Rushmore Lessons Could Help Trump

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If President Donald Trump ever wearies of the polarization and the pettiness, the insults and investigations, he need only turn his gaze toward Rushmore to lift our politics to a higher plane.

The four great presidents depicted on that South Dakota mountainside exemplify four valuable qualities that could help heal today’s punishing, take-no-prisoners politics and promote any sincere effort to “make America great again.”

The first president personified the attribute of dignity, which flowed directly from the impact of his physical presence. In 1776, an 18-year-old officer named James Monroe (who went on to become the fifth president) reported that the recently appointed general displayed “a deportment so firm, so dignified, but yet so modest and composed, I have never seen in any other person.”

Another colleague, John Adams, praised Washington’s “gift of silence”: The first president listened respectfully to all opinions and positioned himself above the fray in even the most spirited disputes. He always understood that the president counted as the only official elected to represent all citizens, in every state, and of every inclination….


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  1. not a trump fan  •  Sep 5, 2018 at 8:42 pm

    Mr. Medved, your continuous advice to Donald Trump makes you insufferable. Please quit with the self-righteousness advisory opinions. Trump is not listening.

    • Thomas Ireton  •  Sep 7, 2018 at 6:58 pm

      I agree. I accept the President as is. President Trump is who he is and Mr. Medved's advice to him seems self-righteous IMO. I haven't listened to his talk-show in a long while though.

    • Ty  •  Sep 9, 2018 at 3:43 am

      Michael is just trying to put some kind of clothes back onto the republican emperor to minimize the embarrassment, not realizing his party has already left him. They are not united by the principles elite conservatives believe in, they are mainly factions of social conservatives, there to enact laws that favor christianity and religious autonomy over and above the rights of others, and reactionaries afraid of the non christian/white immigrants, legal and illegal, that are increasing in number over time they see as a threat. Economic conservatism has a weaker hold over the base as they are more mixed ideologically on economics, but the glue of those other magnetic poles of conservatism keep most of them around.

      But this is not a party founded on principle, it's naked self interest, dog eat dog, fighting tooth and claw, that is the entire reason they chose Trump in the primary out of 17 candidates.

      • not a trump fan  •  Sep 9, 2018 at 11:45 pm

        More word vomit. Keep hating hater. You are only hurting yourself.

  2. Armand  •  Sep 6, 2018 at 10:24 am

    medved knows trump isn’t listening; but he’s hoping to get voters to listen. Medved like many old, statist, big government types(he was a Democratic Party loyalist while his father worked for the government); with a brother in Jerusalem selling “Israeli investments,” is a paid propagandist for TARP and QE. Medved represents banksterism and the “tech”/data mining industry federal reserve currency inflation has built(and nothing more)

  3. Bob  •  Sep 7, 2018 at 8:12 pm

    I forget when I lost respect for Medved but articles like this isn’t about to get me back.

  4. Bob  •  Sep 7, 2018 at 8:13 pm

    Please !
    Make Medved Great again !

  5. Harvey Homan  •  Sep 8, 2018 at 8:38 am

    Great point, Michael. And I enjoyed hearing you say yesterday on the radio how there are really two Donald Trumps, the one doing some great things for the country — tax cuts, deregulation, border security, supreme court picks Etc. — and then there's this jump-in-the -gutter side of him where he feels the insane need to go after every lowlife loser that takes a shot at him. If only he'd stick to business and learn that he doesn't have to defend against Hollywood or the NFL. I wish he' d learn to become more of a statesman. Wish he could be.more of a class act like you, Michael,, my favorite radio host.

    • Nani Tavares  •  Sep 8, 2018 at 9:32 pm

      Harvey, aren’t you a tad tired of conservatives taking the high road? Liberals have run rough shod over everyone not following their mantra for years. They are rude, intolerant, racist, anti religion…and they get away with it. Enough!

    • self righteousness is not a virtue  •  Sep 8, 2018 at 10:51 pm

      If Trump was more like Medved, we would have president Hillary and a far left majority on the supreme court. I have listened to some of Medved's history programs, and it seems clear to me that he would have been against the revolutionary war because he would view it as pointless and unwinable. I respect Medved, but he needs to stop trying to advise Trump. If Trump had followed Medved's advice Trump would NOT be president.

      • Ty  •  Sep 9, 2018 at 4:00 am

        You've touched on something real "self righteous"

        Michael Medved is an actual temperamental conservative. He does not like radical change and likely would have been one of the loyalists to the crown during the revolutionary war. The founders were radicals, what kind of conservative would cast off a thousand years and more of the divine right of kings to rule and set up some unknown form of government like a representative democracy. Radical.

        Same thing for the abolitionists. They were heavily christian, but radicals. The status quo would have been to preserve the slave system we already had and not tried to rock the boat. Gone in the direction again of Henry Clay and Daniel Webster in trying to broker a compromise to stave off separation and war to preserve the union, to CONSERVE. The abolitionists, the radicals, did not give a #$%^ about the consequences of freeing the slaves and abolishing slavery, or if they did it took a subservient place to their desire to RADICALLY CHANGE the character and structure of the nation.

        Teddy Rooselvelt was a liberal republican, not a conservative, Trust busting as a reaction and adaptation was not some move to preserve the status quo, it was a move to change things.

        One of the greatest confusions of modern conservatives is this delusion that there was ever some steady state set of beliefs and principles and ideologies attached to things like the republican party, or that throughout time what it meant to be liberal and conservative meant that the standards of today would automatically be carried to the past. But the temperaments can be tracked, and Michael is more averse to radical change, unlike so many of you.

        That is why so many people that are part of the conservative movement, are not real conservatives. They want radical change as much if not more than the liberals and the left do. The difference, is that the people agitating for change on the right presume that our original sin was deviating from the primrose path of our forefathers, because what they believed and how they comported themselves was the gold standard.

        Except on slavery, and allowing non land owners to vote and participate in the democracy, and women, etc etc.

        Liberals, unlike the reactionary right, do not fetishize the past. When faced with new problems, we are more willing to come up with new solutions, while the reactionary right keeps wanting to comb the Torah and new testament or the writings of the founders for inspiration of what THEY did that mush have been better than what we are doing now.

        Tradition for traditions sake, hidden wisdom that mere mortals like my liberal self can never fully comprehend, so just surrender to common norms and wisdom and stop trying to muck things up by crafting something new, something different, something untested.

        Ty: No. Remember, I am not one of you. Traditions only hold value insofar as they continue to have utility for us individually and as a society, there is no intrinsic worth there. Solutions a, b, c that worked 50 years ago might work today for similar problems, or they might not due to different variables.

      • Rizzo  •  Sep 9, 2018 at 10:22 am

        Ty…. This might be your most absurd, idiotic post yet.
        "One of the greatest confusions of modern conservatives is this delusion that there was ever some steady state set of beliefs and principles"
        Please explain what you think The Declaration of Independence is, or The Bill of Rights, or The Constitution.
        You denounce, "Religious Autonomy"? You are pathetic!
        You want to reinvent the wheel based on concepts that you believe are new and novel. They are NOT. You can NOT point to a single idea that liberals promote, that are new and novel. Their ideas are OLD AND FAILED. They don't work. History has proven they don't work. In America, we are the result of the wisdom gathered from your failed Euro-Socialist ideas.
        It's because of historical morons, such as yourself, that failed ideas are repeated and proven failures again. It's called INSANITY, to repeat the same thing and expect different results. And that is exactly what the left is….. INSANE!

      • Nani Tavares  •  Sep 9, 2018 at 7:00 pm

        Ty, what an odd post. It isn't clear if you are claiming that the rebels who created a new nation, who fought to end slavery, extend voting rights to women etc. were conservatives and todays conservatives are not true conservatives or that liberals are the true conservatives. It isn't clear if you believe that conservatives want to return to an idealistic past but in so doing has to act more liberal than liberals.

        I agree with Rizzo, this was not your finest post Ty.

      • Ty  •  Sep 10, 2018 at 3:13 pm

        What is championed by conservatives and liberals changes with the times. But generally, conservatives want to maintain the status quo or revert back to some previously altered status quo and the liberals want to make more changes to the status quo. The radicals are more likely to desire making radical changes.

        Nothing about the abolitionist movement, for its time, was conservative. It's a conservative (and left wing supported) position now, because those gains have been codified and built into the nation for over a century now, so that new status quo has congealed for long enough for the brittle sensibilities of conservatives to tolerate it.

      • Ty  •  Sep 10, 2018 at 3:19 pm

        @Rizzo, you are the second conservative-ish person to claim to me that left wing solutions are not new.

        Some of them are most certainly not new, universal healthcare that spans the entire US population is not a new idea at all, it's been in other countries for decades, but that does not mean it would not be new and beneficial to us.

        I need to shift the scenario or you won't get the point based on so many past observations of cluelessness.

        Vaccines are not a "new" invention. We've had them for decades. This does not imply that because they are not a new invention in the world, their application in countries that have not had them is bad policy or not worth doing.

        Part of the liberal project is coming up with new solutions, and in America it's applying older solutions we've yet to be able to implement because of cement block headed conservatives standing in the way.

      • Rizzo  •  Sep 10, 2018 at 3:34 pm

        Your vaccine “analogy” is is painfully inadequate at demonstrating anything that resembles a valid point.
        Here, am I “cement block head” because I cling to the tradition of murder as unlawful and wrong.
        Maybe I should clear the way for legalization of murder….. it’s new, it’s novel, and best I can tell, it’s never been tried before.
        This is the type of absurdity that we on the right have to deal with, when talking with leftists.
        We know, as a MATTER OF FACT, that socialism fails and becomes completely unsustainable.
        That fact is indisputable.
        We know that freedom, and free-market principles created the greatest, wealthiest, most consequential country in GALACTIC HISTORY.
        That fact is also indisputable.
        So Ty, go away with your failed experiments, THEY DON’T WORK!

      • Ty  •  Sep 10, 2018 at 7:16 pm

        Murder being wrong and illegal has immense societal utility, utility that has not waned or changed over time. This is an important point and one you will not get so read that statement and the implications over for several more hours.

        Traditions and laws and policies have no intrinsic value. Their value to us exists only insofar as they provide utility and value to ourselves and society. Now many traditions and laws and morays and policies are so basic that under that standard we will continue to hold them and value them indefinitely, but that is because they provide utility and value to us, we are not worshiping tradition for its own sake.

        That is the ideological equivalent of moving rocks from one side of a prison camp to another. Moving rocks to another side to clear the way for some benefit is a good thing, doing it just to move it yields zero virtue.

        This is the conservative delusion, you imagine that MORE of the beliefs and traditions you believe in and cherish have more intrinsic value than they do. And so long after all the utility of the tradition and belief fades, there you are picking up those rocks and being obedient little supplicants to past behavior, completely unmoored from whether it benefits you or society at large anymore.

      • Rizzo  •  Sep 10, 2018 at 9:52 pm

        Well, since leftists are in the business of destroying all that came before it, let's kick it up a notch.
        How about getting rid of divided government. That tradition has seen its time.
        It no longer serves the purpose of modern society.
        And what about that old concept of private property? That's a totally outdated tradition.
        Religious freedom, freedom of speech, and the second Ammendment, GONE.

        Ty, what else would you progressive leftists change?

        Once again, you historical illiterates have no idea why we have these traditions to begin with.
        It's the result of failed leftists policies and governments. But, since you don't know, and you never learned, you morons are destined to repeat it…. Because you think it's new, novel and never been tried before.

        Absolutely PATHETIC!

      • Rizzo  •  Sep 10, 2018 at 10:54 pm

        Hey SanFran…
        How did getting rid of the tradition of shitting in a toilet workout for ya?

      • Nani Tavares  •  Sep 11, 2018 at 1:09 am

        Rizzo, the reason why Ty is making no sense is because his values are based on nothing. He doesn't believe in a God so what exactly does he base his values on? Why are some types of murder wrong? Why is incest unacceptable? Rape not tolerable? Where does he get the idea of equality, civility, compassion, charity, sharing? Where does he get his idea of right and wrong from? Without Judeo-Christianity, upon which this country and her laws are based on, what does the liberal/atheist have?

        This is why, despite how intelligent he tries to come across, his arguments are confusing and lack authenticity. He must fight with his beliefs and ideas frequently for without a solid base, it has no real substance. Feel pity for him for he appears lost and confused.

      • Ty  •  Sep 11, 2018 at 10:07 pm

        I am not as certain about many of my presumptions compared to so many of you. That is one of the virtues of being religious and basing your morality and ethics off divine command from the celestial dictator, where you bow your heads and act like willing supplicants to GODS ethics and will and authority.

        Things are much easier to justify with that model, I have no such net, that is true. I base my morality and ethics off of thousands of years of civilization and culture that I've inherited, and a large chunk of my own moral intuitions melded together.

        But in the end, "I" decide what I consider right and wrong, unlike you all, I do not get to farm that responsibility out. You are no different, in form and structure, than the ISIS member who genuinely believes ALLAH/GOD wants him to murder non believers, for how can we fault his logic? IF god said that is what was just and right, and one believed that to be correct, who are "WE" to go against such divine will?

        No moral training wheels here for this liberal atheist. And in that sense, even though I am forced to muddle through many moral issues so many of you have easy and definite and obedient answers for, I am more free than you will ever be.

        And as for beliefs like this not having a solid base, all beliefs of individuals are constrained by societal norms. And those can change. Tell me, christians, believers in the ETERNAL christian values and virtues and morality, why did so many CHRISTIANS living in the former confederate states support slavery and lynchings? There were christians against such things that argued using verses from the bible, and others who argued the reverse using bible verses.

        What changed? Did the bible change? Did the word of god change? Tell me, christians, you all who are such empty BLACK HOLES of self reflection, for once in your life, what do YOU think changed if not your religion?

        I have an answer. Society changed. People who thought one thing died off and were replaced faster than people who believed other things. And that argument and wisdom of civilization and the ages shifted, a morality that is bigger and broader and BEYOND that CONSTANT you think the bible is. THAT is what all of our morality is bounded by as well, but ever the conservatives, you think the larger society is some subservient piece, and it's just about your bible and your god.

      • Rizzo  •  Sep 12, 2018 at 7:14 am

        Ty….. you’re an absolute fool. If it were not for religion and the Bible, slavery would have existed much longer than it did.
        Atheists have killed and destroyed more lives in history than any religious group. And that’s not even counting the millions of the unborn that you Godless heathens have sacrificed in the name of convenience and selfishness.
        Leftists have no moral compass, no guiding principles. You are ships on a rudderless path.

      • Nani Tavares  •  Sep 12, 2018 at 5:18 pm

        But Ty, EXACTLY what were those thousands of years of culture and civilization based on? After all those centuries of brutal conquest, you think mankind just decided that inequality and subjugation of women was wrong? That rights for all was good and murder and rape was bad? That those born and raised in poverty, slavery, and crushing abuse, suddenly came up with the idea that this was not acceptable and should be fought against?

        I find it odd that you reject Christianity, yet try to judge by Christian values. As for what changed. Actually, not all people were for slavery, hence the civil war. Not all people were for the Holocaust; hence the condemnation of the Nazis. Prior to the spread of Judeo/Christianity, very few people thought of the right and wrong of slavery, rights, equality. Most could scarce think of such freedoms for the common person.

        I stand by my statement that you are to be pitied for you have nothing to hang your values on. It must be confusing and rather scary to trust your imperfect wisdom.

  6. Ric M.  •  Sep 9, 2018 at 3:26 am

    Your article makes me wonder if the Trump Family ever made a trip to Mt. Rushmore? I think that building a business empire takes up much of your time.

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