I dare anyone to write a better satire of the cultural disconnect of conservatives than George F. Will's "The Beauty of Brevity" (Feb. 14). Unintentional though it is, this is jaw-dropping funny stuff, ironic beyond measure. Barack Obama should imitate Calvin Coolidge's reticence?
Let's consider the world of Coolidge vs. our present day. The U.S. population was about one-third of today's. Consider the rural world of the 1920s, about 50 percent of the country. There were few (if any) houses with phones, indoor plumbing or electricity, and only the occasional horseless carriage on the unpaved roads. It's reasonable to say farmers' daily lives weren't much different than those of medieval peasants. They were probably better-fed and certainly more politically free, but your everyday job was still tilling the soil with your bare hands and some plow horses (if you were lucky). The KKK was making a big-time comeback, though -- great nostalgia there.
So this was Coolidge's -- and Mr. Will's -- world. No television and few commercial radio stations beyond Pittsburgh's KDKA in 1920, only three years before Coolidge's inauguration. No Internet, of course -- and forget the 24-hour news cycle that Mr. Obama faces. Exactly what copulating chickens have to do with it, I have no idea. I guess that's racy stuff in Mr. Will's 1920s view.
Coolidge said two words in response to a woman who bet that she could get him to say three, and I repeat them here to Mr. Will and his out-of-touch, conservative buddies: you lose.
JOSEPH F. McLAUGHLIN