HOW MANY MORE WILL AMERICA BE ABLE TO CELEBRATE, THOUGH?
The American experiment has endured … somehow … for more than 240 years. That’s almost a quarter of a millennium, people – although whether the country is able to survive another quarter millennium is anybody’s guess.
We think it’s abundantly clear at this point that the policies advanced by the country’s previous two “leaders” – George W. Bush and (especially) Barack Obama – have made America’s ongoing sustainability a dicey proposition.
Will the United States reemerge as a beacon of freedom and free markets? Or will it continue to drown in debt, discord and dysfunction?
Can America’s 45th president – Donald Trump – succeed in “Making America Great Again?”
Or has that ghost been given up?
Anyway, the point of this post is not to weigh in on contemporary politics (we do enough of that on non-holidays), it is to celebrate the birthday of the founder of our country: George Washington. And to take a moment to ponder how far the nation has come – and where it is going – since its inception.
Born on February 22, 1735 in Westmoreland County, Virginia, Washington is the man responsible for the institution of the presidency – and for much of the Republican form of government that endures (in theory, anyway) in America to this day.
Washington could have established a new monarchy in the aftermath of the American Revolution – but he didn’t. He fought for a Republic built on the twin pillars of freedom and free markets – cautioning against partisan rancor, sectional division and global interventionism (three evils that currently threaten to tear it asunder).
Never read Washington’s farewell address? You should … it’s magnificent.
Talk about putting “America First.”
In honor of his service to the nation, Washington’s birthday was established as a national holiday in 1879 for government offices in the District of Columbia. Six years later it was expanded to include all federal offices. In 1971, the holiday was moved to the third Monday each February, meaning it can now fall as early as February 15 or as late as February 21.
Curiously, the holiday is still officially referred to as “Washington’s Birthday,” even though it is no longer possible for the day to actually coincide with Washington’s birthday. The name “Presidents Day?” That’s actually a creation of Madison Avenue – an excuse to move cars, televisions, iPhones, etc.
One of our favorite posts this Presidents Day comes from our friends at Americans for Limited Government (ALG) – whose editors have taken the liberty of compiling a collection of inspiring quotes from each of the forty-five men to occupy the office of the presidency.
“From George Washington to Donald Trump, forty-five men have served as President of the United States,” ALG’s editors noted. “We at ALG have identified a quotation for each of these men. Some of the quotes are better known than others, some a little more eloquent; all of them spoken by the Chief Executive and Commander-in-Chief of this great nation.”
Some of the quotes ALG selected are indeed very familiar utterances … others are unknown gems.
But the exercise – which uncovered some truly poignant language (including quotes from presidents we didn’t like) – seemed to us a wonderful way of honoring Washington’s wishes that we all put aside partisanship for the greater good.
Anyway, to read the list for yourself, click here …
And happy Presidents Day!
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