It's hard to believe that on the same date 84 years part, two US Presidents were elected that are in direct contrast to each other. Those two Presidents, Barack Obama and Calvin Coolidge, represent the opposite ends of the political and intellectual spectrum.
In 1924, Coolidge was a man who believed in a firm reliance in the individual perseverance and faith in God could overcome all obstacles. His July 4, 1926 speech is a wonderful connection between these two ideas.
Key to understanding Coolidge's ideas can be found in this quote from that speech. "If we are to maintain the great heritage which has been bequeathed to us, we must be like-minded as the fathers who created it. We must not sink into a pagan materialism. We must cultivate the reverence which they had for the things that are holy. We must follow the spiritual and moral leadership which they showed. We must keep replenished, that they may glow with a more compelling flame, the altar fires before which they worshiped."
On the hand, not much needs to be stated about the beliefs and ideas of Obama. The idea that the government will solve the problems of the individual is not new but stands in marked contrast to Coolidge's idea of America. In this world, materialism has taken over society and hard work and determination has been replaced by doing what feels good and what makes the individual happy. Here's the link to Obama's July 4 radio address.
The difference between the two is startling. What this country needs are more individuals such as Calvin Coolidge and less like Barack Obama. Let us hope that this past Tuesday is a new movement towards sanity in our elected offices and not "something for now."