Imagine a country in which strikes by public-sector unions occupied the public square; where foreign policy wandered aimlessly as America disentangled itself from wars abroad and a potential civil war on its southern border; where racial and ethnic groups jostled for political influence; where a war on illicit substances led to violence in its cities; where technology was dramatically changing how mankind communicated and moved about—and where the educated harbored increasing contempt for the philosophic underpinnings of our republic.
That country, the America of the 1920s, looked a lot like America today. One would think, then, that the President who successfully navigated these challenges, Calvin Coolidge, might be esteemed today. Instead, Coolidge’s record is little known, the result of efforts by both the left and right to distort his legacy.
Why Coolidge Matters revisits the record of our most underrated president, examining Coolidge’s views on governance, public sector unions, education, race, immigration, and foreign policy. Most importantly, Why Coolidge Matters explains what lessons Coolidge—the last president to pay down the national debt—can offer the limited government movement in the post-industrial age.