So goes California, so goes the rest of the country — that’s the saying, anyway. And here’s yet another case where California can keep its love-for-the-left fest to itself, confined to its own borders.
A Democratic assemblyman in the Golden State brought forth a bill to combine the separate government recognitions of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln birthdays into the more generic “Presidents Day” — but then trade out that traditional day-off holiday for “May Day,” which he wants declared for May 1.
Thing is: May Day, which Assemblyman Miguel Santiago notes in his bill is actually “International Workers’ Day,” is a recognition normally embraced by the more communist-minded nations of the world. America already has Labor Day; why the need for what, say, Russia celebrates each year with much fanfare and marching?
As one Republican assemblyman asked, after reviewing the bill, as Breitbart reported: “Are we in competition to become the laughingstock of the United States? This is ridiculous. This is insane. Seriously, the substitution of adding International Socialist Workers’ Day? May Day? The day of parades in the [former] Soviet Union?”
Santiago’s bill went down in flames. But it’s not completely dead. The Dem is still pushing for its passage.
And whatever its fate, fact is it’s the idea that it could even be introduced in America that’s significant.
Washington has been vilified by the left for some time as a racist, misogynist, out-of-date figure who has no business being honored in today’s society. So, too, many of our nation’s founders and great leaders, including the very main writer of our Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson.
They owned slaves, they lived during a period of time where slavery was common and accepted, and they failed to fight the good-enough fight to overthrow the system and free all the slaves.
But reducing Washington and other founders and great American leaders to a single issue as viewed through a prism of modern culture and politics is terrible historical policy. It results in faulty factual analysis and revisionism. Simply put, humans are imperfect. But that doesn’t mean that great acts can’t come from their imperfections.
And truly, out of these imperfect men came some of the most magnificent government documents the world has ever seen — the very documents that led to even those who were excluded at the time of their forging to achieve their own acts of greatness and success in later generations. Not only blacks, but women, as well.
Washington may have owned slaves (though he later freed them). Lincoln may have only freed slaves via his Emancipation Proclamation from the South, not North — and he may have done so more for political expediency, than from any sense of moral indignation and righteousness.
But these men were part of America’s history and Washington, in particular — and with slavery and all — opened the pathways to creating a country that provided its people with the greatest chance at individual freedom the world’s ever seen.
It’s shameful a bill that both scorns that notion and seeks to supplant it with communist-type celebrations could find its way to actual vote.
In a toss-up between Washington’s birthday and International Worker’s Day, the latter just doesn’t fit with America’s heart and soul.
• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter, @ckchumley.
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