The Presidents of the United States

Presidents’ Day: Controversial Decisions in Hindsight

Hello everyone and happy Presidents’ Day!

In our society, criticizing leadership has become the norm.  Maybe it always was.  If we look at any U.S. President, we will see that he had his share of critics and flaws.  It can be easy to say that we would have done a better job.  But is that really the case?

Hindsight Storm TrooperWhen I was in college, I took a wonderful history class about the Vietnam War.  The professor knew that most of us didn’t know anything about that war (I certainly didn’t), and he started off the semester by asking us not to read ahead or look up anything about the Vietnam War.  Then, whenever we reached a turning point in the history of the war, he gave us the information which would have been available to the population at that time and asked us to choose what we thought should happen.  We each kept a record of our choices.  Then, he told us what actually happened and the consequences.  It was humbling to see that without the gift of hindsight, I made a lot of the same mistakes as the people who actually made the decisions.

Writing Challenge

  1. Choose a president (it can be one you know well or one you didn’t even realize was a president) and research his time in office.
  2. Choose one of the big and/or controversial decisions he made and do a little research about the events surrounding that decision.
  3. Write a journal entry as that president about the decision he made and his reasons for making it.  (Remember to limit yourself to the knowledge which the president had available to him at the time.)

Kindness Month Challenge

Write an e-mail to the president, your congressman/woman, representative, or a state or local official, and thank him/her for a decision they made that you approved of.  Remember, they hear plenty of requests and complaints, so why not make their day by saying “thank you”?

Happy writing!

Katie

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