22 January 2014

Modern Governors Could Profit From The Examples Of Lee & Jackson

Well, well, well . . . how providential. First we have the Governor of New Jersey using his office to punish political opponents by punishing the state's citizens. Next, we have the Governor of New York recently revealing that he's a narrow-minded bigot and his ignorance is costing the state of New York. And now the former Governor of Virginia (who lied to voters when he promised not to raise taxes), has been indicted. Kinda hard to feel sorry for any one of these clowns, isn't it?

What was that that Lord Acton said?

But perhaps there's hope for their rehabilitation. Virginia Governor Terence McAuliffe recently issued an official proclamation honoring the admirable character qualities of Generals Lee and Jackson. If these three morally lacking Governors would just study the lives of these great men, along with their character, perhaps they could avoid these moral lapses in the future. As I recall hearing Dr. James I. Robertson, Jr. once note:  "Robert E. Lee never existed [in the minds of some] because we don't have a Robert E. Lee today." And, as Dr. Robertson wrote of Jackson in his book, Stonewall Jackson's Book of Maxims:
Jackson's success in character building approached perfection. An early biographer concluded: "Jackson's personal character was absolutely without blemish. His habits were of the manliest that a Puritan could wish; his honor clean, and his courage superlative; while as a gentleman in expression and action, he had no superior."

A man who would not use liquor, tobacco, or profanity, Jackson could be a role model for any age.
(Emphasis mine.)
Indeed he could. And indeed he is.


1/17/2014 WHEREAS, Generals Robert E. Lee and Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson were native Virginians, having served our great nation and Commonwealth as educators, leaders, and military strategists; and
WHEREAS, Lee served in the United States Army for more than three decades until he left his position to serve as Commander in Chief of Virginia's military forces and as Commander of the Army of northern Virginia; and
WHEREAS, Jackson taught philosophy and military tactics as a professor at the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington for nearly a decade before serving briefly in the United States Army and later joining the Confederate Army to fight for his native Virginia; and
WHEREAS, Lee dedicated his life after the Civil War to reforming higher education in the South by serving as President of Washington College, now Washington & Lee University, in Lexington, Virginia, where he helped to greatly increase the school's funding and expanding the curriculum to create an atmosphere most conductive to learning for young men of both Southern and Northern heritage; and
WHEREAS, Jackson's leadership and bravery enabled him to rally his troops to several improbable victories against opposition forces much larger than his own, and Jackson's inspired "Stonewall Brigade" fought alongside General Lee's troops toward another victory even after their leader was fatally wounded on the second day of the Battle of Chancellorsville; and
WHEREAS, it is fitting to recognize Generals Lee and Jackson as two of our nation's most notable military strategists, as beloved leaders among their troops, as pioneers in the field of higher education and as faithful and dedicated Virginians;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Terence R. McAuliffe, do hereby recognize January 17, 2014; as LEE-JACKSON DAY in the COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA and call this observance to attention for all our citizens.


D. Hill said...

I can't help but wonder if Terence is throwing us a bone for political expediency and that this is a one time shot, and perhaps the hardest thing he'll have to do in the next four years.

As for the other three characters, Bob Dylan sings about them in Sweetheart Like You: "Steal a little and they throw you in jail, steal a lot and they may make you king."

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

McCauliffe won a close election. The Cuccinelli would have won had the national party got behind him. Virginia, despite its political split personality, still clings to its favorite sons. Not issuing the proclamation would have created a firestorm just as his administration is attempting to paint itself as moderate. I seriously doubt he has any affection to either man. Nonetheless, it was the proper thing to do and he deserves credit for common sense, even with the questionable motivation.

Eddie said...

From Robert E. Lee: The Southerner --

The war had scarcely ceased and his condition of narrow circumstances become known, when offers of places of honor and profit began to come to him: offers of the presidency of insurance companies and of other industrial

enterprises—proposals that he should allow his name to be used for the highest office in the gift of the State; even offers from admirers in the old country of an asylum on that side of the water, where a handsome estate was tendered him, as a tribute of admiration, so that he could spend the residue of his life in peace and comfort.

His reply to all these allurements was that which we now know was the only one he could make: a gracious but irrevocable refusal. During the war, when a friend had suggested to him the probability that the people of the South would demand that he should be their President, he had promptly and decisively declared that he would never accept such a position. So now, when the governorship of Virginia was proposed to him, he firmly refused to consider it. With the same firmness he rejected all proposals to provide him with honorable commercial positions at a high salary.

On one of these occasions he was approached with a tender of the presidency of an insurance company at a salary of $50,000 a year. He declined it on the ground that it was work with which he was not familiar. "But, General," said the gentleman who represented the insurance company, "you will not be expected to do any work; what we wish is the use of your name."

"Do you not think," said General Lee, "that if my name is worth $50,000 a year, I ought to be very careful about taking care of it?"

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Yes, quite a contrast compared to most moderns.

Jeremy Talbote said...

The reality is that in 50 years, most of the folks who perpetrate or affectionately celebrate these kinds of holidays, will be gone and it will be much different.

We live in a country today, where the public's general interest in the Civil War or American history for that matter, is dwindling. Not meant to be argumentative, just an observation.

The vast majority of kids today could give a crap less about any of this stuff. I live in the Stafford VA area within 10 minutes of 4 major battlefields and the schools here barely even touch on the Civil War and frankly no one that lives here cares.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

"The reality is that in 50 years, most of the folks who perpetrate or affectionately celebrate these kinds of holidays, will be gone and it will be much different."

Possible, but I kinda doubt it. We still celebrate July 4th.

"the schools here barely even touch on the Civil War and frankly no one that lives here cares."

Speaks volumes about the state of education, doesn't it?

Thanks for taking the time to comment.