Why Coolidge Matters

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Coolidge not only matters today, but is relevant for the times

- Michael Dukakis

After leaving office in 1929, President Calvin Coolidge faded into the annals of history amid the tumult of The Great Depression and World War II. For decades he was regarded as a "quiet, do-nothing President" who neither accomplished nor aspired to much, and his legacy was largely ignored by historians and scholars.

But nearly a century later America has awakened. Today, the once forgotten President and his commitment to public service and integrity provide us with important lessons that can guide our political leaders — and all of us — in transforming America. That's why the National Notary Association has published Why Coolidge Matters: How Civility in Politics Can Bring a Nation Together.

Coolidge is the only U.S. President sworn into office by a Notary Public — his father — but his importance to Notaries and the American Public goes much farther than that. His ability to restore trust in government during his Presidency, and his legacy of civility and unflappable bipartisanship is viewed as highly relevant amid today's fractious and divisive political climate.

Americans and others in the 21st century are looking for strong, trustworthy leadership. Coolidge had an unmatched ability to bridge the divide between Democrats and Republicans, to restore faith in the process of governing, to uphold the rule of law and to impartially address the needs of the American people — efforts that in the 1920s led to the longest period of prosperity in U.S. history.

On the surface, today's daily rancor preoccupying our leaders, our commentators, and ourselves, makes it difficult to fathom an atmosphere in which we can embrace Coolidge's ideals and cooperatively strengthen our nation. But Why Coolidge Matters demonstrates that atmosphere has existed and can exist again if we carefully examine — and emulate — his approach to leadership and public service.

In the spirit of President Ronald Reagan — who insisted that Coolidge's portrait be hung in the Cabinet Room at the White House — the diverse group of American thought leaders that contributed to Why Coolidge Matters dispel the myths of "Silent Cal," help us discover a President who brought a nation together, and urge all of us today to ask the question: What would Coolidge do?

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