Following up on my previous blog on the subject of Presidents Day, I thought it might be proper to offer my ideas on how to improve this quaint tradition which seems to have developed in this new world I’ve been transported to as the result of my “time travel”.
As I understand, the custom came about originally from the celebration of two presidents’ birthdays, George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, in the month of February. In the interests of practicality (of which I am a foremost proponent!), the two days were combined into one, for greater efficiency.
However, it seems to me that the observance has taken a bit of a detour, so that the original reason for celebrating the day is now overshadowed by the focus on retail sales.
Ben’s Top 10 List for Improving Presidents Day
So, here is my Top Ten list for ways to change this. Presidents Day, in my humble opinion, ought to be a day for:
1. Presidents to get their hands dirty by volunteering with ordinary people. Pick up a shovel, put on an apron, deliver meals on wheels, join a volunteer fire department rescue squad, or raise money for a good cause.
2. Pushing through Congress some much-needed legislation that will benefit the millions of common men and common women, rather than the rich, privileged, overcompensated few.
3. Remembering where the President’s power ultimately comes from – the people – and consequently lifting up the stories of ordinary individuals who have done extraordinary things, in great appreciation for their going above and beyond the call of duty.
4. Inviting the general public in for an Open House at the White House. Well, on second thought, perhaps that is a bit unrealistic, since there are in fact over 300 million Americans today. Perhaps a symbolic “open house,” instead, employing this amazing new technology of the picture box, that is, “television,” that everyone seems to enjoy here in this future world. (As I’m told, one president who had a real open house was Andrew Jackson, and his event was a literal disaster, since people nearly destroyed the White House, and the carpets smelled of cheese for months afterwards.)
5. Sending out a nice “thank you” note to all Americans (utilizing the services of the U.S. Postal Service, which I helped organize back in the 1700s), expressing your deep appreciation for all they do to continue to make this novel “experiment in democracy” possible, through voting, serving their local communities, and doing whatever is necessary to keep this country on track, the way we Founding Fathers (and Mothers) originally intended.
6. Doing something normal with your family and friends. Take the dog out for a walk, go out to eat at a mom & pop restaurant, rake leaves at the White House, get together for a bicycle ride, take a load of clothes to the laundromat, play Frisbee in the park.
7. Picking some regular citizens to play “president for a day,” symbolically, so that more people could become aware of what the job really entails. This would happen as the result of news coverage of this activity.
8. Giving up your paycheck for a week and donating it to a worthy volunteer or non-profit organization.
9. Taking part in a round-robin, collaborative activity, in which everyone, together, creates something practical for the good of the country. What a great way to bring to life the motto I invented for the United States, “E pluribus unum,” which means out of many, one.
10. Declining to patronize any store or establishment which selfishly uses “Presidents’ Day sales” as a way of increasing their own profits.
Your humble servant,