July 6, 2020

Nominations for the National Garden of American Heroes

In a July 3 speech at Mount Rushmore, President Donald Trump announced plans for a “National Garden of American Heroes” to honor great Americans. The garden is to contain statues—they must be straightforward likenesses of those honored—of the likes of Billy Graham, Henry Clay, Davy Crockett, Dolley Madison, Ronald Reagan, and Antonin Scalia. A Washington Post story on Mr. Trump’s idea suggests that the proposed list is odd and seems designed to please his own supporters. Of course, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson are included, but many other names are unlikely to be at the top of lists compiled by legitimate historians.

If this initiative is really intended to ingratiate Mr. Trump with his ardent supporters—and there is no doubt that this is the case—the list really needs to be more focused on that objective. To that end, and as a service to our president, I offer the off-the-top-of-my-head list of potential honorees below. My list is in no particular order. Perhaps readers can offer additional names:
  1. Jefferson Finis Davis
  2. George Armstrong Custer
  3. Fielding Lewis Wright
  4. Charles Augustus Lindberg
  5. Fred Christ Trump
  6. Roger Brooke Taney
  7. George Corley Wallace Jr.
  8. Phyllis Stewart Schlafly
  9. Jason Gould
  10. Robert Edward Lee
  11. Andrew Jackson
  12. Ayn Rand
  13. Theophilus Eugene “Bull” Connor
  14. Preston Smith Brooks
  15. Andrew Johnson
  16. Orval Eugene Faubus
  17. Ronald Wilson Reagan
  18. Isabella Maria Boyd
  19. William Jennings Bryan
  20. Joseph Raymond McCarthy
  21. Antonin Gregory Scalia
  22. Charles Edward Coughlin
  23. Jesse Alexander Helms Jr.
  24. James Strom Thurmond Sr.
  25. Rose O’Neal Greenhow
  26. John Caldwell Calhoun
  27. Ross Robert Barnett
I have to admit that I needed to look up some of these people to get their full names. I included no living persons, who surely would not grace the memorial garden—at least, not yet.

No person is totally good or totally bad, of course, so even liberals may find laudable qualities in some of the persons listed. (Perhaps not too many, however.)

The president intends for his garden to educate citizens. Who can argue with this objective? If readers do not recognize all the names above, they can research the accomplishments of these American heroes.

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