(Feb. 21-22) No matter what the official calendar says, today is not some generic “Presidents Day,” but the ritual observance of tomorrow’s George Washington’s birthday. Washington was a great man not just of his age alone but of all the epochs of mankind.

Woke attempts to erase history cannot succeed in besmirching Washington’s character and significance. Such singular virtue and historical achievement cannot forever be obscured.

Not just the United States but the whole free world owes a debt to Washington for his courage, his sacrifices, his vision, his sense of duty, and his dedication to liberty. Entering the Revolutionary War as one of two continentally renowned men in the American colonies (Ben Franklin was the other), Washington arguably had more to lose, and less personally to gain, than almost any of his cohorts. He could have gone about his business as a leading citizen of one of the two leading states in the colonies, a prosperous farmer and commercial leader, one who could afford to wait out British crackdowns aimed largely at Virginia’s northern neighbors.

Instead, Washington volunteered for and led what seemed like the most daunting of military efforts, against the mightiest armed force in the world, holding together an untrained and badly provisioned army by sheer force of personal leadership and character. Then, having won, he carefully marshaled his renown and moral authority to give legitimacy to the creation of a new Constitution for a new, federated government, to serve a new nation self-styled (in Thomas Jefferson’s words) as an empire of liberty.

All along, Washington knew he was playing not just for 13 colonies at one time, but instead for the whole world for posterity.Washington’s inaugural address as the first U.S. president is justly famous, but consider the unused excerpts from his notes for the speech, words of his own before the draft was considerably shortened and polished by James Madison…. [The full column is at this link.]


Tags: , ,