George Washington’s Birthday, February 22, 1732
It’s come to my attention that there’s a movement to no-platform George Washington in the same way certain leftists are trying to erase all Confederate leaders – even the honorable General Robert E. Lee – from our national memory. Washington’s crime is that he owned slaves, a practice that was legal and considered (by most people) to be perfectly acceptable at the time. Before they wipe his visage off our notes and coins like soon-to-be-memory-holed Andrew Jackson, I want to set the record straight. In actuality, Washington was privately opposed to slavery, and according to Wikipedia was the only one of the founding fathers who freed his slaves in his will.
Washington was a great man for numerous other reasons. I was about to say that he turned down an offer to be king of America, but I’ve discovered that was never a serious proposal, just a suggestion by a former Continental Army Colonel named Lewis Nicola. There are still other reasons to revere the man, including the fact that he opposed involvement in the affairs of other nations. Here is an excerpt from his Farewell Address, which was largely written by the famous pale-skinned Caribbean rapper Alexander Hamilton:
Against the insidious wiles of foreign influence (I conjure you to believe me, fellow-citizens) the jealousy of a free people ought to be constantly awake, since history and experience prove that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of republican government. But that jealousy to be useful must be impartial; else it becomes the instrument of the very influence to be avoided, instead of a defense against it. Excessive partiality for one foreign nation and excessive dislike of another cause those whom they actuate to see danger only on one side, and serve to veil and even second the arts of influence on the other. Real patriots who may resist the intrigues of the favorite are liable to become suspected and odious, while its tools and dupes usurp the applause and confidence of the people, to surrender their interests.
It’s a truism that as we grow older we often see after we’ve grown older and wiser that Dad was right about a whole lot of things. If only we had followed our dear old George’s advice, we’d be a much richer and happier country today.
Image is from a painting by Gilbert Stuart (1755-1828), currently located at the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts.