The same goes for Susan B. Anthony and Sacagawea, if you want to bring in the coins. Or Senator Thomas Hart Benton ($100), U.S. treasurer Michael Hillegas ($10), Senator Silas Wright ($50), or Chief Justice Salmon B. Chase ($10,000), if you're into the old gold certificates (or even Martha Washington, if you like silver certificates). Why mix them up with creeps like Nixon and LBJ, egomaniacal dopes like James Buchanan, dangerous anti-Constitutional types like Wilson, pantsless wonders like Clinton, or pretty dunderheads like Franklin Pierce (and some other, more recent guys I could name)?
Should we even have people on our money? It seems kind of antidemocratic. Our theory is that our leaders should come from the common stock of humanity and, when their service is done, back to the common stock they go.* Why put our brothers-in-arms on the dough like royalty?
I thought about this for a while, and realized that as a people that constantly forgets our past and our principles---which is one explanation for some of the asshats we've voted for---we need reminders of our heroes and our history. Washington was our modern Cincinnatus, forced to serve as leader but retiring from politics immediately thereafter. Who else in history purposely and peacefully relinquished power before? We need to remember men like that, even in or especially in an age that does not value restraint except when it's used as a cover for cowardice.
Anyway, without people on money, what else would we have? Should we go back to eagles and buffalo? Phony bridges? Monopoly money**?
*God! If only! Now they start foundations so they can fly to exotic places on someone else's dime and nail underage cuties, or rake in millions as lobbyists, or both.
**Not money from the Game of Life, though, or at least not the version I played growing up. While the money featured such imaginary luminaries as Ransom A. Treasure ($5,000), Hesperia Mint ($10,000), and G.I. Luvmoney ($20,000), it also featured actual luminaries as game inventor Milton Bradley ($50,000) and radio/TV celebrity Art Linkletter ($100,000), who endorsed the game.