Monday, February 18, 2008

The Most Underrated American President

He's not on any American currency, there are no monuments to him in Washington (though you can stay at a Bed and Breakfast named after him while visting). Most American History classes pretty much ignore his administration. He never even won an election.

But looking at him now, it's clear that America could use another Chester A. Arthur. Elevated to the Presidency upon the assassination of James Garfield, Arthur enacted policies that pissed off both Democrats and Republicans...

Heard of The Pendleton Act? Chester Arthur signed that law that...get this...actually required government appointees to show some level of competence before they get appointed. No more cronyism. While The Pendleton Act is still allegedly in effect, clearly our current administration doesn't pay much attention to it.

Arthur also enacted our nation's first immigration law:

The Arthur Administration enacted the first general Federal immigration law. Arthur approved a measure in 1882 excluding paupers, criminals, and lunatics. Congress suspended Chinese immigration for ten years, later making the restriction permanent.

Now that's an immigration policy I can get behind. Not the part about the Chinese...but excluding paupers, criminals and lunatics. You poor? Sorry, you're not bringing your destitution here to leech off our social services. Criminal? Get your gang-bangin' ass back to El Salvador. Lunatic? If you came from a country that thinks that a child-molester is a prophet...

Got a little pork in that bill you got through Congress? You couldn't get that past Chet Arthur:

The extravagant expenditure of public money is an evil not to be measured by the value of that money to the people who are taxed for it.

Because Arthur decided to actually look out for the American people and failed to hire Republican cronies, Arthur didn't even get his party's nomination in the 1884 election. Not that he particularly wanted it. See...the dude was dying and wouldn't have even made it through the first year of his second term. And before you think I am being disrespectful for calling him "dude"...well, dude...his nickname was The Dude President.

My favorite author Samuel Clemens said this about my favorite Arthur:

I am but one in 55,000,000; still, in the opinion of this one-fifty-five millionth of the country's population, it would be hard to better President Arthur's administration.

Another Chet Arthur fan

Happy Presidents Day, Chester A. Arthur. Mt. Rushmore should have had space for ya...


Michele said...

Cool. I wonder how history would be if all presidents knew they would self-destruct after two terms, and would have to make moral decisions before they met their maker?

Yiddish Steel said...

Fine work, Nigel. That is the best Presidents' Day-related post I have read today. Before going thru the Encarta & Wiki links, I almost ignorant of Chester B. Arthur, other than knowing that he replaced Garfield. You can now include me in that fan club of "The Dude President".

Anonymous said...

Perhaps we should exume his body for DNA to create a clone.

Chet said...

Chester Alan Arthur reincarnated November 02, 1953, San Diego, Calf.; this according to past-life guru, BrainStallin ( or search “Brianstalin” on YouTube) and Kevin Ryerson ( most well known as being associated with Shirley MacLaine and Walter Semkiw M.D., (
He is currently 54 years old and is well-aware of his past life. He lives a quite life avoiding publicity. The former Ellen (Nell) Lewis Herndon Arthur chose to reincarnate with him and live as husband and wife again—for which his so grateful and happy.
Brianstalin and Kevin Ryerson both identified the same individual as the former Chester Alan Arthur independently—each not knowing the other one had done so.

Anita Silvani said...

Kevin Ryerson is totally incapable of reading the Akashic Records. Brianstalin has had to correct ALL of Ryerson's readings because they are misleading and inaccurate.

Ryerson is well connected, but Shirley MacLaine is a member of the Beatty Illuminati family and all the New Agers deal with mind control and NOT truth.

Nigel said...

Uh...who the hell let the nutbags in?

Michele? Yiddish? Do I have to guard the freakin' gate ALL of the time?


dramabug said...

award winning nyc playwright LARRY MYERS has written
'the reincarnation of president chester a. arthur'
a multi-dimensional expose and theatrical stage adventure