Rutherford B. Hayes in 2012!
Posted by Mitch Kokai at 1:42 PM
Author Benjamin Wiker offers that tongue-in-cheek suggestion in a new column posted by Human Events:
Now I can just hear the nay-sayers who always come in to point out niggling little problems with grand designs: “But Rutherford B. Hayes is dead.”
And exactly why is that a problem. It seems, in my humble opinion, to be a great advantage at this particular time.
First of all, I think everyone will admit that, as a matter of historical fact, nearly all of the mischief perpetrated from the Executive Office has been done by living Presidents. This is something that is all too often overlooked—no doubt, from a kind of deep-seated prejudice against the expired.
Certainly, I am ready to admit that Presidents who happen to be alive have also done some good, but taken on the whole, their record is far from stellar. Since much of the good that can be done by a President comes from his resisting Congress or resisting the urge to engage in elaborate utopian schemes, Hayes is definitely the man. He did it in life. Think how much more effective he would be now.
Second, it might be objected that allowing the dead a place in politics is politically disastrous. On the contrary, the dead have been active in Chicago elections for decades, and have undoubtedly been the swing vote that has even elected Presidents.
Why should the Democratic Party have the market cornered on the graveyard vote? Think of how appealing Hayes as a candidate would be to them? I imagine something like the Reagan Democrats here, a vast switchover vote that could help sweep Republicans into both Congress and the White House.
I'll note my own soft spot for Hayes, who lived much of his life in my dad's hometown: Fremont, Ohio. In another bit of interesting trivia, at least two of Hayes' direct descendants played for the Carolina lacrosse and field hockey teams in the 1990s.
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