Even the “Father of His Country” was not above criticism, and the military-industrial complex of the time criticized him in the press. Although the recently retired general whom the Indians believed could not be killed – suffered from the shots taken at him by these “infamous newspapers,” he refused to make any response that would deny his countrymen of “the infinite blessings resulting from a free press.”
This nobility contrasts sharply with the arrogance and paranoia of his successor, John Adams. Adams signed the Alien and Sedition Acts into law in an attempt to criminalize criticism of the president.
The spirit of those unconstitutional acts is alive and well today as hundreds of congressmen, the President enact similar provisions and the usurped authority granted under the National Defense Authorization Act to indefinitely detain persons the President suspects of posing a threat to the security of the homeland.
In so many ways, Washington was in fact “the indispensable man” and an example to politicians in his own time and ours.
When the time came for Washington to return to Martha and to Mount Vernon, he gave one last, and lasting message to his “friends and fellow citizens.” This now-famous speech, drafted principally by James Madison, is known as the Farewell Address.
September 19, 2013 marked the 217th anniversary of Washington’s Farewell Address. Deservedly so, this speech has become renowned for its prose and principles — including national unity, tolerance of political differences, and neutrality in the endless foreign conflicts.
To ensure that his remarks would strike the appropriate tone, Washington informed Madison that the speech should declare, “in plain and modest terms … that we are all children of the same country…. That our interest, however diversified in local and small matters, is the same in all the great and essential concerns of the nation.”
Although he penned a version of the address in his own words, he ultimately approved and delivered the version written by Madison. This act of fortitude is not found in the current administration, especially by the President.
After rehearsing his own record of political and military service and expressing his “love of liberty,” Washington urged the states to remain united and to “avoid the necessity of those overgrown military establishments which, under any form of government, are inauspicious to liberty, and which are to be regarded as particularly hostile to republican liberty.”
Our own massive military-industrial complex counts profits in the billions derived from supplying our armed forces currently deployed around the globe. Defense contractors sign billion-dollar contracts with the government, and funnel millions into the campaign coffers of key congressmen whom they can count on to keep the money flowing and the troops fighting.
Sadly, our modern proclivity is to surrender sovereignty to international bodies whose members are not elected and thus not accountable to the American people, and to send monetary and military support to “freedom fighters” in the Middle East. As the murder of the U.S. ambassador to Libya demonstrates, however, all this patronage has failed to purchase peace. Indeed the current bombing of the All Saints Church in Pakistan solidify this even more.
Unmoved, though, the president stalls the Congress and keeps the victims of the Benghazi attack from testifying.
Then, in open defiance of several laws, Obama and his congressional collaborators send millions of taxpayer dollars to known agents of al-Qaeda working within the so-called Syrian resistance, with the promise of armed intervention urging them to continue the civil war.
Peace, the president assures us, is only possible as a product of widening the “War on Terror.”
George Washington, on the other hand, declared that a lasting peace comes only from avoiding meddling in foreign armed conflicts and from promoting virtue in the citizenry. A peaceful country, he said, can be maintained only by peaceful people. Hat tip and kudos to The New American (a must read) by Joe Wolverton, II, J.D.