Happy Birthday Mr.Washington

February 17, 2020

My Dear Reader,

For decades now, the holiday has been called President’s Day, but let’s not forget that it’s George Washington’s birthday.  You could also argue that it’s a celebration of Abraham Lincoln, but the focus of the article today is on the greatness of the first president in United States history. Washington and his presidency was undoubtedly the greatest American history. There’s little debate around this fact, certainly other presidents have achieved great heights and their day, the 20th century had Teddy Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower, and Ronald Reagan, and the 19th century had the aforementioned Lincoln. But the uniqueness of George Washington is not only his leadership, but also his foresight and ability to set precedences that would last for Generations. 

Very rarely do leaders’ legacies last much more than a generation after their departure from office or death. But unlike most leaders, Washington and his legacy shaped our thoughts views and positions on our own government more so than our own Constitution. In the era of Napoleon and Frederick the Great, the only one that has continued and will continue to live on after his death is the first president of the United States. 

The United States Constitution was based heavily on biblical principles and baron de montesquieu’s Political philosophies regarding power. And while these theories have helped preserve the American Constitution  against Power changes and the erosion of altruism, our foreign policy among the populace is marked more so by Washington’s farewell address. For instance, after World War I, Europe was devastated by the constant barrage of artillery and modern weapons in French farmland and Belgian factories. And while it would have been easier at that time for America to take the world stage in place of the United Kingdom, the American people wanted nothing to do with Europe. Rather, they wanted to live in a state of isolationism to avoid the tragedy of war that had plagued Europe. there’s nothing explicit about this in the Constitution or any other founding documents other than Washington’s farewell address. Yet the idea of isolationism still marks pause today.

After prolonged intervention in the Middle East, there is a large section of the American left and libertarian wings of politics that still cling to the idea of isolationism. The line is much the same as it was in 1938. “ we are not the policemen of the world and we only need to focus on our own borders”. Secondly, Washington also argued against the two-party political system that was developing in his day. No other founding document addresses this issue so it has been up to scholars and political theorists to draw their arguments against political parties in general from Washington’s final memo to the United States. This is just a brief overview of the idea that Washington is still our greatest president, we never even got into the Jay Treaty or any of his policies in his own day, but from a 30,000 foot view, I believe we can adequately see Washington’s Legacy and importance on his birthday. to the greatest American leader of them all, thank you Mr. Washington.

To your creation and potential,

Kevin Prendiville