Gov. Romney, Please Meet Gov. Coolidge – John Malcolm

English: Calvin Coolidge.

English: Calvin Coolidge. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you remember, I wrote about the Great Depression of  1920 here, You remember that we recovered very quickly and moved on to the Roaring ’20s, right? Good.

John Malcolm brings us an article to introduce Mitt Romney to the man who led the recovery, by getting out-of-the-way. If you don’t know much about Silent Cal, don’t be ashamed, you have a lot of company. But he is a hero to a lot of us who value the old American values of hard work, personal responsibility, and individual liberty. He’s also the man who Governor Mitch Daniels quotes at the drop of a hat.


The American public may be about to do something it has not done in 88 years: elect a former governor of Massachusetts as president of the United States.  In anticipation of this election, we can only hope that some of Governor  Romney’s advisors will introduce him to his predecessor,  Governor Calvin Coolidge.

Coolidge was one of the most popular presidents in U.S. history, but historians have tended to underestimate his importance.  However, with the advent of Reagan and the revival of conservatism, Coolidge’s place in history has been re-appraised.  Historian Paul Johnson has called Coolidge “[t]he most internally consistent and single minded of modern American presidents.”  Amity Shlaes has written recently that Coolidge believed his first obligation was “to do no harm. His no harm rule came out of strength of character. By holding back, Coolidge believed he sustained stability, so that citizens knew what to expect from their government.”  Perhaps one of Coolidge’s own supporters best summarized his record: “Coolidge never wasted any time, never wasted any words, and never wasted any public money.”

Before meeting his predecessor, Romney might well consider the following Coolidge administration  accomplishments:

  • Top marginal income tax rates were lowered from 73% to 24%.
  • By the end of his term, 98% of the population paid no income tax at all.
  • The federal budget was reduced by 35%.
  • Per capita income increased over 30%.
  • Unemployment averaged 3.3%.
  • GNP grew at the fastest compound rate of any eight-year period in U.S. history.

There are some very important lessons that Mitt could learn from Silent Cal.  First and foremost, Coolidge was a man of character who embodied the classic New England virtues upon which the Republic was founded: hard work, independent thinking (“common sense” as he called it), lack of pretense, sense of duty, perseverance, scrupulous honesty — in other words, the bedrock on which Coolidge had been raised in rural Vermont and on which he built his political career.  The 1920s made for a decade of rapid social change, but Coolidge’s somewhat old-fashioned virtues resonated with the American public.

Continue reading Gov. Romney, Please Meet Gov. Coolidge – John Malcolm.

What a thought: a real conservative, who can take a joke, and keeps the government out-of-the-way, while reducing it. How about it Gov. Romney, is it only a dream?

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4 Responses to Gov. Romney, Please Meet Gov. Coolidge – John Malcolm

  1. JessicaHof says:

    Good reminder of a real conservative. Sometimes getting out of the way is the best thing any government can do.


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