Sunday, July 5, 2015

Presidential Daddy Issues

One long running theme here at Fear and Loathing in Georgetown is that extraordinarily ambitious men, FLG is tempted to say people but isn't quite sure how it applies to women just yet, have are motivated to acquire the admiration and love from the people that they never received from their fathers because their father either died, abandoned, or was abusive toward them.

FLG was reminded of this when reading a NY Times article about how Lincoln didn't like Jefferson:
Lincoln, who actually grew up on a backwoods farm, saw little there but drunkenness, rowdyism and endless, mind-numbing labor under the rule of his loutish and illiterate father. He made his escape from the farm as soon as he turned 21, opened a store (which failed) and finally went into law, that great enforcer of commercial contract. “I was once a slave,” he remarked, “but now I am so free that they let me practice law.”
 FLG starts compiling the data for the presidents, but always gets sidetracked.   Here's what he has so far:
George Washington -- Father died when he was 11
Thomas Jefferson -- Father died when he was 14
James Monroe -- Father died when he was 15 or 16
Andrew Jackson -- Father died 3 week before he was born
William Harrison -- Father died when he was 18
John Tyler -- Father died when he was 23
Franklin Pierce -- "According to a popular anecdote he walked twelve miles back to his home one Sunday; his father fed him dinner and drove him part of the distance back to school before kicking him out of the carriage and ordering him to walk the rest of the way in a thunderstorm. Pierce learned from the experience, later citing this moment as "the turning-point in my life""
James Garfield -- Father died when an infant

Bill Clinton & Barack Obama have well-known father issues.

Teddy seems to be the odd one out, however, writing:
My father, Theodore Roosevelt, was the best man I ever knew. He combined strength and courage with gentleness, tenderness, and great unselfishness. He would not tolerate in us children selfishness or cruelty, idleness, cowardice, or untruthfulness.

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