The Chicago Tribune disavows Illinois’ own Ulysses S. Grant in an editorial arguing to replace the Civil War general and President’s image on the fifty dollar bill with Ronald Reagan’s. “Most Americans seldom encounter a $50 bill, but that doesn’t mean you can change it without stirring up controversy. A ruckus is sure to ensue if Congress moves to pass a bill introduced by Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., to replace the image of Ulysses S. Grant with one of Ronald Reagan. The Gipper is the most admired and accomplished Republican president of recent decades. Only Dwight Eisenhower comes close. But his low-tax, free-market, militarily assertive policies made him few friends among liberals. So enshrining him on the currency would not sit well with them. Nor would it please traditionalists who dislike any change in our money. But those are poor arguments against the change. Franklin Roosevelt was still intensely controversial when he was honored on the dime in 1946, less than a year after his death. More important is whether a president was significant enough to deserve such an honor, a judgment that requires the passage of time. More than 20 years after he left office, it’s clear that Reagan was. Even Barack Obama, when he was running for president, said, ‘I think Ronald Reagan changed the trajectory of America in a way that Richard Nixon did not and in a way that Bill Clinton did not. He put us on a fundamentally different path because the country was ready for it.'”
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