If Abraham Lincoln — god bless him! — were alive today, we’d be demanding his resignation. After all, he was hardly cool, he had slept with men, suffered depression, broke several Constitutional laws, and botched battle after battle.
Here’s the funny thing about us Americans. We most love our leaders after they’re dead. Until such time, we take this democracy thing I’m-as-good-as-anyone all too seriously. And so it is that as citizens we never feel quite so large as when we’re busy making our presidents seem so small.
One reason is our outrageous split-personality. We are simultaneously the most licentiously open society since Caligula’s ancient Rome and yet the most sexually uptight society since Cotton Mather’s Puritan Boston. While Caligula runs Hollywood, Mather rules Washington. By these norms, we will keep paying for smarmy movies, while demanding leaders like Clinton and Patraeus [in their day, FDR and Eisenhower too] resign for their ethics.
Talking about resigning, ever since Obama’s re-election white Americans from 20 states have petitioned the White House to resign [secede] from the union Lincoln fought to preserve. The historical irony here couldn’t be, well, more ironic. Abe freed the slaves, we twice elect a black president, now some of our remaining Rebs want “the real America” back.
While we wrestle with our national split personality, Europeans scratch their collective heads. What to make of this…? Professor Anne Tybjaerg-Hansen of the University of Copenhagen has been studying Americans and Europeans alike. Not about understanding p[politics, but understanding life-spans. She has come up with four markers whose appearance helps predict “future heart disease and/or heart attacks.”
(1) receding hairline at the temples (2) balding at the crown (3) creases in the ear lobes (4) fatty deposits around the ear lobes.
Photos show Lincoln had all four markers, although he didn’t live long enough to develop heart disease. As for these other leaders, both we and the Danes will simply have to wait and watch. Till then, be sure to see the movie!
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