by Gary Hart
“Our sixth president, James Monroe is remembered primarily for two things: for being the last of the “”Virginia Dynasty-following George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison–and for issuing the Monroe Doctrine, his statement of principles in 1823 that the Western Hemisphere was to be considered closed to European intervention, colonization, and economic degradation. Author Gary Hart, former senator from Colorado, views Monroe as prescient and a leader ahead of his time, whose priorities and accomplishments in establishing America’s national security have a great deal in common with chief executives in our current time.
In complete contrast with his predecessors Jefferson and Madison, Monroe was the consummate warrior. He enlisted in the Continental army at the age of seventeen and served with distinction in many pivotal battles. (he is predominantly featured as Washington’s aide in the iconic painting “”Washington Crossing the Delaware.) Throughout his career as a diplomat, senator, secretary of war, and president, he most valued the need for secure borders and strong relations with neighbors, believing that without this, the American people could never be safe in their independence. As president he carried out an incredible series of treaties, annexations, and military confrontations that would procure America’s homeland against foreign attack for almost two hundred years. He was the last–and second of only two-veterans of the Revolutionary War as president of the United States