We Over-Honor Our Presidents
Can I get a big AMEN?!
These people are just people. They are not gods. Just because they show up on our computers and television every night doesn't not elevate them to some kind of deified status.
Yes, they were powerful. Yes, they likely influenced our lives to some extent. (One way or the other.) But the pomp around the Bush funeral was a bit much, at least for your editor.
By the way, here's a pic I snapped as I crossed Pennsylvania Avenue before the motorcade came through on Wednesday morning.
(From The National Review)
Irrespective of whether he was a great man or a poor one, George H. W. Bush was a public employee. He was not a king. He was not a pope. He did not found or save or design the republic. To shut down our civil society for a day in order to mark his peaceful passing is to invert the appropriate relationship between the citizen and the state, and to take yet another step toward the fetishization of an executive branch whose role is supposed to be more bureaucratic than spiritual, but that has come of late to resemble Caesar more than to resemble Coolidge.
This fetishization is dangerous. We seem to have lost our understanding of the position of the citizen relative to the executive in this country. There is a reason why the Capitol is on a hill raised above the White House. The people come first, not the president. We would be wise to remember this.