The more I know of American history (and it has been my lifelong study), the more I marvel at George Washington, born February 11 or 22 (depending on which calendar used).
He was untypical for his day, which was a time of extraordinary people. America would not have progressed this far had another man been our first president. And, except for his military stubbornness against an overwhelming foe, we might never have had a first president.
He wasn’t perfect; no man is. But his role reverberates over the centuries, resulting in good even today. I’m sorry we no longer recognize (nor teach) his uniqueness.
Portrait by Gilbert Stuart; public domain image
“Truth is so enveloped in mist and false representations that it is extremely difficult to know through what channel to seek it.”
President George Washington, 1795
(Not a new problem.)
Of course al-Maliki doesn’t want to surrender power. No executive does.
Can you imagine if John Adams or Alexander Hamilton had been our first president? We under appreciate George Washington. He decided eight years was good enough for any chief executive.
Democracy is not some magic system which automatically makes folks better. In fact, it’s based on the assumption that people are base. “One man: one vote” means no one was appointed by God or guns or gold to be better than everyone else. But all of us secretly think we’re better than everyone else. That’s why we now limit our President’s tenure.
It’s taken us over two hundred years to get it right and guess what? We’re not close to perfection.
“Democracy is the worst form of government except for all those others that have been tried.” Winston Churchill