We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
“If he does that, he [George Washington] will be the Greatest Man in the World!“
King George III, upon hearing of Washington's plan to retire as Commander in Chief of the Continental Army (1783), surrender power to Congress and go home to Mt. Vernon. Washington did exactly that. He also refused a third term as President of the US.
"I walk on untrodden ground. There is scarcely any part of my conduct which may not hereafter be drawn into precedent."
George Washington in reference to being elected as the first President.
He took his job seriously and was aware that the whole world was watching.
He warned us about political parties as well:
"They [political parties] serve to organize faction, to give it an artificial and extraordinary force; to put, in the place of the delegated will of the nation, the will of a party, often a small but artful and enterprising minority of the community; and, according to the alternate triumphs of different parties, to make the public administration the mirror of the ill-concerted and incongruous projects of faction, rather than the organ of consistent and wholesome plans digested by common counsels, and modified by mutual interests."
"However combinations or associations of the above description may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely, in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people, and to usurp for themselves the reins of government; destroying afterwards the very engines, which have lifted them to unjust dominion."
Taken from Washington's Farewell Address.
If you have an opportunity to visit his Mount Vernon home, you will begin to realize how he used his love for this special place to keep himself focused and sane throughout the struggles of the war.
A truly fascinating man, much overlooked in modern times.
Certainly overlooked, Washington. I was rather surprised at the results of the latest poll as to our greatest President's. He wasn't even in the top ten. But then, history isn't taught anymore is it. Besides, Washington no longer fits the modern narrative, in that he lived a life of honor.
I am with Washington on political parties. They rarely serve any good purpose, usually only shortly after their formation, before they are corrupted by lust for power. Let us abandon them if we can, abolish them if we must, but above all let us have done with them forever.
What's so striking about Washington was the fine example he set without himself having any example to look to. He established for his country the incomparable gift of a chief executive who voluntarily and peacefully gives up his power after a short while. He established the precedent of peaceful succession of power by popular demand, a trick that even today, more than 200 years later, very few countries have mastered.