Wednesday, May 7, 2008

If George Washington Were Running for President Today…

Would he be elected? I sincerely have my doubts. After recently reviewing the history on the “Father of our Country” and of the constitution, as well as his farewell speech written in 1792, ( ), I think he would have a tough time getting elected in today’s America. Why?

Look at his “platform”, and then try and line up any current prospect for President against it. Who, if anyone, comes closest?

“Tis our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world.”

--Which candidate supports non-expansion of USA interests abroad?

“The basis of our political systems is the right of the people to make and to alter their constitutions of government. But the Constitution which at any time exists, till changed by an explicit and authentic act of the whole people, is sacredly obligatory upon all.”

--Which candidate supports strict adherence to the US Constitution and its amendments?

“(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.”

--Which candidate is more independent and “uniting” versus “party affiliated”? Who has the most populist agenda?

“Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports.”

--Which candidate supports and values religion and morality…for all?

“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.”

--Who has the best plan for “balancing the budget”, avoiding debt and saving for our future posterity?

“The great rule of conduct for us in regard to foreign nations is in extending our commercial relations, to have with them as little political connection as possible. So far as we have already formed engagements, let them be fulfilled with perfect good faith. Here let us stop…It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world.”

--Which candidate believes most in “free enterprise” and competing with other countries economically instead of with military or political force?

“Harmony, liberal intercourse with all nations, are recommended by policy, humanity, and interest. But even our commercial policy should hold an equal and impartial hand; neither seeking nor granting exclusive favors or preferences; consulting the natural course of things; diffusing and diversifying by gentle means the streams of commerce, but forcing nothing;”

--Which candidate favors non-government intervention in markets and commerce?

“How far in the discharge of my official duties I have been guided by the principles which have been delineated, the public records and other evidences of my conduct must witness to you and to the world. To myself, the assurance of my own conscience is, that I have at least believed myself to be guided by them.“

--Which candidate’s history and public record best matches up to their current rhetoric?

“With me a predominant motive has been to endeavor to gain time to our country to settle and mature its yet recent institutions, and to progress without interruption to that degree of strength and consistency which is necessary to give it, humanly speaking, the command of its own fortunes.”

--Which candidate is more inclined to find domestic answers to our economic problems, even energy, than looking outside our country for the answers?

“Though, in reviewing the incidents of my administration, I am unconscious of intentional error, I am nevertheless too sensible of my defects not to think it probable that I may have committed many errors.”

--Which candidate is the most humble and willing to admit error…and to seek balanced counsel?

Based on this recent review of our country’s first President and overseer of our initial Constitution, I believe I will vote this year based on who most measures up to the values of our “Founding Father”. Throughout his leadership, George Washington was always a “reluctant” leader. He was not desirous of the position but rather pressed into service as a natural and trusted leader. Those who want it too bad in my mind are additionally suspect in their motivations.

Whichever leader gets our electorate nod for the next four years, I hope they are lined up closely with the original American President.

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