Monday, August 31, 2015

You say McKinley, I say Denali

I live in Pennsylvania. I feel zero connection to James Buchanan (the only U.S. President from this state, err, um, I mean commonwealth). If someone wanted to rename Buchanan County, Missouri, I wouldn't care. So why do politicians from Ohio feel like the Mount McKinley name change is an issue for their constituents?

On top of that, John Boehner's argument makes no sense. I don't know all that much about President McKinley, other than the fact that he was assassinated. But even if you take everything that Boehner says as true: that McKinley served with distinction in the Civil War, that he was a wonderful congressman and governor, and that "he led this nation to prosperity and victory in the Spanish-American War as the 25th President of the United States" why does that settle the question of what a mountain in Alaska should be called? A lot of people have done impressive things in this country's history. What makes him entitled to have a mountain named after him? That's especially true when you consider that we tried to name the mountain after him for the last 100 years but the locals just kept calling it something else. Even if we assume that McKinley was the greatest guy who ever presidented, I don't see the case for "Mount McKinley."