Governor Palin is on record that George Washington is her favorite “Founding Father”. The first time I remember her saying this was on Glenn Beck’s show on January 13, 2010.
What’s laughable, if not maddening, is that the next day, an inane liberal Democratic commentator at MSNBC condescendingly laughed at Gov. Palin’s choice of George Washington and offered Abraham Lincoln as her own favorite “founder”. Note to liberals: Lincoln was not even born when our country was founded.
Perhaps the superficial, if not ignorant, liberal commentators (and, subsequently, bloggers) were too busy squawking in their hubris that they missed Gov. Palin’s keen analysis of one quality that made Washington the great servant leader he was:
“Washington was the consummate statesmen, he served, he returned power to the people—he didn’t want to be a king—he returned power to the people, then he went back to Mt. Vernon, he went back to his farm. He was almost reluctant to serve as President, too. And that’s who you need to find to serve in government, in a bureaucracy: those who you know will serve for the right reasons because they’re reluctant to get out there and seek a limelight, and seek power. They’re doing it for the people. That was George Washington.”
Two years later, the liberal media still don’t “get” the real George Washington. It’s nearly tragic to observe the current culture’s regard and revisionist liberal spin of George Washington, who is unquestionably the most admirable of our Presidents. But apparently, the editors over at Time magazine didn’t get the memo. Instead they are featuring a special edition about our great first President, with self-serving pabulum like this:
“He began the political tradition that produced a Union victory in the Civil War, the Federal Reserve Board, Social Security, Medicare and, more recently, Obamacare.”
Obamacare? Really? Where in all of Washington’s writings do they find any credible basis for this garbage? I’ve heard of leaps of faith, but this is merely liberal-progressive fantasy.
Thankfully, David Azerrad at The Heritage Foundation, reminds us why George Washington holds a special place in our collective nation’s heart, and how the liberal left are constantly trying to revise his legacy:
“George Washington, the “indispensable man” of the Revolution who was rightly extolled for being “first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen,” has now been lumped together with the likes of James Buchanan, Jimmy Carter, Franklin Pierce and John Tyler….
Washington, like every President after him, swore the following oath upon taking office: “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” Unlike many presidents in the past 100 years, however, Washington took the oath seriously and did not try to place himself above the Constitution.
He understood himself to be the President of a Republic in which the people, through their elected representatives in Congress, make laws–not some visionary leader who must define what Progress requires and lead the unenlightened masses there….
Washington took care “that the laws be faithfully executed,” as when he quashed the Whiskey Rebellion in 1794. He did not try to make the laws himself, either by issuing executive orders that circumvented Congress or by regulating what could not be legislated. He left behind no “signature” legislative accomplishments as we would say today. He only used his veto twice–once on constitutional grounds and once in his capacity as Commander-in-Chief.
Washington gave, on average, only three public speeches a year while in office–including the shortest ever inaugural address. And, of course, he had to be persuaded to serve a second term.”
What a stark contrast to the current occupant in the White House.
So how are we to stop the gradual redefining of history by the progressive left and a sitting President whose policies undermine not only the Constitution, but disparage the will of We the People?
We can begin as Governor Palin suggested in her “One Nation—Restore Our Nation” bus tour last summer—by taking our children, friends and families to visit the historical sites that memorialize our beginning, teaching them about the foundational charters of liberty upon which our country stands.
In 2010, we did that with our children: we traveled back to Virginia, where I grew up, and visited the homes of Washington (Mt. Vernon), Madison (Montpelier) and Jefferson (Monticello). The year before, we took a tour of the White House and the US Capitol, and were moved nearly to tears as the tour guide reminded us why President Washington was “first in the hearts of his countrymen”: the fact that he offered to serve as President and not accept a salary–though he later relented at the behest of Jefferson, Madison and others– and when given the opportunity to hold on to positions of power in our fledgling republic, he graciously declined, in the hopes of setting a precedent for our newborn nation.
A friend gave me a small, handsome book for my birthday called, simply, George Washington: The Founding Father, by Paul Johnson. It sits on my desk and reminds me of the real George Washington. As the progressive-liberals attempt to ensnare the current crop of GOP Presidential candidates in a hysteria over religious and faith issues, it is a confident reminder to read that:
“all (Washington’s) codes of morals, order and propriety were rooted in Christianity, which he saw as the greatest civilizing force the world had ever known.”
We can also engage in our nation’s history through historical literature, websites, organizations, media and culture which celebrate the truths about our founding. The first four years of my life, we lived down the street from Washington’s iconic home at Mt. Vernon. My dad had been in the military, stationed at Ft. Belvoir in Alexandria, Virginia. When we moved 30 miles west to Fairfax, another town rich in history from our nation’s founding, the influence of President Washington followed us. It was in Fairfax that my 6th grade music teacher auditioned about 100 ten to twelve year olds for the musical production of “1776”. Yours truly was cast as Benjamin Franklin. Participating in that musical was one of the most impressionable experiences that every child should have the good fortune to enjoy. (To this day, when my family begins to talk about our Founding Fathers at dinnertime, I am compelled to burst into song or dialog from the script, in the hopes of inspiring my kids. I’m not sure it’s working, but I try.) My music teacher produced such a remarkable performance from kids this young that the newspaper at the time, The Washington Star (a competitor to The Washington Post), sent a reporter and photographer to cover it for their Style section. Nearly every scene which involved the Continental Congress gathered in Philadelphia ended with the courier dispatching a letter from the battlefront, signed “your humble servant, (drum roll) G. Washington.”
Even King George III took note that George Washington was marked for greatness. As David Boaz at the Cato Institute writes:
Give the last word to Washington’s great adversary, King George III. The king asked his American painter, Benjamin West, what Washington would do after winning independence. West replied, “They say he will return to his farm.”
“If he does that,” the incredulous monarch said, “he will be the greatest man in the world.”