The Forgotten Calvin Coolidge Presidency…

 By the Left Coast Rebel

…forgotten because he was the closest philosophically to what a president should stand for:

The five tenets of Coolidgeism:

1. Constitutional Government
2. Individual Enterprise
3. Economy in Public Expenditures
4. Reduction and Reform of Taxation
5. Opposition to Aggressive War

Imagine what this nation would like like if the last Republican president had held strong to these five tenets?

Even three of the five? Raise your hand if you think a Mitt Romney presidency will uphold any of these things.

Dan Mitchell of the Cato Institute on Calvin Coolidge and the first spoken words of an American president caught on tape:

Here’s Coolidge in his own words. This video is historically significant since it is the first film (with sound) of an American President. The real value, however, is in the words that are being said.

More on “Silent Cal” from the Mises Institute:

So why is there such a disconnect between Coolidge’s success and his reputation? In large part, it is because he advocated individualism, as clearly spelled out in his speeches (which he composed himself), and the newspaper column he wrote after leaving the Presidency.

But while that seems appropriate for someone born on the Fourth of July, it is so distant from the modern mindset that many now cannot understand why someone who, as state Senator, Governor, Vice-President, and President viewed government intervention in broad areas of life as a problem rather than a panacea.

Further, people have attributed to Coolidge the origins of the Great Depression under Herbert Hoover, his secretary of commerce. But they have not done so because of any evidence that his policies were responsible.

Along with monetary policy blunders, the Great Depression was triggered by Hoover’s abandonment of Coolidge’s policies, in favor of disasters ranging from erecting monumental trade barriers to sharply raising tax rates.

Never was this divide between the policies of the two made clearer than when Coolidge said of Hoover: “That man has offered me unsolicited advice for six years, all of it bad.”

Calvin Coolidge may have been called “Silent Cal,” but his record brags for him, if people would bother to look honestly. Further, he closely reflected our founders’ insight in what he wrote and said, which we would truly profit from, given how far we have deviated from those ideas in modern America.


  1. Raise your hand if you think any of them would hold up these principles. Even Paul has had moments of big government and spending.

  2. Americans elected Coolidge President and to them we should aspire.

  3. Here is a graphic I made to promote CC .
    Just the other day a Democrat friend mentioned "do nothing Cal" and was perplexed at my love for the man.

    1. Thanks Doo Doo, I have that as a sticky widget in the sidebar now 🙂

    2. It makes me proud! If it were in my power, I would start a nasty rumor that Cool is short for Coolidge.

    3. Good rumor. How do I get the sticky widget? Better yet and have it link to this post? I missed it at the link, I think.

    4. Hi AH, just grab the "Roaring" graphic in the sidebar and install it (using html?) at your blog.

  4. I'm embarrassed to say I know almost nothing about this president. Thank you for opening my eyes.

    1. I'm with SarahB. I knew so little about Coolidge! Nicely done, Tim.

  5. Placing Coolidge in perceptive of the progressive trajectory of US politics for the last century it should be perfectly understandable that "Cal" has largely been forgotten.

    If I'm not mistaken I believe Reagan had a picture of Coolidge in his office.

  6. Second only to the Gipper himself since 1900.

  7. I've been waving his flag for thirty years. Not because I'm prescient, just because, like everything I discover, it's obvious. Coolidge was precisely what a President is supposed to be. He understood the constitution and that the Presidency is a purposely weak position.

    "Coolidge is the first president to discover that what the American people want is to be left alone." — Will Rogers (1879-1935)


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