As another Presidents’ Day passes, I would like to share with you the warning George Washington issued to Congress upon his departure from the office of President of the United States in 1797. If our elected officials near the Beltway could see this.
On the Constitution:
This government … has a just claim to your confidence and your support.
Respect for its authority, compliance with its laws, acquiescence in its measures, are duties enjoined by the fundamental maxims of true liberty. The basis of our political systems is the right of the people to make and to alter their constitutions of government.
Washington emphasizes the fact that we are the government of the people, but the people, for the people. We are a free country with lots of freedom. The Constitution defines these freedoms and defines or implies the responsibilities associated with these freedoms. Just like when Moses bequeathed The Ten Commandments unto the people of Israel; there is no freedom without the law.
Towards the preservation of your government … resist with care the spirit of innovation upon its principles, however specious the pretexts. One method of assault may be to effect, in the forms of the Constitution, alterations which will impair the energy of the system, and thus to undermine what cannot be directly overthrown.
In all the changes to which you may be invited, remember that time and habit are at least as necessary to fix the true character of governments as of other human institutions; that experience is the surest standard by which to test the real tendency of the existing constitution of a country; that facility in changes, upon the credit of mere hypothesis and opinion, exposes to perpetual change, from the endless variety of hypothesis and opinion; and remember, especially, that for the efficient management of your common interests, in a country so extensive as ours, a government of as much vigor as is consistent with the perfect security of liberty is indispensable.
There is a hard truth that dictatorships are made of iron and democracies are made of glass. A democracy can vote in a dictator, but to transform a dictatorship into a democracy requires bloodshed. Washington had the foresight to understand the Constitution may fall out of date and need minor alterations, but believed wholeheartedly the need for a document that would be a constant fixture in defining our free country. So alterations can be made but must pass a difficult process with many checkpoints and that the American people must proceed with caution when suggesting altering the Constitution. Thus, the notion that conservatism is correctness.
On Political Parties:
Let me now … warn you in the most solemn manner against the baneful effects of the spirit of party generally.
Sounds like a familiar tune—party generality. The problem if all political parties stand for the same things; the ultimate breakdown of the Platonian dialectic process. If everybody agrees on everything, there are only two possibilities; everybody’s right, or everybody’s wrong and believes they are right. My good friend Mr. Markowitz once said “Pigs don’t know pigs stink.”
Hence, the need for two distinct parties to debate and find the truth. Too bad the modern day Democrat has crossed the line and has been in defiance of not only Constitutional principles, but of God’s principles as well.
This spirit, unfortunately, is inseparable from our nature, having its root in the strongest passions of the human mind. It exists under different shapes in all governments, more or less stifled, controlled, or repressed; but, in those of the popular form, it is seen in its greatest rankness, and is truly their worst enemy.
Yes, the need for Barrack Obama and John Boehner to reach across each other’s aisles. Their own ideals can become their worst enemy. This would be a great spot for Thomas Payne to interject; bipartisan politics can be equally as damning as party partisanship—Constitutional and God’s principles can be in violate on both sides. Thomas Payne “common sense” solutions should always be at the top of the list.
The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism.
But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries which result gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of public liberty.
Yes, I get it. Political party dominance can be the enemy to a functioning democracy of three branches of government. But they are necessary evils. Washington himself belonged to the old Federalist Party, which would ultimately be absorbed in the formation of the Grand Old Party or Republican Party as we know it today. Without political parties, Congress would degenerate into one big New England Town Meeting with no consensus among its members whatsoever—which is why Washington, along with many other founding fathers chose representative democracy or “republic” over direct democracy where the citizens (masses) are the congress. Party politics can guide us to take a stand, but no stand on any issue is can be validated within the party platform; that requires us as educated individuals to determine.
Observe good faith and justice towards all nations; cultivate peace and harmony with all.
The Nation, which indulges towards another an habitual hatred, or an habitual fondness, is in some degree a slave. It is a slave to its animosity or to its affection, either of which is sufficient to lead it astray from its duty and its interest. … The Nation, prompted by ill-will and resentment, sometimes impels to war the Government, contrary to the best calculations of policy.
The Government sometimes participates in the national propensity, and adopts through passion what reason would reject; at other times, it makes the animosity of the nation subservient to projects of hostility instigated by pride, ambition, and other sinister and pernicious motives.
The peace often, sometimes perhaps the liberty, of Nations has been the victim.
Do not pick a fight with another nation just for the sake of picking a fight; not even with a nation who demonstrates hate for America; unless they cross the line and take action to jeopardize our freedom. Have a strong military defense so we are prepared in case going to war is a necessary evil for the preservation of freedom and Democracy. And set no permanent alliances with any foreign nation; even those who demonstrate positive feelings and admiration for America—a drastic change in leadership, the fall of their status quo government, can alter that friendship.
On Public Debt (Pay real close attention to this one, folks!):
As a very important source of strength and security, cherish public credit. One method of preserving it is to use it as sparingly as possible, avoiding occasions of expense by cultivating peace, but remembering also that timely disbursements to prepare for danger frequently prevent much greater disbursements to repel it, avoiding likewise the accumulation of debt, not only by shunning occasions of expense, but by vigorous exertion in time of peace to discharge the debts which unavoidable wars may have occasioned, not ungenerously throwing upon posterity the burden which we ourselves ought to bear.
Holy crap! Use it as sparingly as possible! Guess the Democrats never read anything about the wisdom of the Father of our Country. The Democrats “tax and spend” junkies say use it all the time and never pay it off! Now we can’t even use is sparingly because the well is depleted–$16 Trillion to pay off. And Democrats don’t want spending cuts? I better not catch a Democrat, especially in Congress, chewing gum! Owing $16 Trillion, they can’t afford gum!
The execution of these maxims belongs to your representatives, but it is necessary that public opinion should co-operate. To facilitate to them the performance of their duty, it is essential that you should practically bear in mind that towards the payment of debts there must be revenue; that to have revenue there must be taxes; that no taxes can be devised which are not more or less inconvenient and unpleasant; that the intrinsic embarrassment, inseparable from the selection of the proper objects (which is always a choice of difficulties), ought to be a decisive motive for a candid construction of the conduct of the government in making it, and for a spirit of acquiescence in the measures for obtaining revenue, which the public exigencies may at any time dictate.
That no taxes can be devised which are not more or less convenient and unpleasant, huh! Another Democrat party faux pas—they have no problem making us pay inconvenient and unpleasant taxes, some of which taxpayers can’t even afford, so they can spend it their way!
The biggest problem is we need the margin of error in case of a national emergency. That is why when I speak of the sequester, the one thing I think is dead wrong is for the military to be part of those draconian spending cuts slated for March 1, 2013. Leads me to believe the Democrats are not in favor of the preservation of the American way of life. If are not in favor, what are they by default?
It is HIGH TIME all Americans drink from the fountain of wisdom inherited to us from our Founding Fathers! And do it NOW!