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A Lasting Example

March 15, 2018

Grover Cleveland was a good President, but he had the misfortune of serving nonconsecutive terms.  When the chickens came home to roost, they were not the chickens from his first term but rather those from the intervening term of Benjamin Harrison.

Grover Cleveland was a good President, but the Democratic Party rejected his hard money policy by nominating a soft money populist to succeed him.  That’s why Republican William McKinley, who favored the gold standard, became Cleveland’s successor.

Grover Cleveland was a good President, but the Democratic Party rejected his conservatism.  Not having learned their lesson in 1896, they nominated the same soft money populist in 1900.  He lost again.

Grover Cleveland was a good President, but when the Democrats finally nominated a conservative in 1904, it was too late.  He was trounced by Republican Theodore Roosevelt.  So they went back to the same soft money populist in 1908.  He then lost a third time.

Grover Cleveland was a good President, but he left no permanent stamp upon the office.  He did not live to see Democrat Woodrow Wilson’s victory in 1912.  No matter.  Cleveland knew Wilson when he was a trustee at Princeton and Wilson was the college president.  He didn’t like him then, and he probably would not have liked him in 1912.

Grover Cleveland was a good President, but his policies have all been overturned or forgotten.  Why should we care about him?  Because he is a lasting example of hard work, scrupulous honesty, and political courage.

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