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Brock: Do we really need President’s Day?

Monday is President’s Day, a state and federal holiday for their workers and some folks who work in the banking and financial industry.

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Now those of you who qualify for the day off with pay appreciate the time off. But do we really need a day to honor U.S. presidents?

Presidents are a lot like artists. If they are ever going to be appreciated at all, it’s after they are dead and gone. The worst president ever is whoever currently occupies the White House if they happen not to be the one you voted for or a member of your political party.

The recent Gallup poll ranking the best presidents in the past 50 years started with John F. Kennedy and ended with Richard Nixon.

I know many will find it hard to believe the current president stands at number five on the poll of 11. Ironically, the poll alters between a Republican and Democrat from top to bottom. No. 2 on the list is Ronald Reagan, whose policies differed as much as anyone with that of JFK and No. 3 on the list, Bill Clinton. No. 4 is the George H.W. Bush, who was a one-term president yet still ranks two spots ahead of his son, George W. Bush.

The only thing constant they all shared was that they were constantly praised by their own and criticized by the other party while president.

JFK was accused of stealing the election. Reagan had Iran Contra hearings. Clinton’s opponents in Congress tried to impeach him for his White House meanderings. George H.W. Bush didn’t read his own lips when he told us there would be no increase in taxes. I don’t remember why we disliked the peanut farmer from Georgia so much.

So do we really need a holiday to honor folks 50 percent of us didn’t like when they were president? Why not celebrate something more popular if we can’t get rid of the holiday?

So call it sour grapes on my part, because having worked in the private sector my whole life, I haven’t had President’s Day off since I was in school — and back then it was called Washington’s Birthday. Washington, by the way, was the father of our country and couldn’t lie to his father about cutting down the cherry tree. But hey, he did chop down the tree, right? How about instead of President’s Day, let’s make National Pie Day a federal holiday?

Pie’s approval rating will always outrank any current or past president and it is a heck of a lot harder to find something wrong with pie than our presidents.

Brock is the publisher of The Dickinson Press.

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