Salute to Presidents Day

There are holidays that we celebrate, and days that we call holidays because they close schools.  Today is Presidents Day.  Whoopee.  When I was a kid, we had Washington’s Birthday because he was the father of our country.  We had Lincoln’s Birthday because he freed the slaves and saved the Union. But there were two of them and we celebrated them both.  Sure, it was messy since they were both in February, but you can’t tell people when to be born.  A birthday is a birthday.

We celebrated days for a reason.  Whether they were good reasons is subject to dispute (meaning our grandchildren may well celebrate Reagan’s Birthday [he, ahem brought an end to communism]), but they were holidays because they were worthy of being holidays.

But when they start messing with holidays in order to fit in the new ones and get rid of old ones, then they lose their point.  Have Washington and Lincoln lost their Sainthood such that they have to share a day?  Did their feats lesson in the American psyche?  No, no, no.  We just need to squeeze in enough days of work and school given the allocation of scarce holiday resources.

We should recognize some former Presidents, some great Americans, for what they gave to our country.  But if they’re worthy of recognition, then let’s show them the respect they deserve.  Would another day off kill us?  What, we don’t work hard enough?  Who wants to be the person to announce that as much as Lincoln did for the nation, he isn’t worth a day of productivity?  After all, these are old dead presidents, and there’s an economy to deal with out there.

So if there’s any meaning to “Presidents Day,” it is the fundamental American demand for productivity.  Let us have no person, no ideal, no cause that stands in the way of a day of hard work.  By combining a couple of holidays that have outlived their individual usefulness, but still have a few lingering adherents, we can cover the whole “great presidents” thing while getting the one day “give back” to the true idol of American politics and history:  Business.

So have a happy Productivity Day.  Now get to work.