(Calvin Coolidge - did for the Tribal Headdress what Dukakis did for the Tank)
Todays installment of the Reference room brings Governor of Massachusets Calvin Coolidge on the subject of Law and Order from 1918.
Gov. Calvin Coolidge: “Government is not, must not be a cold impersonal machine, but a human and more human agency, appealing to the reason, satisfying the heart, full of mercy, assisting good, resisting wrong. Delivering the weak from any impositions of the powerful. This is not paternalism, it is not a servitude imposed from without, but the freedom of a righteous self-direction from within.”
As Governor, Calvin Coolidge is probably best known for his putting down of the Police Strike in Boston in 1919. As vice-President, he was known as "Silent Cal". When Warren G. Harding died during his first term in office, Coolidge ascended to the Presidency and adopted a policy of hands-off government, imposing as few restrictions as possible. He did, however change the tax system so that the upper 2% of the taxpaying public actually paid taxes during the 1920's. But with the relaxation of curbs, particularly with Wall Street, it turned into a huge nightmare waiting for Herbert Hoover, when he took over the White House in 1929.
Coolidge has gone down in history both praised and damned. And judging from his performance in office, perhaps a bit of both. On the one hand, he is credited for establishing a fairer tax burden, but on the other hand, his almost complete abandonment of curbs, particularly with Wall Street, did lead to one of the biggest depressions of the 20th century.