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Gary Schmitt

‘The Meaning of George Washington’s Birthday’

Monday is George Washington’s birthday, and it is Washington we should be celebrating—that model of character, principle and prudence.  And there is no better place to start than an extraordinary new collection, “The Meaning of George Washington’s Birthday,” by my AEI colleague Leon Kass and his wife, Amy Kass of the Hudson Institute. As part of their ongoing American Calendar project, the Kasses draw on speeches, stories, and writings about Washington to explore the history of his birthday holiday and follow his career from military scout, to colonial farmer, to general, to president of the United States. In so doing, they make a powerful case for Washington’s greatness, and why he should remain, in the famous words of Henry Lee, “first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen.”

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When a Cardinal ruled the roost

In this week’s edition of the Weekly Standard, AEI Program on American Citizenship director Gary Schmitt has an article on Stan Musial, the Baseball Hall of Famer who died on January 19. What made Musial stand out for Schmitt was not simply his outstanding career with the St. Louis Cardinals (with whom he played all of his 22 years), or his on-the-field accomplishments (three-time National League MVP, seven-time batting champ, and a “wins above replacement” number that places him just behind Barry Bonds, Willie Mays, and Hank Aaron), but rather the bigger story of Musial himself. His was, as Schmitt notes, a quintessentially American story.

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Eisenhower memorial criticism all around

As criticism of the proposed memorial has grown, so too have attacks on the critics. Writing in the Architectural Record about the Program’s recent event on memorials, Ben Adler characterized the monument’s critics as simply conservative “curmudgeons” who will “always revile Modernism for both ideological and aesthetic reasons.”

Responding to Adler in the same journal, the Program’s Gary Schmitt and Cheryl Miller write, “In defending architectural Modernism, Adler falls into the very trap he warns against.”

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Upcoming event: A nation of takers

America’s national debt now exceeds $15 trillion, which is roughly equal to the value of all goods and services the U.S. economy produces in one year. If left unchecked, America’s debt will have catastrophic consequences for the future of the nation. How did we arrive at this point?

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