I was listening to a story about Calvin Coolidge today, and I was struck by the realization that Mount Rushmore is actually a symbolic representation of America’s fall from Grace. Sadly, even after I have explained why this is true, I doubt many will see it. Still, explain I will.
The story I heard was about how President Coolidge decided not to run for a second term as President. While visiting South Dakota, he went to see how the work on Mount Rushmore was progressing (it was under construction at that time). While there, Coolidge said he was struck by the arrogance of the whole thing and decided that he did not want to be such a man. You see, Coolidge was of an old breed. He had principles, born of true humility. He understood service, and that the Presidency was not about the man, but about serving the American people. So, faced with a monument that declared the glory of men who sought their own glory, Coolidge chose to walk away.
As I listed to the story, I remembered who was on Mount Rushmore. That’s when it hit me: when Coolidge was standing there, looking up at that monument to the arrogance of man, he completed a circle: a circle that can only be seen when you know the story of the men who were present.
The circle starts with George Washington. Were it not for Washington, this nation probably wouldn’t have ever been. But Washington was rooted in a deep belief in the God of the Bible. Often criticized as not being a Christian, such attacks only stand because the people who make them do not realize that, while he did not cote the passages, Washington cited Scripture as a matter of habit. You see, he didn’t have to declare his faith, he lived it! And because he lived it, he was humble. And because he was humble, he did not seek personal glory. This is why Washington had to be repeatedly drug back to the service of his country. He did not force himself on America; America forced itself on him.
Then we have Jefferson. With the passage of time, Jefferson has been elevated to a higher reputation among our founders than he enjoyed while the founders were still alive. Yes, he was the right man for the job when he penned the Declaration of Independence, but he was the wrong man to have had a hand in anything else afterward. This is because Jefferson was confused in his belief in God. This faltering of faith often lead Jefferson to act counter to the moral beliefs he so eloquently espoused. You see, he professed a faith, but he had trouble living it. I believe it is why Providence saw to it that Jefferson was not around during the drafting of the Constitution. I believe it is also why he has been raised to such heights over the other founders: because his religious ambiguity serves the purpose of those who came next.
Third in the circle is Lincoln. When he entered the office for the first time, Lincoln was agnostic — if not a true Atheist. Because he had no moral foundation, he acted lawlessly. When Lincoln declared war on the Southern States, he destroyed the Constitution. Today, we are a federation in name only. Since the time of Lincoln, we have had a national government, and the Constitution was never intended to control a national government. This is because a key part in the system of checks and balances has been subordinated to the powers in Washington, D.C. — the States! Lincoln destroyed the sovereignty of the States, and he did so because he had no fear of or respect for the law. However, his service in the office of President drove him to the Lord, and it was after Lincoln surrendered to God that he managed to salvage something of the mess he had made.
This brings us to Theodore Roosevelt. He was the man who gave us Progressivism. Washington was firm in his faith in God, Jefferson wavered in his belief and Lincoln was indifferent, at best. But Progressives? Progressives believe they are gods! And Teddy acted the part. He nationalized this nation and her people, and set us down the path toward Socialism — and destruction. Woodrow Wilson wrested the mantle of Progressivism from Roosevelt and openly declared that he would use the ideology to bring Communism to America.
Finally, we have Coolidge, another man of firm faith in God, and true humility. as he looked up at the work on Mount Rushmore, I can only wonder whether or not Coolidge saw the same thing I saw as I listened to the story of why he chose not to run for a second term? For his sake, I hope he didn’t. I’d hate to think that the man who was closest to Washington’s stature than any other President since had seen and understood that this nation had willingly surrendered everything the founders had fought to give us and embraced a bigger form of the tyranny from which they fought to free us. But it’s there for anyone to see — anyone who knows the history behind these five Presidents, and the connection between their faith and the path down which they lead this nation.