Monday, October 21, 2013

Mother Nature Makes Suggestion for Fifth Head on Mt. Rushmore

Mt. Rushmore this past weekend (note the misty face to Lincoln's right).

A tourist couple snapped the photo above of Mt. Rushmore the day after the park re-opened after the big government shutdown If you look to the right of Lincoln, you'll see a shadowy face in the rocks that looks like a guy with a big nose and weak chin.

This mysterious fifth "head" looks surprisingly like John Tyler, the only American President who ever committed open treason against the United States.  In his twilight years Tyler supported secession and became a delegate to the provisional Confederate Congress. He was buried in a coffin draped with the Confederate flag. 

You can see the resemblance - especially around the nose and chin.

Tyler was also the first president to have an impeachment attempted against him. He also paid journalists and granted them favors for writing positive things about himself and his policies in an effort to improve his "legacy".

Oddly enough, Libertarian Ivan Eland, a crony of Ron Paul's, wrote a 2009 book "Recarving Rushmore" in which he rated Presidents in terms of peace, prosperity, and liberty. In his book, Eland ranked the hapless and inept, slave-holding John Tyler as the best President of all time. This was despite the fact that Tyler was instrumental in getting the Civil War going, both during his presidency and later when he refused to compromise over the extension of slavery into the Western territories (he was for it).

So now, apparently, his ghost shows up on Rushmore with 4 other presidents - none of whom made Eland's Top 5. Washington made #7 just one spot ahead of Jimmy Carter - mostly because Washington quit voluntarily after two terms.  Teddy Roosevelt made #21 - he did, after all, break off and start a third party.  Thomas Jefferson rated low on his "Jeffersonian ideals" with Eland and only made #26. Lincoln made #29 and would have been lower I think if Eland hadn't been afraid of being universally shouted down by readers and critics alike. Eland put Reagan, Kennedy and George W at 34, 35 and 36 respectively. He did put Woodrow Wilson last, a move with which I heartily agree.

John Tyler in his prime.
Perhaps Mother Nature decided to give Mt. Rushmore a "tramp stamp" tatoo, after the whole government shutdown debacle and the nasty way park rangers treated visitors. Perhaps John Tyler is all we deserve in the way of a president, given the dim-bulbitude of the American voter these days. Perhaps it's an omen that another Civil War is coming. Who knows!

Kinda spooky this close to Halloween, though, huh?

© 2013 by Tom King

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