Harding & Coolidge: Common Sense Presidents

The following essay was written two years ago (1/7/07) on the Party of Commons blog.

President Warren Harding, the president during the early 1920's, preached a policy of America minding her own business and staying out of foreign conflicts. A prudent president who tried and succeeded in keeping the U.S. out of conflicts, and whose secretary of state, Charles Evans Hughes, presided over the Washington Naval Conference of 1921-1922, which was a major international disarmament accord. President Calvin Coolidge, who succeeded to the presidency after the death of Mr. Harding, was likewise prudent in foreign policy, although he did send a Marine peacekeeping contingent to Nicaragua as a result of the civil war there. In 1928, the Coolidge Administration also signed the Kellogg-Briand Pact (also called Pact of Paris) which sought to rule out war as a means of settling international disputes. It was a noble effort by President Coolidge and his secretary of state, Frank Kellogg, but the treaty, as the course of history unfolded, was not effective.

Warren Harding and Calvin Coolidge were common-sense Republicans who did not seek to run an empire or threaten and bully other nations. Although, there were no foreign attacks on America during the 1920's, one gets the feeling that either man would have resisted such an attack with a counterattack that was narrowly confined and based solely on self-defense. No attacks on a nation based on false threats and perceived instead of real affronts to our national security. If only we had a Harding or a Coolidge in office today, America would have a pragmatic foreign policy, again.

Copyright 2007, Party of Commons/Committee of Commons & Political Affairs

Copyright 2008 - 2009, Party of Commons TM


Despite the mainstream media saying that Barack Obama will become the first president with African heritage, it is probably not true. Technically, it is not true at all, since the great majority of anthropologists believe that mankind began in Africa, therefore everybody has African heritage. However, just based on conventional racial characteristics, former president Warren Harding and a handful of other presidents (including Calvin Coolidge), at least, are believed to have had genes from modern African ancestors. Quite a few people with European heritage in the United States have genes from modern African ancestors, and vice-versa; regarding black Americans, the majority have some European ancestry.

Many people say that Obama has no ancestors who were slaves in America, because his mother was white and his father was a Kenyan. However, that statement cannot really be verified unless the extent of his maternal ancestry is well known. Obama does have a maternal background from Kansas, after all, a state that was in the center of the slave controversy of the 19th century. In the racial politics of the day, Obama can, no doubt, be called the first "black" president, but being black and having African heritage have nuanced meanings, and we just tried to explain some of them.

[January 18, 2009]