convenient, Americans will choose the latter every time.
But if you’ll indulge me....
There’s much more at stake than simple laziness or even ignorance.
The fact that Americans CALL this February holiday “Presidents Day” effectively equalizes ALL of our Presidents and makes this holiday about ALL those who served in the American presidency.
What’s wrong with THAT, you ask.
Well..... let me tell you.
Some of our Presidents don’t deserve holiday recognition. That’s right. Some of our Presidents have been more harmful than helpful to our country. And even those who perhaps did their jobs adequately, or even well, don’t necessarily deserve the same holiday recognition that we bestow on that great civil rights hero: Martin Luther King, Jr.
What’s more.... the very REASON we HAVE holidays (remembering that the word “holiday” stems from “holy day”) is to call Americans’ attention to WORTHY people or events. It’s to call Americans to higher principles - to get them to remember the WHY of our country, not just the WHAT of our history.
There was a time when Americans pretty much universally understood this. And thus they had no problem calling this February holiday by its proper, legal, and official name. The reason being.... they understood that the man for whom this February holiday is officially named... is worthy of universal recognition and esteem. That man of course is....
Remember him? You know..... the guy who fathered this country. The guy who pretty much remains the only (humanly speaking) indispensable man in American history. Without Washington, it’s frankly inconceivable to think that the United States would even EXIST today.
Today, of course, few Americans even pay Washington much attention.
And when attention is paid to Washington, he’s normally maligned in a maelstrom of political correctness and so-called Social Justice Warriors. Never mind that most of Washington’s critics don’t even know much about the man. Facts don’t matter to them. They’ve caricatured him (along with the rest of the Founding Fathers) as white supremacist symbols of the WASP patriarchy. And that’s enough for them.
So much of today’s political disagreements - as well as discussions of history - degenerate into labels, tribalism, slander, and virtue signaling. Truth is lost in the mix. It’s a sad shame.
I have an idea. I know it’s old-fashioned. I know it’s cliche. I know it’s ... well... “out there” for a lot folks. But try this on for size....
We honor Washington for the good that he did and be grateful for what he did for our country while..... at the same time .... acknowledging his sins and failures and learning from those shortcomings?
You know.... kind of like... Hate the sin but Love the sinner?
I know that’s completely unfathomable in the vicious, slanderous, often binary world of politically correct social justice warriorism today. But....
It’s still the best way to go. And here’s why....
NO ONE IS PERFECT.
As the Bible tells us: “There is none righteous; no, not one.” (Romans 3:10).
Well... there was this ONE guy, but He’s on the special side. On the DIVINE side.
But setting Him aside...... all human beings are imperfect, flawed sinners. All of them.
Including George Washington.
And with that in mind....
It’s okay to have some heroes, so long as we remember that all of our heroes (again, except for that Jewish carpenter guy in the first century) are flawed. All of them.
The same is true for you, for your parents, for your significant other.
If you’re going to only love, honor, and respect people who are PERFECT or “perfect” according to YOUR personal standard of morality? Well.... you’ll never have ANY heroes or ANYONE in your life that you deem worthy of love, honor, or respect.
And that’s a sad and lonely way to live.
I know George Washington isn’t perfect. He’s no Jesus. But....
- He deserves his nation’s gratitude, honor, and respect.
- He deserves to be regarded as a hero.
- He deserves his own holiday!
Happy George Washington Birthday Weekend!