September 19, 2008
Next week I will be part of a symposium on the life and thoughts of Calvin Coolidge, our 30th president. It’s being held in Woodstock, Vermont.
The current financial turmoil has again caused me to focus on Coolidge. About money, he said, “Money will not purchase character or good government.”
About morality, Coolidge said, “We are the possessors of tremendous power, both as individuals and as states. The great question of the preservation of our institutions is a moral question. Shall we use our power for self-aggrandizement or for service? It has been the lack of moral fiber which has been the downfall of the peoples of the past.” Pretty good, huh?
How about this from Coolidge on campaign contributions: “I do not like as a matter of principle large contributions given to campaign funds, because they create a bad impression and give the idea of wrongful motive.”
This will be the most expensive presidential campaign in history. Draw your own conclusions. If you are not familiar with Calvin Coolidge, you might want to get a copy of Peter Hannaford’s book, “The Quotable Calvin Coolidge.”
Cal Thomas is a nationally syndicated columnist based in Washington, D.C.