According to the Perspective in yesterday's Chicago Tribune, "Even our greatest presidents made great mistakes." In listing the ten greatest presidents, based on suveys of scholars done from 2008-2011, the writers, Mark Jacobs and Stephan Benzkofer proceed to highlight the good and bad of some of our most illustrious presidents.
Beginning with Lincoln, who many believe was the greatest President because of his ability to successfully navigate the Civil War, preserve the Union and free the slaves, the authors also share that during the war, Lincoln, suspended habeas corpus and believed that although slaves should be freed, they should not live side by side with white people. He advocated a plan to either send African-American ot of the country or perhaps settle all, or at least most in Massachusetts.
The authors go on through both Roosevelts, Washington, Jefferson, Truman, Wilson, Eisenhower, Kennedy and Reagan. In each case, after listing some of the accomplishments that the man is known for, they list some of the mistakes they made.
The point? Everyone is human; even the greatest of our real life heroes make mistakes. No one is perfect. We are all human. We are a sometimes murky mix of good and bad.
Perhaps we need to be quicker to forgive...those who are closest to us and ourselves.