Wednesday, May 2, 2018

May 2

Todd Harrity

Todd Harrity is the number one ranked squash player in the United States and number 54 worldwide. He came out as gay on April 30, and an article on OutSports crowed about his acceptance by the Pro Squash Association, which issued this statement: “The squash world is a diverse place, and no matter what creed, race, sexual preference or anything else, we should all welcome and accept each other.”

Your blogger cringes whenever he reads or hears “sexual preference” in this regard, because preference implies a choice. Our identity is a sexual orientation, not a preference, and we need to stop to correct those who say or write it. Even worse, I once read a quote by the son of an Army general, thanking his father for accepting him for the “lifestyle” he had chosen. I swear to God. That young man needs to learn that "preppy" is a lifestyle. "Homosexuality" is a sexual orientation.

 The well-groomed man:

Déjà vu

He was sensitive about his height – a mere 5 feet 7 inches. As a cadet at West Point, he hated being required to attend Sunday worship services. He said he volunteered in the war only because he felt it his duty as a graduate of West Point. As a general in the war, he issued an order expelling Jews from the territory under his command, which stretched from northern Mississippi to southern Illinois. He gave them 24 hours to leave and declared that any Jews who returned to his domain would be imprisoned. Nice.

He had little sympathy for common people. He mistrusted men of high ideals, intellectual accomplishments or rigorous ethical standards. He was jealous and vindictive.

Once he was in a position to do so, he closed the Richmond Examiner newspaper for disloyal editorials. After his election as a Republican President, he had so alienated the former president that Johnson refused to attend his inauguration or ride with him as he departed the White House for the last time. He had no political experience before being elected president, and he had shown little if any interest in running for office before the Republican party nominated him as its candidate.

Most of his cabinet appointments were made without senatorial approval. Without consulting anyone, he named two close friends as Secretary of State and Secretary of War and filled numerous openings with family members. Some forty relatives were allowed to receive extravagant salaries for sundry services. His appointments seemed capricious, and many of them turned out to be too unskilled to perform the tasks required of them, leading to many resignations. His cabinet members also became involved in scandals too numerous to mention. In general, he was surrounded by a cabinet of mediocrities, self-seekers and rascals.

He appointed four justices to the Supreme Court, and they immediately set about working to undermine each other’s efforts. He asked Congress for the power to impose martial law and to suspend the writ of habeas corpus. Congress complied. He signed a bill that increased pay for federal workers, including the doubling of his own salary. When Congress later repealed the bill, he fought to maintain his own increase. Congress complied.

During his second term as president, scandals reached his inner circle. Many fraud, extortion and corruption indictments resulted in convictions and massive fines.

When he failed to be named the Republican candidate for a third term as president, he fled to Europe for more than two years, where he was received as a hero instead of a failed president. Upon his return to the States he became involved in shady financial practices that caused his clients and friends to suffer heavy financial losses. Failure in most of his lifelong efforts to make a living left him with an outsized respect for rich men, regardless of how they had made their money.

Upon his death, his body was placed in the largest mausoleum in the nation (a statistic that still holds), and his sarcophagus, at 8.5 tons of red granite, was fashioned after that of Napoleon Bonaparte. To gild the lily, his image has appeared on the U.S. fifty-dollar bill since 1913.

Of course, I've been writing about Ulysses S. Grant.

1 comment:

  1. If the nation survived "all that" hopefully we can also survive "all this" too. (Preferably ASAP.)