The dime of America

I take it as a near-certainty that, assuming we’re still using physical currency throughout my life, some denomination of that currency will eventually feature Ronald Reagan.  But where will he go?  You can’t really evict Jefferson or Washington or Lincoln.  Alexander Hamilton and Andrew Jackson seem more vulnerable, but somehow it’s the coins that really read as “inner-circle President” — would Reagan’s boosters really settle for grubby green pieces of linen, that get filthy and torn?

But here’s what would work.  Put Reagan on the dime.  Instead of Roosevelt?  No — in addition to Roosevelt.  Nobody cares about the shrubbery on the back of the dime.  Roosevelt on the obverse, Reagan on the reverse.  The two radical revisions of the American idea that shaped the 20th century, separated only by a thin disc of copper.  A government big enough to crush Hitler versus a government small enough to drown in a bathtub.  Now that’s a coin.  Flipping that coin has stakes.

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5 thoughts on “The dime of America

  1. Joshua says:

    I always liked the implied comments about Reagan in this Tom Lehrer song:

  2. These lines by Lehrer were quite prophetic. The first time I heard them I was too young to realize that the lines “Mr. Murphy is the star / who’s done the best by far” were not ironic — at the time Mr. Murphy has done better than Mr. Reagan …

    Andrew Jackson should come off the currency just as the Confederate Flag comes down the flagpoles.

  3. Shecky R says:

    When will Millard Fillmore get his due…?

  4. Mark Meckes says:

    It seems that Alexander Hamilton is more than just vulnerable. I wonder, though, if Thomas Jefferson is really as untouchable as you say. He should be, in my opinion, but I also think it’s ridiculous that Jackson isn’t the first of our current batch of portraits to go.

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