Skip to comments.Vanity: George Washington to Trump: Courage and Bedrock Devotion to Country
Posted on 06/17/2016 6:24:13 PM PDT by poconopundit
We cannot find the smallest part of the personal weight of Washington in the narrative of his exploits. The largest part of his power was latent. This is that which we call Character, -- a reserved force which acts directly by presence, and without means. What others effect by talent or by eloquence, this man accomplishes by some magnetism. "Half his strength he put not forth." His victories are by demonstration of superiority, and not by crossing of bayonets. He conquers, because his arrival alters the face of affairs.
While I love the inspiring words of Emerson, the great poet-sage did not have access to audio books nor the superb narrative of Washington's exploits by David McCullough in his book 1776. This book truly does give you a feel for the "personal weight" of George Washington.
However by the year 1776, the nation had not yet formed. The American republic was merely an idea, a collection of noble aspirations inscribed on a few sheets of parchment. It was a dream, the dream of a prosperous people who hoped to shake off the yoke of oppressive taxes and other abuses by a King who lived on the other side of the vast Atlantic.
And that dream did become real spontaneously. The nation required the long and arduous effort of patriots, who, through their commitment, courage, and several years of fighting, gave actual life to the noble ideas in those inanimate parchments.
And for those patriots to arise, understand their mission, and be persuaded to take action at the risk of their lives -- well, that required great leadership.
The greatest lesson from McCullough's book is this: the idea of an independent American nation was an extremely fragile one in 1776. Things could have easily gone the other way. After all, the British Army and Navy was well-equipped and expertly trained. The odds were clearly against us.
Truth be told -- and the research in the book bears this out -- America would not have been born without the courage, perseverance, skill -- and even luck -- of one man. And that man was George Washington.
Here's McCullough's analysis...
He was not a brilliant strategist or tactician, not a gift orator, not an intellectual. At several crucial moments he had shown indecisiveness. He had made serious mistakes in judgment. But experience had been his great teacher from boyhood, and in this his greatest test, he learned steadily from experience. Above all, Washington never forgot what was at stake and he never gave up.
Without Washington's leadership and unrelenting perseverance, the revolution almost certainly would have failed.
The year 1776, celebrated at the birth year of the nation and the signing of the Declaration of Independence, was for those who carried the fight for independence forward a year of all-too-few victories, of sustained suffering, disease, hunger, desertion, cowardice, disillusionment, defeat, terrible discouragement, and fear, as they would never forget, but also of phenomenal courage and bedrock devotion to country, and that, too, they would never forget.
Especially for those who had been with Washington and who knew what a close call it was at the beginning -- how often circumstance, storms, contrary winds, the oddities or strengths of individual character made the difference -- the outcome seemed little short of a miracle."
Folks, in American today, the writing is on the wall -- the Great Trump Wall across our southern border. Just as the Declaration of Independence was a noble -- but not yet realized -- dream in 1776, the Trump wall is another grand idea that can only be made real by the commitment and votes of millions of patriots.
Shall we call it a second American Revolution? Perhaps. Whatever you choose to call it, it's the burning desire to protect our borders, our safety, our jobs, and our self-dignity as citizens of a great nation. It's about standing up against the terrorists, the globalists, the Wall Street moguls, and Hollywood profiteers who would trample on our culture and destroy what's sacred and good in our society.
We know what's at stake. Without the leadership, persistence, and courage of a man like Trump who is leading the movement to take America back, our country will surely deteriorate into a third world hellhole -- a Mexico, Greece, Brazil, or Haiti.
GO TRUMP! We are behind you 110%, in part because we are quite selfish. We know that the consequences of not revitalizing our political and moral culture are just too terrible to contemplate.
David McCullough is a magnificent storyteller and historian. Hearing his audio book, 1776, gave me an engaging account of the people and events of the American Revolution. The book also delves deeply into the character and personal struggles of George Washington. Great stuff. My guess is the book will enlighten and entertain you far more than reading a stack of history books on the subject.
Here's the publisher's description of the book's contents:
Making a historical connection between George Washington and Trump through David McCullough's fabulous book, 1776.
I sat alone for an hour in Washinton’s chuch.
I have urged all to compare Trump as the greatest American since George Washington. The comparisons are endless starting with SELFLESSNESS. Washington risked everything for leadership against hopeless odds. Trump spent $76 million for YOU in the primaries. He does not drink. He works tirelessly to regain our country. He fights for your jobs against the “free trade madness” — your defense and Your Christian Judaeo heritage. I truly think he is a gift from God. He is rough around the edges but so was DAVID!! God bless America and GO TRUMP!
That is a great book.
The First President of this Republic issued a grave warning for future generations on the "dangers" of the "spirit of Party"!
George Washington on the Baneful Effects of Political Parties
“Let me now take a more comprehensive view, and warn you in the most solemn manner against the baneful effects of the Spirit of Party...”
Excerpts from George Washington’s Farewell Address
September 19, 1796
“... One of the expedients of Party to acquire influence, within particular districts, is to misrepresent the opinions & aims of other Districts. You cannot shield yourselves too much against the jealousies & heart burnings which spring from these misrepresentations. They tend to render Alien to each other those who ought to be bound together by fraternal Affection.
“All obstructions to the execution of the Laws, all combinations and Associations, under whatever plausible character, with the real design to direct, controul counteract, or awe the regular deliberation and action of the Constituted authorities are distructive of this fundamental principle and of fatal tendency. They 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 enterprizing 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 councils and modefied by mutual interests. However combinations or Associations of the above description may now & 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, & to usurp for themselves the reins of Government; destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.
“... in a country so extensive as ours, a Government of as much vigour as is consistent with the perfect security of Liberty is indispensable — Liberty itself will find in such a Government, with powers properly distributed and adjusted, its surest Guardian. It is indeed little else than a name, where the Government is too feeble to withstand the enterprises of faction ...
“I have already intimated to you the danger of Parties in the State, with particular reference to the founding of them on Geographical discriminations. Let me now take a more comprehensive view, & warn you in the most solemn manner against the baneful effects of the Spirit of Party, generally.
“This Spirit, unfortunately, is inseperable 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, controuled, or repressed; but in those of the popular form it is seen in its greatest rankness and is truly their worst enemy.
“The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge natural to party dissention, which in different ages & 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 & miseries, which result, gradually incline the minds of men to seek security & 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.
“Without looking forward to an extremity of this kind (which nevertheless ought not to be entirely out of sight) the common & continual mischiefs of the spirit of Party are sufficient to make it the interest and the duty of a wise People to discourage and restrain it.
“It serves always to distract the Public Councils and enfeeble the Public Administration. It agitates the Community with ill founded Jealousies and false alarms, kindles the animosity of one part against another, foments occasionally riot & insurrection. It opens the door to foreign influence & corruption, which find a facilitated access to the government itself through the channels of party passions. Thus the policy and the will of one country, are subjected to the policy and will of another.
“There is an opinion that parties in free countries are useful checks upon the Administration of the Government and serve to keep alive the spirit of Liberty. This within certain limits is probably true--and in Governments of a Monarchical cast Patriotism may look with endulgence, if not with favour, upon the spirit of party. But in those of the popular character, in Governments purely elective, it is a spirit not to be encouraged. From their natural tendency, it is certain there will always be enough of that spirit for every salutary purpose. And there being constant danger of excess, the effort ought to be, by force of public opinion, to mitigate & assuage it. A fire not to be quenched; it demands a uniform vigilance to prevent its bursting into a flame, lest instead of warming it should consume."
Please do not compare Donald Trump to George Washington.
I thought Glenn Beck said Ted Cruz was the Washington of our day!
| Thank you for this fine addition of George Washington's grave warning about political parties.
Wow, I was totally unaware of this issue, and I now think it's ironic that I've never heard the issue discussed in my eight months reading FR -- though it's quite possible I missed it entirely.
The issue should certainly be explored in greater depth because it underpins a lot of the disagreements and discord we find in voters today.
Why should some people always vote Democrat and others Republican? Those labels mean absolutely nothing when there is a Uniparty in power. And it has given patriots of liberty a false sense of security in voting for a GOP that has clearly been working against the Republic -- at least at the federal level.
Why should terms like "conservative" or "liberal" hold so much cache, when these words are so often used to distort the pure position a candidate holds.
Yes, there is much wisdom in George Washington's opinions we should listen to today. Nice comment, loveliberty2.
Note, in a previous post of mine, Excel Scoresheet: Who Should Republicans Nominate for President?, I discussed the notion that a candidate's "positions" or policies should not dominate our discussion of presidential candidates. To rely on positions alone, we sacrifice the importance of screening for proven executive experience, independence from outside influence, and electability.
An error noted in the text.
"And that dream did become real spontaneously" should be changed to:
And that dream did not become real spontaneously.
Good one, WENDLE! Very well said.
Beautiful post, Wendle.
Let’s continue to thank God for giving Christians one last chance to save our country, in the form of DJT.
It is my prayer that many genuine Christians will lift him up in earnest prayer, for Godly protection, deliverance from evils in its multiple forms, and Godly wisdom and guidance.
Google George Washington master spy
One of my favorite books.
For instance, were we to look for a listing of "qualifications" for the office of President for a free society, we might consult the First Inaugural Addresses of John Adams and Thomas Jefferson wherein they laid out those principles and ideas which would form the foundations of their Administrations.
"We, the People" must be equipped to distinguish and between the principles that would keep America free and prosperous and the false premises that will enslave her, as well as able to articulate them. Accommodating tyranny by failing to call it what it is is dangerous. We need a leader whose words are strong and courageous and based in the principles of our Declaration of Independence.
American citizens need to wake up to the counterfeit ideas and false "hopes" offered by politicians who use "promises," just as the rest of us use "currency."
They buy votes with "promises" in order to gain power to themselves and their ilk. Then, when "hopes" are dashed, "the people" they have promised to help (the naive, the poor, the ignorant--even the "educated" who are ignorant of liberty vs. tyranny) find themselves enslaved, working for those who have purchased their power in the most despicable manner--by offering "hope and change." Thus it has ever been.
The people who founded America were not so "dumbed down." Hear two of them:
"It is proper to take alarm at the first experiment on our liberties. We hold this prudent jealousy to be the first duty of citizens and one of the noblest characteristics of the Revolution. The freemen of America did not wait till usurped power had strengthened itself by exercise and entangled the question in precedents. They saw all the consequences in the principle [usurpation of power] and they avoided the consequences by denying the principle. We revere this lesson too much . . . to forget it." - James Madison
" . . . nip the shoots of arbitrary power in the bud, is the only maxim which can ever preserve the liberties of any people. When the people give way, their deceivers, betrayers, and destroyers press upon them so fast, that there is no resisting afterwards. The nature of the encroachment upon the American constitution is such, as to grow every day more and more encroaching. Like a cancer, it eats faster and faster every hour. The revenue creates pensioners, and the penshioners urge for more revenue. The people grow less steady, spirited, and virtuous, the seekers more numerous and more corrupt, and every day increases the circles of their dependents and expectants, until virtue, integrity, public spirit, simplicity, and frugality, become the objects of ridicule and scorn, and vanity, lusury, foppery, selfishness, meanness and downright venality swallow up the whole society." - John Adams
Further, it was not just the founding leaders who were well-informed about their constitution and approaching threats to its protections. By the Year 1830, when the French jurist Tocqueville traveled America, he wrote admiringly of the individual citizenry, observing that even the backwoodsman was far more well-read and informed than those in other parts of the world, and that they understood their Constitution, and had with them a Bible and a newspaper.
Sadly, beginning in the mid-20th Century, our "government" schools removed the ideas of liberty from the nation's textbooks, largely under the guise of a counterfeit idea of "separation of church and state," and the citizenry is uninformed as to the difference between tyranny and liberty.
Today, with all modern means of communication, Americans possess little understanding of threats to their liberty and, thus, risk losing it to charlatans whose only goal is power.
Yes, God Bless. We must fight now with our minds and words.
Also note my tag line -- Ben Franklin ultimately believed the free republic would die because the people would become corrupted.
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