Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Happy Birthday, Father

Today is the birthday of the father of our country: George Washington, Commander in Chief of the American Revolutionary Forces, President of Continental Congress and the first President of the United States. Above all else, Washington embodied dignity and integrity.

Those qualities and Washington's presence at the Constitutional Convention of 1787 led to the Constitution of the United States -- a document primarily written by James Madison that is the greatest guarantor of liberty and democracy that the world has known.

When a first President of the United States had to be found, there was only one person even seriously considered for the job. Washington was elected and re-elected unanimously (in the Electoral College). He knew and understood the gravity of his undertaking -- every action and decision he made would be a precedent for the country. Until 1940, even though there were no presidential term limitations in the Constitution yet, no president sought a third term precisely because Washington only served two terms.

The Monk feels Washington is our greatest president even though the power and control he had over the nation pales in comparison to the imperial presidencies of the 1900s and the powers Lincoln (and Monroe and Jackson) exercised in the 1800s. Washington governed for the future and the present and it's because of his presence that this country had a future.

Happy Birthday President Washington.

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